Core Faculty

Core Faculty

  • Goldman, Orna

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    • Orna Goldman
    • Language Coordinator and Teaching Instructor, Hebrew Language
    • Schools: B.Ed. and Teacher's Certification, Lewinsky Teachers College M.Phil., Columbia University
    • Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-1722

    Mailing Address: 12 College Avenue

    Instructor of Hebrew Language


    Ms. Goldman graduated from Lewinsky Teachers College in Israel with a B.Ed in Hebrew language, Hebrew Literature and Biblical Literature and with a Teacher's Certification in these subjects. She continued her graduate studies in the U.S. and received M.Phil degree in Hebrew Literature from Columbia University, Graduate School for Arts and Sciences Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures.

    Ms. Goldman is also a translator and the managing editor of HHE, a publication of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH).

    Goldman2020    Goldman2019    Goldman2018

    Goldman2017    Goldman2016    Goldman2015
    Click image to view the publication.

  • Raucher, Michal

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    • Michal Raucher
    • Undergraduate Director and Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
    • Schools: PhD in Religious Studies, Northwestern University (with a graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies), MA in Bioethics: University of Pennsylvania, BA in Hebrew Bible: Jewish Theological Seminary, BA in Religion: Columbia University
    • Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall 104
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-1717


    Research Interests

    • Anthropology of Judaism
    • Jewish women in Israel and America
    • Agency and Authority among religious women
    • Religion and Bioethics
    • Anthropology of Reproduction
    • Reproductive Justice

    Research in Progress

    “Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling: The Ordination of Orthodox Jewish Women in America and Israel.” Interviews and observations started in June 2016.

    “Jewish Reproductive Justice: Pronatalism and Pro-Choice Judaism.” In partnership with the CrossCurrents Summer Research Colloquium at Auburn Theological Seminary

    Regularly taught courses

    • Arab-Israeli Conflict
    • Israeli Culture
    • Jews and Medicine
    • Jerusalem Contested



    Conceiving Agency: Reproductive Authority among Haredi Women, Indiana University Press, (2020).

    Journal Articles

    “Whose Womb and Whose Ethics? Surrogacy in Jewish Ethics,” Journal of Jewish Ethics, 3.1 (2017). 68-91.

    “Ethnography and Jewish Ethics: Lessons from a Case Study in Reproductive Ethics,” Journal of Religious Ethics, 44.4 (2016). 636-658.

    “The Cultural and Legal Reproduction of Poverty: Abortion Legislation in Israel.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 30:1 (2014). 147-156.

    “What they Mean by ‘Good Science’: The Medical Community’s Response to Boutique Fetal Ultrasounds.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34:5 (2009). 528-544.

    Ramarajan, Arulmozhi, Renzong Qiu, Michal Raucher, Ruth Chadwick, Amna Nossier, Shahida Zaidi. “Sexual Rights and Gender Roles in a Religious Context. Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights: 15 Years after the International Conference on Population and Development.” FIGO World Report on Women's Health. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 106:2 (2009). 151-155

    Book Chapters

    “Be Fruitful and Multiply…Except…Contraception in Judaism: Balancing Competing Values.” Religious Perspectives on Reproductive Ethics, edited by Dena Davis. New York: Oxford University Press. 2019

    “Anonymous Intimacy: Orthodox Jewish Women as Legal Advisors on the Internet.” In Digital Judaism, edited by Heidi Campbell, 74-90. New York: Routledge, 2015.

    Commentary and Roundtable Contributions 

    “Immersing in Climate Change.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. 33.2 (2017). 162-167.

    Henning, Alyssa, Michal Raucher, and Laurie Zoloth. “A Jewish Response to the Vatican?” American Journal of Bioethics 9:11 (2009). 37-39.

    Zoloth, Laurie, Leilah Backus, Teresa Woodruff, Alyssa Henning and Michal Raucher. “Like/As Metaphor and Meaning in Bioethics Narrative,” American Journal of Bioethics 8:6 (2008). W3-W5

    Book Reviews

    Review of Michal Kravel-Tovi, When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel. Religious Studies Review (Forthcoming)

    Review of Jonathan Saks, The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Class of Civilizations. The New Jewish Canon, edited by Claire Sufrin and Yehuda Kurtzer (Forthcoming 2020).

    Review of Rebecca Todd Peters, Trust Women: A Progressive Christian argument for Reproductive Justice. The Syndicate Network. May 8, 2019

    Review of Pregnancy in Practice: Expectation and Experience in the Contemporary US. Association for Feminist Anthropology. 2015.

    Ethnographic Encounters in Israel: Poetics and Ethics of Fieldwork. H-Judaic. 2015.

    Blog Posts (Peer reviewed)

    “Even the Allies are Misogynist” Feminist Studies in Religion Blog, May 28, 2019.

    “Feminist Ethnography Inside and Outside the Field” Feminist Studies in Religion Blog, May 8, 2018.

    “Sexual Assault, Feminism, and the Jews” Feminist Studies in Religion Blog, October 19, 2017.

    “‘Facts on the Ground’: An Ironic Approach to Orthodox Female Rabbis?” Feminist Studies in Religion Blog, November 11, 2015.


    “Jewish Law’s Positive View on Contraception,” The New York Jewish Week, February 6, 2018.

