Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies

Dr. David Berger

David Berger is dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. For many years he was Broeklundian Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was also President of the Association for Jewish Studies, co-chair of the academic advisory committee of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and has served as a member of the academic committee of the Rothschild Foundation Europe and of the executive committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, where he is a fellow. He serves on the council of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the editorial board of Tradition. Dean Berger is the author of “The Jewish-Christian Debate in the High Middle Ages,” which was awarded the John Nicholas Brown Prize by the Medieval Academy of America, and co-author of “Judaism’s Encounter with Other Cultures: Rejection or Integration?” a finalist for the Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought. His book, “The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference,” received the 2003 Samuel Belkin Literary Award. He has written numerous articles on medieval Jewish history, Jewish-Christian relations, anti-Semitism, contemporary Judaism and the intellectual history of the Jews. Dean Berger has been a fellow of the Annenberg Research Institute, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Yale and Harvard universities. Sample Titles The Messiah and the Redemption: Beliefs, Movements and Calculations from Talmudic Times to the Present The Catholic Church and the Jews: From Crusades, Expulsions and Holocaust to Dialogue and Diplomatic Relations A two or three part series called “Christians and Jews: Interfaith Relations from the Crusades to the Jewish State” Halakhah Confronts a Changing Society: Reflections on the Dynamics of Jewish Law Kiddush Hashem and Conversion from Crusades to Inquisition to Holocaust The Jewish-Christian Debate from Medieval Disputations to Modern...

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Dr. Moshe Bernstein

Dr. Moshe Bernstein is a professor of Bible at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University. He also taught at Stern College for Women for 20 years. His teaching encompasses both basic and advanced courses, ranging from Introduction to Bible, Biblical Hebrew and Classical Jewish Intellectual History to specialized courses in Literary Approaches to the Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Biblical Interpretation. Dr. Bernstein’s research focuses primarily on Jewish biblical interpretation in antiquity, particularly as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aramaic targumim (translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic). His publications in these areas have earned him international recognition as a distinguished scholar. Dr. Bernstein is a member of the international editorial team responsible for editing and publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in 2001 co-edited three fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls in the official publication series “Discoveries in the Judean Desert.” In addition to his academic and scholarly activities, Dr. Bernstein is a frequent lecturer on a variety of aspects of Tanakh and Judaism in antiquity at synagogues in the New York area and across the country. Dr. Bernstein is a graduate of Yeshiva College and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He holds MA and PhD degrees from Fordham University in classical languages. Dr. Bernstein also received a master’s degree in Semitic languages from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he later did advanced graduate work in biblical studies. Sample Titles Literary Approaches to Tenakh Biblical Thought: Lamentations, Ecclesiastes (Kohelet), Psalms The Text of Tenakh from Before the Ba’alei Mesorah to Printed Editions Translations of the Bible from the Targumim to ArtScroll The Earliest Biblical Interpretation – Reading the Bible Before There Were Commentaries Medieval Jewish Biblical Interpretation Second Temple Jewish History and...

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Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Cohen

Rabbi Mordechai Z. Cohen is professor of Bible and associate dean of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. He has written a number of seminal studies in both Hebrew and English on Jewish biblical interpretation (parshanut ha-miqra) in its cultural settings, particularly its interface with Arabic poetics, Muslim jurisprudence and modern literary approaches to the Bible. Recognized as a leading authority in this field, he lectures regularly at academic conferences in the United States, Europe and Israel. His first book, “Three Approaches to Biblical Metaphor: From Abraham Ibn Ezra and Maimonides to David Kimhi,” was published by Brill Academic Press in 2003 and was re-issued in a second edition in 2008. His second book, “Opening the Gates of Interpretation: Maimonides’ Biblical Exegesis in Light of His Geonic-Andalusian Heritage and Muslim Milieu,” will be published by Brill in 2010. Rabbi Cohen graduated from Yeshiva College in 1987, was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1990 and received his PhD at Revel in 1994. Sample Titles Jonah’s Struggle with God: Literary Perspectives New trends in the study of the History of Biblical Interpretation From New Heart to Broken Heart: Penitence (Teshuva) in Psalm 51 Tehillim (Psalms) As Poetry Maimonides and Moses Ibn Ezra: How Arabic Poetics and Muslim Jurisprudence Illuminate Sacred Hebrew Text Joy With Tears: Celebrating the Return to Zion in Psalm 126 Bible and Literary Criticism: In Memory of Nehama Leibowitz Spirit and Soul: What Makes Hebrew the Sacred Tongue Kedusha, Perishut, Ve-‘Achdut: Separation and Unity in Holiness Malbim’s Reaction to the Literary Method in Biblical Exegesis Nahmanides’ Commentary and Thought, nine-lecture series Literary Perceptions in Medieval Biblical Commentaries Literary Artistry in the Book of Jonah Literary Artistry and the Theology of Hesed in the Book of Ruth, two-lecture series What Does Maimonides Really Say About Peshuto Shel Miqra Biblical Interpretation Between Cultures: New Scholarship on the Traditional Commentators; eight-lecture series New Approaches to Parshanut ha-Miqra (Biblical interpretation) in modern scholarship...

