Dovid Kaplan

Dovid Kaplan is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, kiruv educator, author, and speaker. He is known for his inspirational and humorous storytelling both in his international speaking engagements and in his Impact! series of books.


Dovid Kaplan
Dovid Kaplan

Chicago, Illinois
Alma materNortheastern Illinois University
PositionSenior lecturer
YeshivaOhr Somayach, Jerusalem
OtherMashgiach ruchani, Yeshivas Bais Yisroel, Jerusalem

Early life and educationEdit

Dovid Kaplan was born in Chicago.[1] He is the grandson of Rabbi Hertzl Kaplan[2] and great-nephew of Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, rosh yeshivas at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois. Kaplan graduated from Fasman Yeshiva High School (the Skokie Yeshiva) in 1976, and attended Northeastern Illinois University.[1] He received rabbinical ordination in Israel.[1]


Kaplan initially embarked on a business career as co-owner of a kosher restaurant in the Chicago area.[3] In 1987 he switched tracks and became a teacher of Talmud at Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem,[4][5] where he currently serves as senior lecturer.[1] He is also a mashgiach ruchani at Yeshivas Bais Yisroel in Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem.[6]

Kaplan launched his writing career with a 64-page "guidebook" for entry-level Talmud students titled The Ohr Somayach Gemara Companion (2000).[4] In 2003 he compiled a humorous collection of short stories from his work with baalei teshuva at Ohr Somayach titled The Kiruv Files.[4][7] Kaplan saw the book as a tool for baalei teshuva to know "what they should do and, more importantly, what they shouldn't do".[4]

Kaplan began writing a parenting column for Hamodia magazine in the 2000s and collected many of his popular columns into the books Polishing Diamonds: Bringing out the sparkle in our children (2005) and Perfecting Diamonds: Bringing out the sparkle in our children (2008).[4] Since 2006, he has published six titles in the Impact! series of inspirational short stories. Twenty-six of his stories were adapted for children in the 2009 book Impact! for Kids by Leah Subar.[8] He is also active as an international lecturer on Jewish education, parenting, and other subjects.[9] In a 2011 interview, he said he had "about 2,500 stories on file" to use in speeches.[10]


Kaplan and his wife, Tammy,[11] and their family reside in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem.[4] He is a Kohen.[12]



  1. ^ a b c d "Rabbi Dovid Kaplan". Ohr Somayach International. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Dovid. "A Good Word". Hamodia Inyan magazine, August 19, 2020, pp. 6–7.
  3. ^ "Rabbi Dovid Kaplan". The Jewish Learning Exchange. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Levin, Menucha Levin. "Bookshelf: An interview with author Rabbi Dovid Kaplan". Inyan magazine, December 3, 2015, pp. 22-23.
  5. ^ Kaplan, Dovid (2005). Polishing Diamonds: Bringing out the sparkle in our children. Hamodia Publishing. pp. IX–X. ISBN 965-90652-5-6.
  6. ^ "Rav Dovid Kaplan, shlit"a". Yeshivas Bais Yisroel. 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  7. ^ Dumas, Chava (17 September 2003). "BOOK REVIEW – The Kiruv Files: The stories, the drama, the humor... an inside look". Dei'ah VeDibur. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  8. ^ Subar, Leah (2009). Impact! for Kids. Targum Press. ISBN 1568715285.
  9. ^ Bruckenstein, Rabbi Allon (9 April 2014). "Seder Night with Rabbi Dovid Kaplan". The English Update. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  10. ^ Eisikowitz, Michal (13 April 2011). "The Storyteller's Art". Mishpacha. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Obituary for Celia Cohen". Epstein Memorial Chapel. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  12. ^ Becher, Mordechai (2005). Gateway to Judaism: The what, how and why of Jewish Life. Mesorah Publications. p. 57. ISBN 1422600300. (footnote 80)

External linksEdit