Norman J. Cohen - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Norman J. Cohen, Rabbi, Ph.D.

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Contact Information

(212) 824-2215
cell: (914) 525-0775
fax: (914) 923-7145
Professor Emeritus of Midrash

HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbinical Program, New York; Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, New York
Academic Field: 
Rabbinics and Liturgy
Research Interests: 
Midrashic Literature ; Talmudic Aggadah; Modern Interpretation of the Bible

Dr. Norman J. Cohen serves as Professor Emeritus of Midrash at HUC-JIR/New York.

He served as Provost of HUC-JIR from 1996-2009, Interim President of HUC-JIR from Dec. 1999 - June 2000 and as Dean of the New York Campus from 1988-1996. He was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1971 and received his Ph.D. from HUC-JIR in the field of Midrash in 1977.

He lectures widely on the Modern Interpretation of the Bible.

Selected Publications and Edited Works

 Masking and UnMasking Ourselves: Interpreting Biblical Texts on Clothing and Identity, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (2012)

Moses and the Journey to Leadership: Timeless Lessons of Effective Management from the Bible and Today's Leadership, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (2006)

Hineni in our Lives,  Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (2003)

The Way Into Torah, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (2000)

Voices from Genesis: Guiding us through the Stages of our Life, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (1998)

Self, Struggle and Change: The Family Conflict Stories in Genesis and their Healing Insights for our Lives, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT (1996)  


Current and Future Courses
An Introduction to the Midrash
The Mekhilta Midrashim
Midrash Pirqei d'Rabbi Eliezer
Seminar in the Homiletic Midrashim
Creating Modern Midrash
Public Lecture Topics
Interpreting the Bible: Our Struggles as Parents and Children
Abraham's Struggles as Father and Husband
Cain and Abel: The Age-Old Problem of Sibling Rivalry
Reading Genesis as a Human Journey
Moses' Challenges in Becoming a Leader
Moses' Death: Confronting our own Mortality