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Dr. Yaakov Elman

Yaakov Elman is a professor of Judaic studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. He is also a director of the Friedberg Genizah Project. Professor Elman is the author of “The Living Torah,” a two-volume translation and commentary on Nevi’im , together with diagrams and maps. He is the editor of “Hazon Nahum: Studies in Jewish Law, Thought and History Presented to Dr. Norman Lamm on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday.” Professor Elman has published widely in the field of Talmud, and his research interests include rabbinic theology, unfolding systems of rabbinic legal exegesis and the cultural context of classical rabbinic texts. For the past five years, he has divided his time between Yeshiva and Harvard University, where he is an associate of the Center for Jewish Studies, and conducts research on the relation of the Babylonian Jewish community of Talmudic times to the surrounding Middle Persian culture and religions. Rabbi Elman received his MA in Assyriology from Columbia University and his PhD in Talmud from New York University. Sample Titles Modern Orthodoxy: The Fourth-Century Version Why the Righteous Suffer: Some Surprising Rabbinic Views The History of Halakhah According to R. Zadok ha-Kohen of Lublin Theories of the Dual Torah Responses to the Challenges of Biblical Criticism and Modernity The Cosmopolitan Babylonian Talmud Communication of Ex-Communication: An Examination of Two Rabbinic Policies An Introduction to the Intellectual History of the Bavli The Real Torah...

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Dr. Steven Fine

Dr. Steven Fine is the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair in Jewish History at Yeshiva College and Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, director of Center for Israel Studies and head of the department of Jewish history at Yeshiva College. Dr. Fine is a cultural historian, specializing in Jewish history in the Greco-Roman world. Dr. Fine’s unique blend of history, rabbinic literature, archaeology and art is expressed in a broad range of publications. The author of academic monographs, museum catalogs, articles and even a book for children, Dr. Fine’s most recent book is “Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology” (Cambridge, 2005, updated edition, 2009). He is an editor of a “IMAGES: A Journal for the Study of Jewish Art and Visual Culture.” Dr. Fine has lectured throughout the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe. His combination of history, Talmud, archaeology and “bonhomie” make Dr. Fine popular with both Jewish and Christian audiences. Sample Titles Jewish Magic and Healing in the Talmudic Period Archaeology and Zionism Kedushat Beit Ha-Knesset: The Sanctity of the Synagogue The Second Temple in Jewish Art and Thought The Da Vinci Code Illuminates Jewish Art: Explorations with a Real-Life Jewish “Symbologist” Is the Vatican Hiding the Temple Menorah? The Tangible Talmud: Archaeology Illuminates the World of the Ancient Rabbis The Sanctity of the Synagogue: Ancient and Modern Where did Jesus Pray?: Synagogues in First Century Judaea Nicanor’s Beautiful Gate: Donation to the Jerusalem Temple The Zodiac in Jewish Art The Samaritans: Portrait of a Biblical People Archaeological Discoveries that have Changed Jewish...

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Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock

Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock is the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University. He is the author or editor of 14 books, including “Orthodox Jews in America,” “Judaism’s Encounter With American Sports,” and “American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective.” His “A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism” (Columbia University Press, 1997) was awarded the bi-annual Saul Viener Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society for the best book written in that field. Dr. Gurock is chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society and served from 1982 to 2002 as associate editor of “American Jewish History,” the leading academic journal in that field. Sample Titles American Judaism’s Contemporary Scoreboard From Ancient Face-Offs through Medieval Time-Outs: Jewish History and the Culture of Sports Jewish Harlem: Past and Present Reaching American Jewry’s Millennial Generation American Orthodoxy’s Era of Non-Observance How Frum Was Rabbi Jacob Joseph’s Court? A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community An American Jewish Conspiracy Theory: Dr. Bernard Revel, Yeshiva and the Jewish Theological Seminary (A Text Study Workshop) The Religious Values of American Jews: Historically Reconsidered (A Text Study Workshop) The Voices of Immigrant Jewish Masses (A Text Study...

