Dr. Wendy Zierler Promoted to Full Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR/New York

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dr. Wendy Zierler has been promoted to Full Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR/New York, as of July 1, 2013. 

Dr. Michael Marmur, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost, stated, “Dr. Zierler’s teaching, leadership, scholarship, and partnership have earned her a place of seniority in our College-Institute community, and we are all the richer as a result.  The award of this rank is both a promotion richly deserved, and an expression of our faith that scholarship, dedication, imagination, and creativity will prevail in a future too complex for us to predict.  We are proud to face this future with her, and look forward to years of partnership and achievement.”

A member of the HUC-JIR faculty since 2001, Dr. Zierler previously was a Research Fellow in the English Department of the University of Hong Kong. At HUC-JIR she is Head of the Hebrew Department, and teaches courses on Modern Hebrew and American Jewish Literature, Holocaust Literature, Literature of the Holidays, Reel Theology (with Dr. Eugene Borowitz), in addition to courses dealing with Gender and Judaism.

She received her Ph.D. and her M.A. from Princeton University, where she received Fulbright and Whiting Grants, and her B.A. from Yeshiva University, Stern College, where she was a Max Stern Scholar.  She also studied at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Michelelet Bruria in Jerusalem. Dr. Zierler is currently working towards an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at Sarah Lawrence College. 

Her book, And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Hebrew Women’s Writing was published in 2004 from Wayne State University Press. Together with Carole Balin, she is editor of Behikansi atah, a collection of the Hebrew writings of Hava Shapiro (Resling Press, 2008), for which they received grants from the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. The English volume of Shapiro’s writings, co-edited with Carole Balin, will be published by Wayne State University Press. Drs. Balin and Zierler received the Cashmere grant from the AJS Women’s Caucus for their work on this book. This forthcoming volume will include Dr. Zierler’s translations of Shapiro’s stories, memoirs, diary, and letters, in addition to extensive notes and commentary. Other publications include a Feminist Haggadah commentary in My People’s Haggadah (Jewish Lights, 2008), and To Speak her Heart, an illustrated anthology of Jewish women’s prayers and poems, edited by Leslie Golomb and Barbara Broff Goldman, to which she contributed the introduction, several translations, and an original poem.

Dr. Zierler serves on the International Editorial Advisory Board of NASHIM: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues.  She was chosen as consulting editor for two issues of the Jewish feminist scholarly journal Nashim (Spring and Fall 2008), dedicated to the subject of Women and Books, for which she wrote the introductions, her own essay, and review article. In addition to current research on Jewish women’s travel writing and on the ways in which Modern Jewish literature engages and comments on classical Jewish sources, she is working on a book entitled Reel Judaism, which uses film and popular culture as a springboard for Jewish religious and theological conversation. As a fiction writer, she was a finalist in the 2012 Moment Magazine Karma Foundation fiction contest for her story “The One Lamb You Should Offer”; another  story, entitled “The Great American Canadian Jewish Chinese Novel,” will be published in 2013 in Jewishfiction.net, an  Canadian journal of international Jewish fiction, edited by Dr. Nora Gold. 


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation'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