Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and Dr. Norman J. Cohen, HUC-JIR Provost, have appointed Dr. Samuel Greengus to serve as the new Director of the School of Graduate Studies. Dr. Greengus has had a long career of service to the College-Institute as the Julian Morgenstern Professor of Bible and Near Eastern Literature and as Professor of Semitic Languages. He served as Director of the Rabbinical School at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati (1979-1984), Director of the School of Graduate Studies at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati (1985-1990), Dean of Faculty for HUC-JIR (1987-1996), and HUC-JIR Vice-President of Academic Affairs (1990-1996). Since 1996, he has served as Faculty Chair of the Graduate Executive Committee, charged with the oversight of the School of Graduate Studies since 1996. He has served as mentor for over fifty Ph.D. degrees during the course of his career.
As a result of strategic planning, the College-Institute is now poised to expand the role of the School of Graduate Studies and develop new opportunities for graduate studies within the academic life of the College-Institute throughout all of its stateside campuses - in Cincinnati, where it has a long and distinguished history, as well as in New York and Los Angeles. The College-Institute is seeking to secure and preserve the prominent place that it has long held in furthering advanced Hebraic and Judaic studies in North America. There is historic recognition that liberal and Reform Judaism will flourish best in an atmosphere where there is commitment to open and well-founded learned discourse. The presence of talented and motivated graduate students enriches the overall academic life of students in all of HUC-JIR's programs. The College-Institute is privileged to be endowed with a faculty of renowned scholars who are respected in their fields, as well as the unique and outstanding supporting resources of its libraries, American Jewish Archives, museums, academic publications, and research institutes and centers.
Dr. Greengus, as the next Director of the School of Graduate Studies, will be given the responsibility of working with the entire faculty to fashion and coordinate degree programs for Master's and Doctoral studies. He will be given the task of building an academic infrastructure that can support current and future graduate studies at HUC-JIR. Dr. Greengus will help fulfill the College-Institute's aspirations for excellence in intellectual life, just as HUC-JIR is dedicated to providing the highest quality leadership for future generations of Jews and people of all faiths who share a love for Torah and learning.
Dr. Greengus earned a M.A. in Judaic Studies and a Ph.D. in Assyriology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. His areas of academic specialization are Semitic languages, Bible, History Ancient Jewish Law, and History. His extensive scholarly publications include monographs dealing with the interpretation of ancient records from Mesopotamia as well as articles in R. Averbeck and D.W. Weisberg, eds., Daily Life in the Ancient Near East, T. Abusch, ed, Studies in the Ancient Near East in Memory of Thorkild Jacobsen, Jack Sasson, ed, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, M. Eliade, The Encyclopedia of Religion, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, and in scholarly journals includingMaarav, Hebrew Union College Annual, Journal of the American Oriental Society, and Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte. He has delivered scientific papers at sessions of the Society of Biblical Literature, American Oriental Society, World Congress of Jewish Studies, and the American Society of Legal Historians. Papers and other lectures have explored social institutions in the biblical and Near Eastern world, the history of the calendar, and the development of religious beliefs in biblical times.