    Blog Posts (not peer reviewed)

    “Let’s Talk about Sex” JTS Torah Commentary, June 7, 2017.

    “Facing Our Past and Looking toward the Future” JTS Torah Commentary, May 27, 2016.

    “Rachel Leans In,” JTS Torah Commentary, November 5, 2015.

    “Dissent is Not a Dirty Word,” JTS Torah Commentary, June 19, 2015.

    “The Clothes Make the (Wo)Man,” JTS Torah Commentary, June 13, 2014.

    Public Talks

    I teach and lecture on a wide range of topics, including reproduction in Israel, Jewish ethics, Jewish women, and Jewish feminism. For a sample of my teaching style, see this lecture:

    “Whose Womb and Whose Ethics? Surrogacy in Jewish Ethics.” Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, NJ. April 29.

    “Is there a Jewish Continuity Crisis?” The Jewish Theological Seminary, June 8, 2020.

    Awarded Grants

    2019: CrossCurrents Summer Research Collquium, Auburn Theological Seminary, “Pronatalism and Reproductive Justice in Judaism.”

    2016-2017: American Academy of Religion, Individual Research Grant, “Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling,” $5,000

    2016-2017: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Research Grant, “Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling,” $4,000

    2015-2016: Israel Institute, Research Grant, “Orthodox Female Clergy in Israel and America,” $8,195

    2010-2011: Wenner Gren Foundation, Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, “Haredi Reproductive Ethics,” $12,995

    2010-2011: Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, Doctoral Scholarship, “Haredi Reproductive Ethics,” $4,000

    2009-2010: Fulbright Fellowship, Institute of International Education, “Haredi Reproductive Ethics.”

    Professional Affiliations

    American Academy of Religion

    Feminist Studies in Religion, board member, co-chair of E-Feminist Studies in Religion

    Editorial board member, Journal of Jewish Ethics

    Vice President, Society of Jewish Ethics

    Association for Jewish Studies

    Association for Israel Studies

  • Rendsburg, Gary A.



    UPCOMING TOUR (August 2022)

    England Tour cover pageEngland as the Custodian of the Jewish Past:

    Oxford, Cambridge, London

    with sidetrips to Bath, Stonehenge, Highclere Castle, Blenheim Palace

    (brought to you by Sababa Travel and Insight Vacations)

    Details to follow, but for now, please consider joining us on this specially designed tour, August 8-19, 2022.

    The highlights include behind-the-scenes tours of the manuscript treasures of the Bodleian Library (Oxford) and the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit (Cambridge).

    In the meantime, feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details or with any questions.



    How the Bible Is Written (Hendrickson)

    HowTheBibleIsWritten Cover thumbnail



    • The literature of the Bible
    • The history of ancient Israel
    • The historical development of the Hebrew language
    • The relationship between ancient Egypt and ancient Israel
    • Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Post-Biblical Judaism
    • Medieval Hebrew manuscripts


    All Things Ancient Israel (about four minutes)


    • Introduction to the Bible I
    • Introduction to the Bible II
    • Introduction to Ancient Judaism
    • Jewish History (Ancient and Medieval)
    • Women in the Bible
    • Biblical Hebrew I
    • Biblical Hebrew II
    • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Prose
    • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Poetry
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Scroll Down: Classical Jewish Texts, from Parchment to the Internet
    • How Do We Know This (Honors College Interdisciplinary Seminar)
    • The English Bible
    • Jews in the World of Islam
    • Ancient Egypt
    • Hieroglyphic Egyptian
    • Ugaritic


    Books Authored

    1. The Redaction of Genesis (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1986) (reprinted, with a new Foreword, 2014).
    2. Diglossia in Ancient Hebrew (American Oriental Series 72; New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1990).
    3. Linguistic Evidence for the Northern Origin of Selected Psalms (Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series 43; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990).
    4. The Bible and the Ancient Near East, co-authored with Cyrus H. Gordon (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997).
    5. Israelian Hebrew in the Book of Kings(Occasional Publications of the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Program of Jewish Studies, Cornell University 5; Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 2002).
    6. Solomon’s Vineyard: Literary and Linguistic Studies in the Song of Songs, co-authored with Scott B. Noegel (SBL Ancient Israel and Its Literature; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009 / Leiden: Brill, 2009).
      See book description
    7. How the Bible Is Written (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2019). 

    Books Edited

    1. Co-Editor, The Bible World: Essays in Honor of Cyrus H. Gordon (New York: Ktav, 1980).
    2. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 1 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1987).
    3. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 2 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1990).
    4. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 3(Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1992).
    5. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 4 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2002).
    6. Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, 4 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2013)
    7. Co-Editor, Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?”: Biblical, Archaeological, and Egyptological Perspectives on the Exodus Narratives (Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement 13; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2016).
    8. Co-Editor, Le-maʿan Ziony: Essays in Honor of Ziony Zevit (Eugene, Ore.: Cascade Books, 2017).
    9. Co-Editor:  James S. Diamond, Scribal Secrets: Extraordinary Texts in the Torah and Their Implications (Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick, 2019).

