Dr. Eitan Fishbane awarded the NEH Summer Stipend Award

Monday, March 1, 2004

Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, has been awarded the NEH Summer Stipend Award, which will support work on his current book project, tentatively titled "Techniques of Mystical Practice: Isaac of Acre and Kabbalistic Contemplation in the 14th Century."

Dr. Fishbane received his Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University (2003), and specializes in the study of medieval Jewish mysticism. Joining the HUC-JIR faculty this academic year, Dr. Fishbane teaches a range of core and elective courses in Jewish religious thought from the Middle Ages through the modern period, with topics including historical theology, philosophy, exegesis, Kabbalah, and Hasidism. His specific areas of research include intention and contemplation in kabbalistic prayer; the transmission of kabbalistic traditions and the rhetoric of authority; techniques of autobiography and confession in Jewish mystical texts; the literary style and poetics of the Zohar.

Dr. Fishbane received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 2003 and is currently working on a book that studies the range of mystical techniques and traditions in the writings of Isaac of Acre, a prominent fourteenth century kabbalist. Selected essays include "Tears of Disclosure: The Role of Weeping in Zoharic Narrative." The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 11:1 (2002): 25-47, "Mystical Contemplation and the Limits of the Mind: The Case of Sheqel ha-Qodesh." The Jewish Quarterly Review 93:1-2 (2002): 1-27; and "Authority, Tradition, and the Creation of Meaning in Medieval Kabbalah: Isaac of Acre's Illumination of the Eyes." Forthcoming in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (June, 2004).


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu