Eugene B. Borowitz, Rabbi, D.H.L., Ed.D

Contact Information

(212) 824-2236
Sigmund L. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought

HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbinical Program, New York; Master of Arts in Jewish Education, Los Angeles; Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, New York
Academic Field: 

Eugene B. Borowitz is the much honored "dean" of American Jewish philosophers. For his contributions to Reform Judaism, the Union for Reform Judaism awarded him its Eisendrath Prize at its 2005 biennial convention. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion recently appointed him "Distinguished University Professor," the Jewish Publication Society included him in its Scholars of Distinction series by publishing a selection of his papers over the past fifty years, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture awarded him its medal for lifetime Jewish Cultural Achievement for his work in the field of Jewish thought. His nineteenth book, A Touch of the Sacred, a Theologian's Informal Guide to Jewish Belief, done with Frances W. Schwartz, has just been issued by Jewish Lights Publishing. Dr. Borowitz serves as the Sigmund L. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought at the New York School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he has taught since 1962. He is a prolific author, having written hundreds of articles on various aspects of Jewish religious thought. He is the only Jew to have been President of the American Theological Society. In 1982 Harvard University Divinity School invited him to inaugurate its newly established List Professorship of Jewish Studies. He wrote the comprehensive article on Judaism in the Encyclopedia of Religion. His 1974 work, The Mask Jews Wear, received the National Jewish Book Award in the field of Jewish thought. Rabbi Borowitz is widely known in the Jewish community as the former Editor of Sh'ma, A journal of Jewish Responsibility, a magazine of Jewish social concern he founded in 1970 and edited for 23 years. He is active in Jewish publishing as a Life Trustee of the Jewish Publication Society. He has served as visiting professor of religion at: Columbia University, Princeton University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, City College of the City University of New York, Drew University, Temple University, Teachers College of Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Woodstock College (the Jesuit graduate school of theology). He has addressed many national and international Jewish gatherings as well as various academic and interfaith conferences. Rabbi Borowitz received his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University. He was ordained and received the first of his two earned doctor's degrees from Hebrew Union College, the other being from Teachers College Columbia University. He has received honorary doctorates from Colgate University, Lafayette and Gratz Colleges. He has served congregations in St. Louis, Mo. and Port Washington, NY and was a Navy Chaplain during the Korean War. Prior to his academic position he was National Director of Education for Reform Judaism at the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, editing its books, curricula and educational periodicals.

Selected Publications and Edited Works

"After Kaplan's 'Heschel,' What is There Left to be Said?," Conservative Judaism, 60.4, Summer, 2008.

A Touch of the Sacred: A Theologian's Informal Guide to Jewish Belief published by and available from Jewish Lights Publishing

"A Jewish Theology of Social Action," CCAR Journal, Spring, 2008, LV/II.

"Mark Lilla's Political Theology," Tikkun, July/August 2008, 23.4.

The Temple Sina Ark Tapestry: A Masterwork of American Jewish Folk Art (Beth Levin, with Laura Kruger and Judith Katz) Temple Sinai: Stamford, CT, 2006.

The Talmud's Theological Language-Game, a Philosophical Discourse Analysis. Albany: State University of New York, 2006.

Studies in the Meaning of Judaism. Philadelphia: the Jewish Publication Society. 2002.

Reviewing the Covenant: Eugene B. Borowitz and the Postmodern Renewal of Jewish Theology, Peter Ochs with Eugene B. Borowitz. Suny, 2000.

Judaism After Modernity, Papers from a Decade of Fruition. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1999.

The Jewish Moral Virtues (With Frances Weinman Schwartz). Philadelphia: the Jewish Publication Society, 1999.

Choices in Modern Jewish Thought (2nd ed.). W. Orange, NJ: Behrman House, 1995. (order online from

Renewing the Covenant. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991. (order online from

Exploring Jewish Ethics Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990.

Explaining Reform Judaism (With Naomi Patz) New York: Behrman House, 1985. (order online from

Liberal Judaism New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1984. (order online from

A Life in Covenant: the Complete Works of Eugene B. Borowitz, 1944-2007, by Amy W. Helfman, updated by Sarah Wolf, 2007

Public Lecture Topics
What is Postmodern Judaism?
The Jewish Moral Values Today
• Any topic related to the chapter titles of: Renewing the Covenant; Choices in Modern Jewish Thought; or, Other of his publications