    DIGITAL HUMANITIES PROJECTS – co-developed with Jacob Binstein, launched December 2013, presents the manuscript tradition of the book of Ben Sira, from Qumran, Masada, and the Cairo Geniza.– co-developed with Joshua Blachorsky (with the assistance of Jacob Binstein), launched May 2015, presents the images and transcriptions of JTS MS R1622.1, one of the most important (albeit incomplete) extant Mishna manuscripts. – co-developed with Peter Shamah (with the assistance of Jacob Binstein), launched August 2018, presents the documents (all from the Cairo Geniza) relating to the life of Johannes of Oppido = Obadiah the Proselyte, Catholic monk who converted to Judaism in 1102 C.E.

    ONLINE VIDEO LECTURES (April 2020 during the COVID-19 epidemic)

      The Haggadah through the Ages

    Ancient Toileting Practices
      Ancient Toileting Practices

    Isaac Newton
      Isaac Newton and the Great Plague of 1665-1666


      Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed, Copenhagen Manuscript,

      written in Barcelona during the Great Plague of 1348-1349


    • "Unlikely Heroes: Women as Israel," delivered at Brigham Young University, March 7, 2007.
    • "Light from Egypt on the Exodus Story," delivered at Brigham Young University, March 8, 2007.
    • "Scroll Down: Classical Jewish Texts on the Internet," delivered at the University of Birmingham, October 22, 2012.
    • "Moses the Magician," delivered at the conference "Out of Egypt: Israel's Exodus between Text and Memory, History and Imagination," University of California - San Diego, June 3, 2013 - Click on "Myth and Memory" -- see the third lecture there, with links for the video, handout and the images
    • "Septuagint, Synagogue and Symbiosis: The Jews of Hellenistic Egypt," delivered at Lanier Theological Library (Houston), January 16, 2015
      See seminar program for "January 16, 2015 – Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Jewish Diaspora After 722 B.C." -- my lecture commences at 2:08:50 and continues through 2:39:40.
      See the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation.
      Or one can access my lecture, independently of the others at the seminar, via YouTube.
    • "The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Texts and their Significance for Early Judaism and Early Christianity," delivered at Colgate University, February 18, 2015
      See the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation.
    • "The Psalms as Hymns in the Temple of Jerusalem: At Passover and throughout the Year," delivered on consecutive days at Brigham Young University and Utah State University, March 30-31, 2015, in conjunction with the colloquium on "Passion and Passover: Jesus and the Temple."
    • Sacred Space in Judaism after the Temple,” at the conference entitled “Sacred Space, Sacred Thread,” University of Southern California, November 2016 – my presentation comprises the first 25 minutes of this YouTube video.
    • The Future of American Jewish Bible Translation,” my 30-minute contribution to the panel discussion included in the one-day symposium, sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society of America, and held at the National Museum of American Jewish History, on April 30, 2017.  This is an audio file only, with a few images. The pdf file of the handout, which will help you follow along.
    • "Chiasmus in the Book of Genesis," at the "Chiasmus Jubilee Conference," Brigham Young University, August 16, 2017.  My apologies for the unevenness of the PowerPoint images projected on the screen.  They were all perfect in my version, but somehow did not transfer well on the podium computer.  Among other issues, note that the prime symbol does not appear, but rather displays as an empty little box.  For a pdf version of the PowerPoint, click here.  For the handout, click here.
    • Goodly Treasures New and Old: A Lecture on the Song of Songs,” held at the Library of Congress, October 30, 2017.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation which accompanied my lecture, click here.  For the handout, a translation of the Song of Songs (produced jointly by Scott Noegel and myself, and included in our co-authored book, Solomon’s Vineyard), click here.  For a transcription of the lecture, click here.
    • "Scroll Down: Classical Jewish Texts, from Parchment to Internet," Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, Rutgers University, December 4, 2017.  This lecture was not recorded, but a number of people asked me to make the PowerPoint available at my website, which I do so here, in pdf format.  Once you have downloaded the pdf file, in theory, you should be able to click on the embedded links, in order to access the various websites which include descriptions and digital images of the manuscripts (Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira, Mishna, Talmudim, Targumim, Maimonides, etc.) presented during the lecture. In practice, however, I note that some links do not work in such fashion, so that you will need to copy-and-paste the link into the browser.
    • From the Depths of Antiquity: An Ancient Torah Scroll Sheet from the Book of Exodus Newly Acquired by the Library of Congress,” lecture at the Library of Congress, May 23, 2018.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation which accompanied my lecture, click here. For a transcription of the lecture, click here.
    • The Book of Genesis as a Product of the United Monarchy,” delivered at Lanier Theological Library (Houston), September 14, 2018.  My lecture was part of a larger seminar, “Recent Evidence for Israel's United Kingdom,” with seven speakers on the panel.  The entire program is available here.
    • Jews in Medieval England,” presented at Congregation Oheb Shalom, South Orange, N.J., February 2018.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation which accompanied my lecture, click here.
    • Jews in Arabia,” presented at Congregation Oheb Shalom, South Orange, N.J., January 2019.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation which accompanied my lecture, click here.
    • " audio How the Bible Is Written " (audio recording), presented at the Pontificio Istituto Biblico (P.I.B.) = Pontifical Biblical Institute (P.B.I.), Rome, February 2019.  For the pdf version of the handout, by which one can follow the lecture, click here.  For the flyer advertising the lecture, with full details (date, time, place, etc.), click here.
    • Mandelbaum House Lectures, University of Sydney, March-April 2019:

      > "The First Diasporas: Egypt and Babylonia," the 12th Annual Alan Crown Memorial Lecture, presented at Mandelbaum House, University of Sydney, 28 March 2019.  Also available at my Facebook page.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation, by which one can more easily follow the lecture, click here.

