Patty Gerstenblith, Ph.D., Receives Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Patty Gerstenblith, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor of Law at De Paul University received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), for her distinguished leadership in cultural heritage preservation.  The ceremony took place at HUC-JIR’s Graduation on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati Campus, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Gerstenblith also presented the HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Graduation address. Read her remarks. 

In addition to being a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University, Dr. Gerstenblith is Director of its Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law. She is founding President of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (2005-2011), a Director of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, and Senior Advisor to the ABA's Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee.

In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as the chair of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State, on which she had previously served as a public representative in the Clinton administration. From 1995 to 2002, she was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cultural Property. She taught Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR from 1977-1980.

Her publications include the casebook, Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law (now in its third edition), and her articles "Controlling the International Market in Antiquities: Reducing the Harm, Preserving the Past," published in the Chicago Journal of International Law, "Schultz and Barakat: Universal Recognition of National Ownership of Antiquities," published in Art Antiquity and Law, and "Protecting Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict: Looking Back, Looking Forward," published in the Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal.

Gerstenblith received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College, Ph.D. in art history and anthropology from Harvard University, and J.D. from Northwestern University. Before joining the DePaul law faculty, Gerstenblith clerked for the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

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Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading 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 Jacob Rader Marcus Center of 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.