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

Contact Information

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

HUC-JIR/New York

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

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 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, Brill Publishing included him in its “Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers” book series, 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. He is the author of nineteen books over seven decades, including Renewing the Covenant (1991, 1996), which was translated into Hebrew for Israeli readers in 2014, A Touch of the Sacred, a Theologian's Informal Guide to Jewish Belief (2007), and The Jewish Moral Virtues(1999), Choices in Modern Jewish Thought (1983, 1995), and Liberal Judaism (1984) .  Collections of his essays have been published, including Eugene B. Borowitz: Rethinking God and Ethics (2014) in the Brill Library collection and Studies in the Meaning of Judaism (2002), among others. Dr. Borowitz has taught at the New York School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion since 1962 and has viewed his work as a rabbi and teacher of rabbis to be the highest calling. 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 a past Trustee of the Jewish Publication Society. He has served as visiting professor of religion at: Columbia University, Princeton University, 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 as well as Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Jewish Theological Seminary. 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

Eugene B. Borowitz: Rethinking God and Ethics, Eds. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron w. Hughes, Boston, MA: BRILL, 2014.

Renewing the Covenant, translation by Menashe Arbel and Ilon Shamir, Eds. Ilon Shamir and Yehoyadah Amir, Tel Aviv: HaKibbutz HaMeuchad, 2014.

יוג'ין בורוביץ, חידושה של הברית: תיאולוגיה ליהודים הפוסט-מודרנים, מאנגלית: מנשה ארבל ואילון שמיר, עריכה: אילון שמיר ויהוידע עמיר, תל-אביב: הקיבוץ המאוחד (ספריית היהדות המתקדמת).

 

A Touch of the Sacred: A Theologian's Informal Guide to Jewish Belief   (with Frances W. Schwartz), Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2007.

 

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

 

The Talmud's Theological Language-Game, a Philosophical Discourse Analysis. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 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. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Renewing the Covenant. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991. 

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

Explaining Reform Judaism (With Naomi Patz) New York: Behrman House, 1985. Liberal Judaism New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1984.