      > “Septuagint, Synagogue, and Symbiosis:  The Jews of Hellenistic Egypt,” 4 April 2019.  Also available at my Facebook page.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation, by which one can more easily follow the lecture, click here.

      > “The Jews of Arabia,” 7 April 2019.  Unfortunately, this lecture was not recorded.  Nonetheless, for the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

      > “England as the Custodian of the Jewish Past,” 14 April 2019.  Also available at my Facebook page.  For the pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation, by which one can more easily follow the lecture, click here.  For the pdf version of the handout, click here.

    • "How the Bible Is Written," Fellowship for Biblical Studies, Sydney, Australia, held at Moore Theological College, 5 April 2019.  The handout is the same one used at my Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome) talk (see above), though I covered much less material on this occasion, given the shorter time frame.
    • "How the Bible Is Written: Genesis 29," Tyndale House, Cambridge, 12 July 2019.  For the Hebrew text of Genesis 29, click pdf here .  For my English translation used during the lecture, click pdf here .



    For a long interview, lasting 1 hour and 40 mins., conducted by Isaiah Gruber of the Israel Bible Center, discussing the full range of my teaching, research, and publications, conducted on November 4, 2018, follow the links below.

    A description and preview of the interview may be found here:

    For more on the Israel Bible Center, its faculty, its programs, its academic partnerships, and more, go to:

    The eight individual links range from 5:35 (the shortest) to 16:53 (the longest):

    Many thanks to Isaiah Gruber for his initiative and for conducting the interview, and to the Israel Bible Center for permission to post the interview at my website.


    Friends of ASOR Podcast: Gary Rendsburg, “Best of Times, Worst of Times”

    posted April 25, 2014

    Listen to ASOR’s own Ancient Near East Today editor, Alex Joffe, talk with Prof. Gary Rendsburg (Rutgers University), about the state of biblical archaeology and the study of the humanities.


    This is a lengthy podcast interview (I hour 33 mins), conducted by Alex Sorin of, regarding my work on Biblical Hebrew dialects, including Israelian Hebrew – though many additional topics are discussed as well.




    Megiddo Gate
    My online non-credit mini-course entitled “The Bible and History” was launched c. 2005, as the first offering from the Jewish Studies Online program, a joint venture of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and the Department of Jewish Studies. The program was made possible by a generous benefaction from Mr. Gene Hoffman of Short Hills, N.J.
    But since the mini-courses were created using Adobe Flash, a software program no longer supported by any browser or platform, the material no longer is available, unfortunately.
    We are working on creating new mini-courses, using up-to-date technology, and we hope to make them available by Summer 2021.  In the meantime, we apologize for the inconvenience, though I invite you to peruse other online resources listed here at my personal website.




    I have had the honor and privilege of producing two courses for The Great Courses program (formerly known as The Teaching Company), located in Chantilly, VA. The first course, "The Book of Genesis," was released in May 2006, while the second course, "The Dead Sea Scrolls," was released in March 2010.

    Both courses consist of a series of 24 lectures, and are available in either video (DVD) or audio (CD or download) format.
    The Great Courses: Book of Genesis
    The Great Courses: Dead Sea Scrolls

    For an article on The Great Courses, which appeared in The New York Times in March 2015, click here.

    image gordonINTERVIEW WITH CYRUS H. GORDON (1908-2001), conducted in 1998

    Interview with Cyrus H. Gordon (1998) at YouTube

    During academic year 1997-1998, I had the privilege of serving as Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (CAJS) at the University of Pennsylvania. The theme for the year was “Text, Artifact, and Image: Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion,” with about twenty scholars in the interrelated fields of biblical studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, and archaeology of the Land of Israel gathered in Philadelphia for fruitful discussion.

    See the volume Text, Artifact, and Image: Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion, edited by Gary Beckman and Theodore J. Lewis (Brown Judaic Studies 346; Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2006), which emerged from that academic year and from the conference held in April 1998.

    In light of Cyrus Gordon’s long and enduring relationship with both Dropsie College (the forerunner of CAJS) and the University of Pennsylvania, I proposed to the Center to invite the grand master to Philadelphia for several days, where he could participate in a seminar, see the new facility, and sit for a two-hour interview. The Center leadership endorsed the proposal, and thus it was that Professor Gordon visited the Center in February 1998.

    A little additional background: Cyrus Gordon was born in Philadelphia in 1908, grew up in the city, and received his primary, secondary, and university education there. Gordon earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1930), under the tutelage of Professor James Montgomery. All the while, he took courses at Dropsie College with Professor Max Margolis; and then Gordon returned to Dropsie to serve as Professor of Assyriology and Egyptology during the years 1946-1956. He described all of this in his engaging memoir, A Scholar’s Odyssey (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000), which won the National Jewish Book Award for that year. Also of interest is his book The Pennsylvania Tradition of Semitics (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986).

    On February 3, 1998, as Professor Gordon approached his 90th birthday, I conducted the interview with him, with all the CAJS fellows and several invited guests present in the room. It is my honor now to make this interview available to a larger audience via YouTube.

