Aaron D. Panken
Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Rabbinic and Second Temple Literature at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He has taught at the College since 1995, and served as Dean from 1998-2006. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he earned his doctorate in Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, where his research focused on legal change in Talmudic and Midrashic Literature. He currently serves on faculty for the Wexner Foundation, as a member of the the International Council of the New Israel Fund, a member of the Rabbinical Placement Commission, the RJ Advisory Board and the URJ Press Editorial Board. He has served as a member of the CCAR Ethics Committee, the Joint Commission on Sustaining Rabbinical Education, the birthright Israel Education Committee and in a variety of other leadership roles within the Reform movement and greater Jewish community. A native of New York City who graduated from Johns Hopkins University's Electrical Engineering program, Rabbi Panken is also an instrument rated commercial pilot (land, sea and glider) and sailor, and lives with his wife and two children in the New York area.
Recent Academic Papers, Books, Conferences and Publications
- Ph.D., New York University (2003)
- Rabbinical Ordination, HUC-JIR (New York) (1991)
- MAHL, HUC-JIR (New York) (1989)
- BES, Electrical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (1985)
In the News
- "Jewish Past, Present and Future: A Round Table," at the Association for Jewish Studies Conference, December 2009, Los Angeles, CA
- "Higher Virtue, History or Halakhah? Some Diverse Approaches to the Sabbath in Late Second Temple Literature," presented at the Society for Biblical Literature Conference, November 2009, New Orleans, LA.
- "HUC-JIR and the Creation of Visionary Jewish Leadership," CCAR Journal, Winter 2009, 80-90.
- "Response to Michael Berger's 'Religious Purposefulness in Jewish Day Schools,'" HaYediyon, Fall 2008.
- "The Uses and Abuses of Academic Scholarship on Rabbinic Literature," Mandel Conference on Teaching Rabbinic Literature, Brandeis University, January 2008.
- "Rabbis Studying Rabbinic Texts About Rabbis: An Exploration of Text, Context and Subtext," Mandel Conference, Brandeis University, January 2008.
- "Virginia Tech: One Rabbinical Response," Jewish Week, April 2007.
- "Revealing Rabbinic Revision: Meikara as a Marker for Legal Change in Talmud Bavli," Jewish Law Association 17, (2007) 225-240.
- The Rhetoric of Innovation: Self Conscious Legal Change in Rabbinic Literature (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005)