Faculty at 2009 World Congress of Jewish Studies

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scholars from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion played a notable role at the Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, held in Jerusalem August 2-6, 2009. Professor Michael A. Meyer addressed a plenary session devoted to ‘Secularization and Religion’ and gave an address entitled ‘Research and Religion: Conflicting or Complementary?”. Among the 1400 or so lectures delivered during the Congress, members of our instructional faculty from our four campuses played an important part in the proceedings.

Professor Yehoyada Amir of our Jerusalem School chaired one session (as did Professor Eliyahi Schleifer), and he also lectured in another session on Nachman Krochmal’s notion of religion.

Professor Michael Chernick of HUC-New York lectured on the use of Halakhic Midrash in Maimonidean Thought.

Dr. Bitha Har-Shefi, instructor in Talmud at HUC-Jerusalem, lectured on laws of menstrual impurity in medieval legal literature.

Professor Mark Kligman of our New York School of Sacred Music gave a paper on Otrhodox Popular Music in New York, and Naomi Cohn Zentner, who teaches in the Jerusalem SSM Program, presented a paper on the singing of Zemirot Shabbat (Sabbath Hymns).

Dr. David Levine, Sonabend Professor of Talmud and Jewish Law, gave two papers, one on ‘Talmudic traditions and Rabbinic authority’ and the other on ‘The Palestinian Talmud and the Patriarchate in the Fourth Century’.

Rabbi Alona Lisitsa of our Jerusalem School delivered a paper on Kavanah (intention) in Talmudic literature.

LA’s Professor Bruce Phillips spoke on ‘Mobility and Jewish Attachment’ in a session devoted to Twenty First Century American Jews.

Cincinnati’s Dr. Haim Rechnitzer addressed a session on ‘Teaching Jewish Thought’, relating to the development of a personal theology while analyzing medieval texts.

Dr. Dalit Rom-Shiloni, now of Tel Aviv University, previously a post-graduate Fellow at our Jerusalem school, lectured on Baylonian-exilic ideology as reflected in Ezekiel and Ezra-Nehemiah, based on work she had done at the College-Institute.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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 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. www.huc.edu