    A transcription of the complete two-hour interview, created by Peter Shamah, with light annotations by Peter and myself, is available here. The pdf file includes an Index of Persons Named and an Index of Places Named, and it is fully searchable.

  • Research and Writing in Jewish Studies

    Research and Writing01:563:464

    This course explores a major theme in Jewish studies and allows students to pursue their own scholarship, culminating in a major research paper. It is required of Jewish Studies majors and is usually taken in the junior or senior year.

    This course fulfills Core requirement WC.

  • Research and Writing in Jewish Studies: Religion and Media

    Research and Writing01:563:464

    For the past two centuries, Jews' religious life has been transformed by a wide variety of new media, including photography, newspapers, sound recordings, movies, radio, television, video, cell phones, the internet. This seminar will examine a wide range of examples, focusing on American Jewry—from early sound recordings by cantors, to dissident Hasidim who lead “double lives” in secret online. Other examples include the role of various media in JewishChristian relations, such as ecumenical broadcasts of the mid-twentieth century and the role of various media in how Jews grapple with Christmas (the so-called “December dilemma”). The course will also consider how new media change the way that Jews engage with older media, from ancient parchments to 78 RPM discs.

    This course fulfills Core requirement WC.

    Spring 2021 taught by Professor Jeffrey Shandler synchronously.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 4:30 PM - 5:50 PM

    Spring 2021 Syllabus

    Have questions? You can email Jeffrey Shandler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Return to Course Schedule page

  • Shandler, Jeffrey

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    • Jeffrey Shandler 
    • Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies
    • Schools:   Ph.D. Columbia University, M.A. Columbia University, B.A. Swarthmore College
    • Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-1709

    Mailing Address: 12 College Avenue

    Read more about Dr. Jeffrey Shandler


    • Jewish memory practices, centering on remembering the Holocaust and prewar Jewish life in Eastern Europe
    • Jewish cultural history, centering on the role of communications media, museums, tourism, and visual culture
    • Intellectual history of Jewish Studies, especially ethnographic studies of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and America
    • Digital humanities in Jewish Studies, centering on archiving, narrative, inventory as a practice of modern Jewish culture
    • Yiddish language, literature and culture, centering on language and culture, translation, language learning, Yiddish after World War II




    • Rutgers University Press, co-editor (with Marcy Brink-Danan) of book series, Jewish Cultures of the World.
    • American Academy for Jewish Research: Fellow, 2012 - present.
    • American Jewish Historical Society: Academic Council (2001 – 2015); Executive Committee of the Academic Council (2006 – 2008).
    • Association for Jewish Studies: Board of Directors, 2003-2007, 2009-present; Vice President for Publications, 2009-2011; President, 2011-2013.
    • Center for Jewish History, New York, Academic Advisory Council of the (2004 – 2014); Co-chair (2006 – 2011).
    • Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor: Academic Advisory Council (2015 – present).
    • George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, American University of Paris: member, scientific committee (2016 – present).


  • Sinkoff, Nancy

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    • Nancy Sinkoff
    • Professor of Jewish Studies and History; Academic Director, Bildner Center
    • Schools: PhD Columbia University; MA Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; BA, Harvard-Radcliffe College
    • Office Address: 12 College Avenue, Bildner Center
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-8681


    Jewish History, particulary Early Modern Poland and Modern Europe
    Jewish Politics
    Jewish Labor and the Jewish Left
    European Enlightenment


    American Jewish History
    Between Nazism and Communism
    The History of East European Jewry 
    Jewish Historical Fiction
    Jewish Politics, Jewish Power
    Modern Jewish History
    Modern Jewish Historiography
    A Tale of Two Uprisings


    From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History, (Wayne State University Press, 2020). 
    Winner of the Natan Notable Book award for fall 2020 and the National Jewish Book Award for 2020 in the biography category.

    Cypess, Rebecca and Sinkoff, Nancy, eds. Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin. (University of Rochester Press, June 2018).
    2019 Book Prize winner, the Jewish Studies and Music Study Group of the American Musicological Society

    "Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz," Introduction to Lucy S. Dawidowicz, From That Place and Time: A Memoir, 1938-1947 (Rutgers University Press, xiii-xxxix. 2008).

    Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands, (Brown Judaic Studies 2004; 2nd edition, digitized and with a new preface, 2020), FREE access:

    left right 102869Sara Levys WorldFrom That Place and TimeOut of the Shtetl


    Preface,” Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands, 6 pages.

    Menachem Mendel Lefin of Satanów (also Mendel Lefin Satanower), “Prayer against the Hasidim,” trans. Nancy Sinkoff, from Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands (Providence, R.I.: Brown Judaic Studies, 2004), pp. 274–75, in the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 6: Confronting Modernity, 1750–1880, eds. Elisheva Carlebach and Deborah Dash Moore (Yale University Press, 2019): 242-43. 

    “Dubnow’s Other Daughter: Jewish Eastern Europe in Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s The Golden Tradition,” in Making History Jewish: The Dialectics of Jewish History in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Studies in Honor of Professor Israel Bartal, eds. Paweł Maciejko and Scott Ury (Brill, 2020): 229-252.

    Introduction: Experiencing Sara Levy’s World.” Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin, co-edited with Rebecca Cypess (Eastman Studies in Music Series, University of Rochester Press, 2018): 1-18.

