Dr. Haim Rechnitzer, Ph.D. has been promoted to the rank of Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) as of July 1 2019.
Dr. Rechnitzer earned his doctorate from the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, and his rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. His research is dedicated to themes of political theology, theological trends in Hebrew poetry, Israeli theology, and Jewish education. His recent books are Prophecy and the Perfect Political Order: The Political Theology of Leo Strauss (Jerusalem: The Bialik Institute 2012), Songs of the Third Exile (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2014), and Shibboleth – Vortex (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2015).He has published scholarly articles on political theology, philosophy of education, and theology of Piyyut (religious hymns), and Hebrew poetry. His works on the political theology of Israeli poets Amir Gilboa and Shin Shalom were published recently in Hebrew and English. Additionally, he has published popular essays on Zionism and commentaries on weekly Torah portions.Prof. Rechnitzer is currently completing work on two book length manuscripts. The first is dedicated to the reconstruction of the theological element in the Poetry of 20th Century Israeli Poets Avraham Halfi, Shin Shalom, and Amir Gilboa. The second book is a series of commentaries on Parashat Ha-shavua (weekly Torah portion) that connect between the spiritual and the political realms and is titled “Tel-Aviv: the theo-political as a spiritual geography – a Bible commentary.” In this work Rechnitzer brings together the academic lenses and the contemporary spiritual and political quest of the modern reader of the Torah.
Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost, stated, “Dr. Rechnitzer has been praised by colleagues around the world for his insightful and innovative scholarship, which offers a unique approach to contemporary Jewish theology by reading modern Israeli-Hebrew secular poetry through the interpretive lenses of Jewish thought and political theology. As an Israeli Reform rabbi, an engaged member of the HUC-JIR Cincinnati faculty and an Affiliated Scholar at the University of Cincinnati, and a well-regarded scholar and poet, Dr. Rechnitzer strives to share his wisdom with a wide audience and through multiple formats, from scholarly books and articles to poetry and Torah commentary.”