Lawrence Kaplan felt he had to be here. The Judaic studies professor traveled from Montreal to the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan on Sunday because he was feeling religiously isolated. He wanted to show support for a fledgling enterprise: a two-day conference on Modern Orthodoxy designed to show that the embattled liberal wing of Orthodox tradition is not an anachronism in an increasingly fundamentalist world.
"I didn't want it to be a failure," Kaplan confided.
He was not disappointed.