    A Melancholy Offering, Tendered with Esteem, Gershom Scholem and Lucy S. Dawidowicz on Nathan Birnbaum, an Unexpected Conversation,”The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 107, No. 3 (Summer 2017) 409–426.

    From the Archives: Lucy S. Dawidowicz and the Restitution of Jewish Cultural Property,” American Jewish History 100:1 (January 2016): 117-147.

    "Sisters and Strangers: Hannah Arendt and Lucy S. Dawidowicz," Heritage (Winter 2014): 22-23.

    "Fiction's Archive: Authenticity, Ethnography and Philosemitism in John Hersey's The Wall", Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society, new series 17, no. 2 (Winter 2011): 48–79.

    The Polishness of Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s Postwar Jewish Cold War.” A Jewish Feminine Mystique? Jewish Women in Postwar America, eds. Hasia Diner, Shira Kohn, and Rachel Kranson (Rutgers University Press, 2010): 31-47.

    "Between History and Law: The Case of Joseph Perl in Austrian Galicia," (Hebrew), The Varieties of Haskalah, Shmuel Feiner and Israel Bartal, editors (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 2005): 123-136.

    "The Maskil, the Convert, and the Agunah: Joseph Perl as a Historian of Jewish Divorce Law," AJS Review 27:2 (2003), 281-300.

    "Strategy and Ruse in the Haskalah of Mendel Lefin of Satanów (1749-1826)," New Perspectives on the Haskalah, David Sorkin and Shmuel Feiner, editors (London and Portland, OR: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001): 86-102.

    "Benjamin Franklin in Jewish Eastern Europe: Cultural Appropriation in the Age of the Enlightenment," Journal of the History of Ideas 61.1 (January 2000): 133-152.

    Educating for "Proper" Jewish Womanhood: A Case Study in Domesticity and Vocational Training, 1897-1926, American Jewish History, 77:4 (June 1988) p.572.


    Travels in Translation: Sea Tales at the Source of Jewish Fiction (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2016), by Ken Frieden. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. 31, Textual Transmission of Contemporary Jewish Cultures, ed. Uzi Rebhun (guest symposium editor: Avriel Bar-Levav) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020): 266-269.

    A Difficult Woman: the Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2012), by Alice Kessler-Harris. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, volume 28, ed. Anat Helman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015): 280-283.

    The Death of the Shtetl (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009), by Yehuda Bauer. Slavic Review 70:2 (Summer 2011): 441-42.

    Review essay of Benjamin Balint, Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine that Transformed the Jewish Left into the Neoconservative Right and Nathan Abrams, Norman Podhoretz and Commentary Magazine: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons. American Jewish History, 96:1 (March 2010): 83-88.

    The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005), by Murray Friedman. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. 24, The Protestant-Jewish Conundrum, eds. Jonathan Frankel and Ezra Mendelsohn (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010): 233-235.

    "(What Was Once) The World's Largest Jewish CommunityJewish Quarterly Review, 97:4 (Fall 2007): 647–659.

    My Dear Daughter: Rabbi Benjamin Slonik and the Education of Jewish Women in Sixteenth-Century Poland (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2007), by Edward Fram. Canadian Slavonic Papers 51:4 (December 2009): 522-23.

    Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), by Glenn Dynner. Slavic Review 66:4 (Winter 2007): 733-34.

    Jewish Life in Cracow, 1918-1939 (Portland, Ore.: Frank Cass, 2004), by Sean Martin. Slavic Review 65:2 (Summer 2006): 362-63.

    "Fireweed: A Political Autobiography,” by Gerda Lerner. Forward, October 18, 2002.

    "Triestine Jewry: The Exception that Proves the Habsburg State-Building Rule." Review of Lois Dubin, The Port Jews of Habsburg Trieste: Absolutist Politics and Enlightenment Culture (Stanford, CA, 1999), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (H-NET List for the study of East Central European History since 1500). May 24, 2000.


    "The Untold Story of the ‘New York Intellectuals’,"  The New York Jewish Week, April 5, 2021.

    How Do We Honor an Anti-Feminist on International Women’s Day?”. American Jewish Historical Society, March 2, 2020.

    The World of Sara Levy.” Digital Yiddish Theatre Project. April 2019.

    The Creation of Sara Levy’s World,” with Rebecca Cypess. Proofed: A Boydell and Brewer Blog. July 4, 2018.

    Sara Levy’s World.” Musicology Now, May 2015.

    What’s a Friend to Do? Blogpost review of “Hannah Arendt.” Lilith Magazine, February 2013.


    On TLV1!  Listen to The Best and Worst of Both Worlds May 25, 2020

    Bnai Brith International Podcast: May 11, 2020

    The Marc Bernier Show, BookMarc: May 4, 2020

    The Bookmonger in National Review: March 30, 2020.

    New Books Network, New Books in History: March 17, 2020


    American Historical Association
    American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
    Association for Jewish Studies
    Women's Caucus, Association for Jewish Studies
    Columbia Faculty Seminar, Center for Israel and Jewish Studies
  • Tartakoff, Paola

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    • Paola Tartakoff
    • Chair and Professor of History and Jewish Studies
    • Schools: Ph.D., Columbia University, B.A., Harvard College
    • Office Address: 14 College Ave, Miller Hall 105
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-1620


    Paola Tartakoff studies the social and cultural history of Jews and Christians in medieval and early modern Europe. She is particularly interested in conversion to and from Judaism, the medieval and Spanish inquisitions, and ritual murder accusations. Her first book was based on archival research conducted in Catalonia, Aragon, and Valencia. Her current work explores Western Europe and the Mediterranean more broadly.


