Dr. Alyssa Gray, Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics, has been promoted to Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, as of July 1, 2015. Dr. Gray teaches in the Rabbinical Program on the New York Campus and is an expert in the field of Rabbinics and Liturgy. Her research interests include Talmud criticism; wealth, poverty, and charity in classical and medieval Jewish legal literature; and theory and the reading of medieval Jewish legal literature.
“Dr. Alyssa Gray is a first-rate scholar and one of the finest embodiments of our institution’s aims and values,” stated Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost. “Her work is a model of learned and thought-provoking research and she is praised by her students for her rare combination of clarity, competence, caring, and challenge.”
She received her Ph.D. with distinction in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and also earned an LL.M. in Mishpat Ivri (Jewish law) from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law. She is a graduate of Barnard College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and earned a J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Dr. Gray’s current research interests are Talmud criticism (with a special focus on comparative study of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds), wealth, poverty, and charity in classical and medieval rabbinic literature, and the application of new theoretical perspectives on law, literature, and history to the reading of medieval Jewish legal literature.
She has been a visiting professor at YaleUniversity and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has also lectured in a variety of other academic and non-academic settings, including Hebrew University, the University of Chicago, Florida Atlantic University, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Freehof Institute for Progressive Halakhah, Limmud UK, the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the Masorti movement in Latin America, and the Union for Reform Judaism.
Dr. Gray is a founding member of the HUC-JIR Faculty Council and served on the HUC-JIR Board of Governors from 2009-2012 as the elected Faculty Governor. She began serving as New York Faculty Chair on July 1, 2014. Dr. Gray is also active in the profession, currently serving as co-chair of the History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism Section of the Society for Biblical Literature and as a member of the Program Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies. She also sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Jewish Ethics and of HUC Press.