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Dr. Stu Halpern

Dr. Stu Halpern is Chief of Staff to Yeshiva University President Ari Berman, responsible for overseeing the administrative, financial and operational affairs of the Office of President. He provides strategic support to the President, develops and coordinates high-priority initiatives, and serves as the primary liaison between the President and University stakeholders. During his 11 years at Yeshiva University, Dr. Halpern has served in various capacities, including in the Office of Student Life, Academic Advising, The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, YU Press, and as a professor of Bible. He has edited or co-edited 14 books, including From Within the Tent: Essays by the Rabbis and Professors of Yeshiva University on the Festival Prayers, Torah and Western Thought: Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity and Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought.  He has lectured in synagogues, Hillels and adult Jewish educational settings across the U.S.  Dr. Halpern received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University, an MA in Bible from Revel, an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Touro University, and an EdD from the Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration. Sample Titles Angels and Demons: The Akedah, the Exodus, and a Pre-Rabbinic Midrash Az Yashir and the Creation Stories of Israel’s Ancient Neighbors Passover Polemics – Judaism, Christianity, and the Fight over the Seder Groundhog Day, Megillat Ruth, and Nighttime Seduction Scenes in Tanakh The Lion, the Pit and the Wardrobe: Daniel, Joseph, Esther and the Struggles of Being a Diaspora Jew Ve-nahafoch-Who? Purim and the Unfinished Business of Megillat Esther If I Forget Thee, O Uruk: The Mourning of Megillat Eicha in the Context of the Ancient World You Can’t Handle the Truth: Biblical Secret Identities and the Message of Yonah The Invisible Spy and the Zealot Who Didn’t Die: Two Ways to Read a Strange Tale of Pinchas “No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition”:...

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Dr. Shalom Holtz

Dr. Shalom Holtz is an assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University, hired as part of the University’s efforts to enhance and expand its academic Jewish studies programs. A native New Yorker, Dr. Holtz holds a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) from Harvard University (1999) and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (2006), both in Near Eastern languages and civilizations. Dr. Holtz’s research interests include the relationship between ancient Mesopotamian civilization and Jewish civilization. He has published articles and lectured at academic conferences on this subject. Prior to his appointment at Yeshiva, he served as a member of the faculty at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan. Sample Titles The Goring Ox and the Message of Biblical Law Floods, Fertility and Family: The Mesopotamian Background of the Noah Story Sennacherib vs. Hezekiah: An Episode in Biblical History 9 Av, 586 BCE The Biblical Prophets in the Synagogue (The...

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Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel

Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel is the E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law at Yeshiva University. He teaches at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and at Stern College for Women. Professor Kanarfogel is one of the foremost scholars in the fields of medieval Jewish history and rabbinic literature, and is the author five books and more than seventy-five articles. His most recent book, The Intellectual History and Rabbinic Culture of Medieval Ashkenaz, published in 2013, won the prestigious Goldstein-Goren International Book Prize, along with the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association of Jewish Studies here in the United States. Rabbi Dr. Kanarfogel has held visiting appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and he has lectured at leading universities throughout the world, including Harvard, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves on the Executive Board as Secretary of the American Academy for Jewish Research, the premier scholarly organization for professors of Jewish studies in North America. Ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary where he was a member of the Kollel, he earned his doctorate in medieval Jewish history at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. In 2002, Rabbi Dr. Kanarfogel became the first person to win Yeshiva’s Samuel Belkin Memorial Literary Award on multiple occasions. He is also a winner of the National Jewish Book award. Sample Titles Precedent and Innovation in the Halakhic Process: Conversion and Reversion to Judaism History and Halakhah: Who will Build the Third Beit Ha-Mikdash? Conceptions of the Messianic Age in Medieval Rabbinic Thought Medieval Halakhic Decision-Making and the Implications for...

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Dr. Joshua Karlip

Joshua M. Karlip is Associate Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, where he has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses since 2007.  His scholarship has focused on the relationship between traditional Judaism and modern secular Jewish movements such as Yiddishism.  He addressed this theme in his critically acclaimed book, The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe, published by Harvard University Press in 2013.   Karlip’s forthcoming book, Oyfn Sheydveg [At the Crossroads]: Jewish Intellectuals and the Crisis of 1939 is a critical edition of a Yiddish journal that served as a forum for Jewish intellectuals to react to Nazism.  In this book, Karlip will recover this moment of ideological soul searching for the English reading public.  In addition to these volumes, Karlip also contributed a chapter to Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John D. Klier (Academic Studies Press, 2012).  He has also published articles and book reviews in Jewish Social Studies, the Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook, East European Jewish Affairs, Jewish History, and Polin. In 2009-2010, Karlip served as a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University.  In 2012, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University.  In 2010-2011, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research awarded Karlip the Natalie and Mendel Racolin Memorial Fellowship.  Since 2011, Karlip has also served as a faculty member in the YIVO-Bard Institute’s Summer Yiddish Program.  Most recently, he was asked to become a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History. Karlip has presented his research to scholars at international conferences in the United States and in Europe.  At the same time, he lectures in synagogues to lay audiences about many aspects of Modern Jewish History, the East European Jewish experience, and the Holocaust. Sample Titles Fiddler on the Roof: Life in the Real Shtetl? The Good Old Days?: Jews in Tsarist Russia Volozhin: The...

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