    European History Graduate Research Seminar
    Ancient and Medieval Europe
    Jewish Identities in the Medieval Mediterranean
    Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain


    Conversion, Circumcision, and Ritual Murder in Medieval Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Middle Ages Series, 2020).

    Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Middle Ages Series, 2012).


    • “Martyrdom, Conversion, and Shared Cultural Repertoires in Late Medieval Europe,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 109.4 (2019): 500–33.
    • “From Conversion to Ritual Murder: Re-Contextualizing the Circumcision Charge,” Medieval Encounters 24 (2018): 361–89.
    • “Testing Boundaries: Jewish Conversion and Cultural Fluidity in Medieval Europe, 1200-1391,” Speculum 90 (July 2015), 728–62.
    • “Conversion and Return to Judaism and the Charge of Jewish Proselytizing in Medieval Europe, 1150-1350,” in Contesting Conversion in the Medieval World, ed. Yaniv Fox and Yosef Yisraeli (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), 177–94.
    • "Segregatory Legislation and Jewish Religious Influence on Christians in the Thirteenth Century,” in Medieval Minorities: Law and Multiconfessional Societies in the Middle Ages, ed. John Tolan, Capucine Nemo-Pekelman, Jerzy Mazur and Youna Masset, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 265–75.
    • “Of Purity, Piety, and Plunder: Jewish Converts and Poverty in Medieval Europe,” in Converts and Conversion to and from Judaism, ed. Theodor Dunkelgrün and Pawel Maciejko (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Jewish Culture and Contexts Series), forthcoming.
    • “The Toledot Yeshu and the Jewish-Christian Controversy in the Medieval Crown of Aragon,” in Toledot Yeshu Reconsidered, ed. Peter Schaefer et al. (Berlin: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 297-309.
    • “Christian Kings and Jewish Conversion in the Medieval Crown of Aragon,” Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 3 (2011): 27-39.
    • “Jewish Women and Apostasy in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, c.1300-1391,” Jewish History 24.1 (2010), 7-32.


    • Review of Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten, Ruth Mazo Karras, and Katelyn Mesler (Philadelphia, 2016), in Jewish History 31(2018): 353–55.
    • Review of Benjamin Gampel, Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391–1392 (New York, 2016), in The American Historical Review 123 (2018): 1008–1009.
    • Review of David Nirenberg, Neighboring Faiths. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today (Chicago, 2014), in The Association for Jewish Studies Review 40 (2016): 175-77.
    • Review of James Amelang, Parallel Histories: Muslims and Jews in Inquisitorial Spain (Louisiana State, 2013), in The Association for Jewish Studies Review 38 (2014): 463­­-66.
    • Review of Jonathan Ray, ed., The Jew in Medieval Iberia 1100-1500 (Boston, 2012), in The Medieval Review, September 2012.
    • Review of Robin Vose, Dominicans, Muslims, and Jews in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Cambridge, 2009), in Sefarad 70 (2010): 512-14.
    • Review of Nina Caputo, Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia: History, Community, and Messianism (Notre Dame, IN, 2008), in The Medieval Review, August 2008.


    • Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem
    • European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS)
    • Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, Rutgers University
    • Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Fellowship
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
    • Fulbright Scholarship to Spain
    • Richard Hofstadter Fellowship
    • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies


    • American Historical Association
    • Association for Jewish Studies
    • Medieval Academy of America
    • Mediterranean Seminar
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Society of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies


  • Waxman, Chaim I.

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    • Chaim I. Waxman
    • Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Jewish Studies
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: (972-50) 673-9443

    Chaim I. Waxman is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University where he served from as a member of the Department of Sociology from 1975 to 2006.  He has written and edited more than 18 books and more than 100 articles.

    After retiring from Rutgers he moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where he continued to be active professionally and served as a senior fellow in several scholarly institutes.  In 2013, he was recruited by Jerusalem’s Hadassah Academic College to write a proposal for an undergraduate program in behavioral sciences.  When the proposal was approved by Israel’s Council for Higher Education, he was asked to head the new department which opened in the fall of 2016, where he continues to serve as Chair.


    • Social Change and Halakhic Evolution in American Orthodoxy 
      Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Summer 2017
    • The Stigma of Poverty: A Critique of Poverty Theories and Policies 
      Pergamon Press, 1977
      Second Edition, 1983
    • America's Jews in Transition 
      Temple University Press, 1983 
    • American Aliya 
      Wayne State University Press, 1989
    • Jewish Baby Boomers: A Communal Perspective 
      State University of New York Press, 2001 


    • Historical Dictionary of Zionism 
      Scarecrow Press, 2000; Second Edition, 2008; Paperback Edition titled, The A to Z of Zionism, 2009
      with Rafael Medoff
    • Flipping Out? Myth or Fact: The Impact of the “Year in Israel” 
      Yashar Books, 2007
      with Shalom Z. Berger and Daniel Jacobson

    Edited and Co-edited:

    • Religious Zionism Post Disengagement: Future Directions 
      Yeshiva University Press and Ktav, 2008
    • More than a half-dozen works in such diverse areas as political sociology, ethnicity, and social thought, and Israeli society and culture, among others. 
  • Yadin-Israel, Azzan

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    • Azzan Yadin-Israel
    • Professor of Jewish Studies
    • Schools: Ph.D. University of California Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union, B.A. Hebrew University
    • CV File: yadin-israel-azzan-cv.pdf
    • Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall 103
    • Email Address:
    • Phone Number: 848-932-1714


    Rabbinic legal hermeneutics; origins of midrash; biblical interpretation.


