Dr. Jonathan Cohen Granted Tenure at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Associate Professor of Talmud and Halachic Literature, has been granted tenure at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, said, “An emerging major figure in the academic study of Jewish Law, Dr. Jonathan Cohen brings the best of Israeli and European intellectual traditions in his academic fields to bear on his study and teaching, and has found a way to communicate them brilliantly in a North American context.”

An Israeli-born scholar, Dr. Cohen was appointed Assistant Professor in Talmud and Halachic Literature at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1998 and promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. He was named Director of the Hebrew Union College-University of Cincinnati Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems in January 2001. In November 2003, he was awarded the Rabbi Michael Matuson Professorship for Emerging Scholars, and was named Affiliate Member of the Laboratoire des etudes sur les Monothéismes of the French CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) in August 2005.

Dr. Cohen's interests include history of law, law and religion, and, in particular, the evolution of Jewish law in Christian Europe. His areas of expertise encompass Jewish law and modernity, medieval response, human rights and religion, and halachah and ethics.

He read law at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and earned his Ph.D. (Law) from the University of Liverpool. His research focused on the evolution of restitution as a civil remedy in medieval Jewish law.  At the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies he was the first David Patterson Junior Fellow in Jewish Law.

Dr. Cohen is the editor of Studies in Jewish Commercial Law  (The Jewish Law Association, 2009) and has published articles on the status of married women in bigamous Jewish households, on the evolution of Jewish welfare law, on rabbinic perceptions of Jewish solidarity, on Jewish bioethics, and on Jewish law and modernity.

At the HUC-UC Ethics Center, he has convened and participated in major national symposia on a broad range of issues, including poverty, welfare and religion; gender stereotypes; censorship and the visual arts; emergency care in time of war; the role of the media at times of war; education, discipline, and equal access; capital punishment; end of life treatment and care; ethical decisions in housing; and family violence.  He has presented at conferences internationally, including at New York University Law School, the Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, St. Thomas University School of Law, Xavier University, Notre Dame University, Council of Jewish Museums, National Conference on Nursing Administration Research, Conference of Central Conference of American Rabbis, Union for Reform Judaism Biennial Convention, National Archives and Records Administration, and British Association of Jewish Studies.


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. www.huc.edu