Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot, Ph.D., was inaugurated as the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/New York on April 8, 2019. Rabbi Skloot presented "Texts in Transformation: The Birth of Jewish Culture As We Know It." Read Rabbi Skloot's address here.
The Panken Professorships, one on each of HUC-JIR campuses, honor Rabbi Panken’s profound impact on this institution, its students, and the Reform Movement. Rabbi Panken prized HUC-JIR faculty as scholars, thought leaders, teachers, and mentors who transmit shalshelet hakabalah, the chain of tradition, while inspiring students to become transformative leaders who invigorate Jewish life and strengthen Jewish communities throughout North America, Israel, and around the world.
Rabbi Skloot received his Ph.D. in Jewish History at Columbia University (2017), where his dissertation was entitled, “Printing, Hebrew Book Culture and Sefer Hasidim.” His research explores the effects of printing on Hebrew texts during the sixteenth century and his teaching encompasses courses in early modern and modern Jewish history and Jewish religious thought.
Prior to his appointment to HUC-JIR’s faculty, Rabbi Skloot served as Associate Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation. He was ordained a rabbi at HUC-JIR (2010), where he was an inaugural Tisch Rabbinical Fellow. He received his A.B. in History, cum laude, at Princeton University (2005).
Rabbi Skloot is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Jacob K. Javits Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education; the Weinrib Fellowship at the Center for Jewish Studies at Columbia University; the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization Graduate Fellowship at Cardozo Law School; and the Kenneth Christopher Harris Award for Service to the Moral and Ethical Life of Princeton University.
Rabbi Skloot is chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Worship and Practice Committee and his writing has been featured in two CCAR Press publications: The Sacred Table (2011) and Lights in the Forest (2014).