    Classical Jewish Philosophy
    The Dead Sea Scrolls
    Prophets, Priests and Rabbis


    My scholarship is publicly available at:


    • Scripture and Tradition: Rabbi Akiva and the Triumph of Midrash. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.
    • Intuitive Vocabulary: German. Lingua Press, 2013.
    • Scripture as Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

    Articles (asterisk denotes peer review):

    • *“For Mark was Peter's tanna: Oral Tradition versus Eyewitness History in Papias,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 23 (2015).
    • *”Some Uses of Deixis in Rabbinic Hebrew,” Journal of Semitic Studies 60 (2015), 331-340.
    • *“Bavli Menahot 29b and the Diminution of the Prophets,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 5 (2014), 88-105.
    • *“Rabbinic Polysemy: A Response to Steven Fraade,” AJS Review 38 (2014), 129-141.
    • Qabbalah, Deuter¬osis, and Semantic Incommensurability: A Preliminary Study,” in Ra'anan Boustan, Klaus Hermann, Reimund Leicht et al. (eds.), Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), 917-940.
    • *“A Note on a A Middle High German Calque in Sefer Hasidim,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 19 (2012), 385-387.
    • “Concepts of Scripture in the Schools of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael,” in Benjamin Sommer (ed.), Jewish Theologies of Scripture, (New York: New York University Press, 2012), 47-63.
    • “The Creaturely Limits of Knowledge: Martin Heidegger’s Theological Critique of Immanuel Kant,” in Leonard V. Kaplan and Rudy Koshar (eds.), The Weimar Moment: Political Theology, Liberalism, and the Law (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012), 123-144. Co-authored with Sam Moyn.
    • “Rabbi Aqiva and the Site of Revelation,” in Moulie Vidas and Philippa Townsend (eds.), Revelation, Literature, and Community in Late. Antiquity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 177-216.
    • *"‘Aretz et la sémantique de la terre,"Les Cahiers du judaïsme 30 (2011), 104-113.
    • *“Rabbi Akiva’s Youth,” in Jewish Quarterly Review 100 (2010), 573-597.
    • “Engaging Rabbinic Literature: Four Texts,” in Paul Socken (ed.), Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-first Century?: The Relevance of the Ancient Jewish Text to Our World (Lanham, MD.; Lexington, 2009), 201-214.
    • *“The Semantics of tinoq in Mishnaic Hebrew” (Hebrew), Leshonenu: The Journal of the Academy of the Hebrew Language 71 (2009), 73-79.
    • “Blorit: Pagan Mohawk or Sabra Forelock?: Ideologically Manipulative Secularization of Hebrew Terms in Socialist Zionist Israel,” in Tope Omoniyi (ed.), The Sociology of Language and Religion: Change, Conflict, and Accommodation (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 84-124. Co-authored with Ghil’ad Zuckermann.
    • *“Ronald Dworkin and Self-Undermining Interpretation,” in Diné Israel: An Annual of Jewish Law 25 (2009), 209-234.
    • *“Rabban Gamliel, Aphrodite’s Bath, and the Question of Pagan Monotheism,” Jewish Quarterly Review 96 (Spring 2006), 149-179.
    • “Resistance to Midrash? Midrash and Halakhah (Oral Tradition) in the Halakhic Midrashim,” in Carol Bakhos (ed.), Current Trends in the Study of Midrash (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006), 35-58.
    • *“Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla’s works ‘Gates of Justice’ and ‘Gates of Light’” (Hebrew), Pe‘amim 104 (2005), 41-64.
    • *“Goliath’s Armor and Israelite Collective Memory,” Vetus Testamentum 54 (2004), 373-395.
    • *“Qol (Voice) as Hypostasis in the Hebrew Bible,” Journal of Biblical Literature 122 (2003), 601-629.
    • *“Hammer on the Rock: Mekhilta Deuteronomy and the Question of Rabbinic Polysemy,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 10 (2003), 1-17.
    • *“A Greek Witness to the Semantic Shift לקח-‘Buy’,” Hebrew Studies 43 (2002), 31-37.
    • *“4QMMT, Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Legal Midrash,” Dead Sea Discoveries 10 (2002), 130-149.
    • *“Shnei Ketuvim and Rabbinic Intermediation,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 33 (2002), 386-410.
    • *“Samson’s Hida,” Vetus Testamentum 52 (2002), 407-426.
    • *“Web of Chaos: Bialik and Nietzsche on Language, Truth and the Death of God,” Prooftexts 21 (2001), 179-203.


    Association of Jewish Studies

    Society for Biblical Literature

    Prooftexts: Journal of Jewish Literary History (rabbinics book-review editor)