Bible: Biblical History and Geography

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...


Dr. Jill Katz

Jill (Citron) Katz is Clinical Assistant Professor of Archaeology at Yeshiva University.  She teaches both archaeology and anthropology, with a specialty in biblical archaeology.  Dr. Katz has excavated at several sites in Israel, including Ashkelon, Tel Haror/Gerar, and most recently Tell es-Safi/Gath where she currently serves as Field Director for Area P. Her research interests focus on political, religious, and urban development in Bronze and Iron Age Israel. Sample Titles “Who was a Jew?: The formation of Jewish ethnic identity during the time of the Judges What Yitzchak saw when he settled in Gerar?: Canaanite religion during the time of the Patriarchs How Jerusalem became the capital of the Jewish people The origins of the synagogue The Pharaohs who enslaved us: Did the Jews build King Tut’s tomb? Why it is easier to build a synagogue than a Temple Celebrating Passover in the Land of the Pharaohs The Pharaohs who enslaved us In the footsteps of the Philistines Jerusalem and Samaria: A tale of two...


Dr. Aaron Koller

Dr. Aaron Koller is an assistant professor of Bible in Yeshiva College. Aaron received his doctorate in Bible and Semitics in the Revel School of Jewish Studies after doing coursework at the University of Pennsylvania and YU, where he focused on Semitic and other Near Eastern languages and Iron Age history, while also studying linguistics, Bible, Levantine archaeology, and Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism. He also has a strong interest in contemporary ethical thought. He has written papers about Aramaic dialects and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and also teaches classes on biblical interpretation and history at the Drisha Institute. Sample Titles The Uniqueness of Man in Eden and in Science Human Development and the “Sin” of Eden The Philistines in the Bible and in History Reconstructing Sennacherib’s Attack on Judah Archaeology in the Study of the Bible Where did the Alphabet Come From? Aramaic Sources from Biblical Times Everyday Life in Biblical Times The “Ma‘aseh Merkavah” of Ezekiel: Its Meaning and Significance The Modern Book in the Bible: Kohelet Amos, a Radical in his Time How do we Know What a Biblical Hebrew Word Means? The Structure and Purpose of the Book of Deuteronomy “Torah from Zion”: Jerusalem as the International Court of Justice in Isaiah 2 The Law of the Slanderer The Structure and Meaning of the Book of Ezekiel Homicide: Halakhic and Neuropsychological Aspects The Power and Meaning of Martyrdom Language Choices in Second Temple Judaism and Rabbinic Literature The Language and Character of Hillel the Elder The Limits of Halakha The Dual Nature of Rosh...


Rabbi Ari Lamm

Rabbi Ari Lamm completed his B.A. in History & Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, and his M.A. in Jewish Studies and Eastern Christianity at University College London. He completed his Semichah at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 2015, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity at Princeton University. He was Yeshiva University’s first ever recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, which took him to London for his M.A. In addition, he has received a Henry Kressel Research Scholarship, a Tikvah Postgraduate Fellowship, and is currently a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Rabbi Lamm is the Special Advisor to the President of Yeshiva University, a position he started in June with the election of YU’s fifth president, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. He works closely with the president on all matters concerning the university’s mission and vision, and oversees the intellectual and philosophical initiatives emerging from the Office of the President. Previously Rabbi Lamm was the William Fischman Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center on the Upper West Side. He is passionate about exploring Jewish identity through the study of Jewish history and archaeology during the Biblical, Second Temple and Rabbinic eras. His regular classes on Judaism and the origins of Christianity have garnered a wide, online listenership, and have been spotlighted on Voice of Israel radio. He is also a founding editor and contributing author at The Lehrhaus. He is also keenly aware of Jewish responsibilities to the rest of humankind, and to that end is an Executive Committee Member of the Sri Lanka based organization, “Global Unites,” which promotes grassroots, non-violent, youth-based peace-making in conflict-torn areas from Africa and southeast Asia to Latin America and the Middle East.  Rabbi Ari Lamm will be teaching at YU’s Community Beit Midrash for the Fall 2017 semester. Sample Titles Hero or Hypocrite? Attacks on the Pharisees During the Second Temple Period Faith & Fanatacism: The Maccabees & Christian Martyrdom From the Persian Empire to the U.N. – Hakamat...

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