DR. EUGENE B. BOROWITZ APPOINTED DISTINGUISHED UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AT
HEBREW UNION COLLEGE-JEWISH INSTITUTE OF RELIGION
Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, Sigmund Falk Distinguished Professor of
Education and Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish
Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has been appointed Distinguished
University Professor by Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, as of July 1, 2004.
In announcing this appointment, Rabbi Ellenson said, "As rabbi, scholar,
professor, and moreh derekh, we honor Dr. Borowitz's passion, commitment,
and love for God and the Jewish people, and express thanks for all he has
taught and will continue to teach. May the passion and the intellect with
which Rabbi Borowitz has challenged and directed the Jewish community
continue unabated for years to come, and may he go on, from strength to strength."
In his new position, Dr. Borowitz will take on special academic projects
on behalf of the College-Institute. The first project will be a scholarly
newsletter, which will highlight the contributions and scholarly approaches
of HUC-JIR's faculty, and which will be developed in partnership by HUC-JIR
and the Union for Reform Judaism.
Dr. Borowitz is the "dean" of American Jewish philosophers. In 1996, the
National Foundation for Jewish Culture bestowed upon him its medal for
Jewish Cultural Achievement in the realm of scholarship, the first time
it had been awarded for work in the field of Jewish thought.
Dr. Borowitz has taught at HUC-JIR in New York since 1962. He is a prolific
author, having written numerous articles and seventeen books. His books are
directed at a broad range of readers, from Explaining Reform Judaism, written
with Naomi Patz, (a book for confirmation class students on religious belief)
to Jewish Moral Virtues, co-authored by Frances Weinman Schwartz, addressed
to lay learners." His titles include A New Jewish Theology in the Making,
How Can a Jew Speak of Faith Today?, Choosing a Sex Ethic, The Masks Jews
Wear, Contemporary Christologies: A Jewish Response, Choices in Modern
Jewish Thought, Liberal Judaism, Reform Judaism Today, Studies in the
Meaning of Judaism, Judaism After Modernity, and Exploring Jewish Ethics:
Papers on Covenant Responsibility. The book that stands as the central
statement on his theology is Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the
Postmodern Jew. Renewing the Covenant, in which he identifies the
dialectical themes of Covenant and self, God and community, that he
has emphasized throughout his theoretical writings, was the first
systematic Jewish theology since Abraham Heschel's seminal publications
in the 1950s.
Dr. Borowitz is the only Jew to serve as President of the American
Theological Society. In 1982 Harvard University Divinity School
invited him to inaugurate its newly established List Professorship
of Jewish Studies. He wrote the featured, comprehensive article on
Judaism in the 16-volume Encyclopedia of Religion. His 1974 work,
The Mask Jews Wear, received the National Jewish Book Award in the
field of Jewish thought.
Rabbi Borowitz is widely known in the Jewish community as the former
Editor of Sh'ma, a journal of Jewish responsibility, a magazine of
Jewish social concern he founded in 1970 and edited for 23 years.
He is active in Jewish publishing as Vice-President of the Jewish
Publication Society. He has served as visiting professor of religion
at Columbia University, Princeton University, State University of New
York at Stony Brook, City College of the City University of New York,
Drew University, Temple University, Teachers College of Columbia
University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Woodstock
College (the Jesuit graduate school of theology).
Dr. Borowitz received his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University
in 1943. He was ordained at HUC in Cincinnati in 1948 and earned his
Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree in Rabbinic Literature at HUC in 1952.
He also earned the Ed.D. at Columbia University's Teachers College. He
has received honorary doctorates from Colgate University, Lafayette
College, and Gratz College. He has served congregations in St. Louis,
MO, and Port Washington, NY, and was a Navy Chaplain during the Korean
War. Prior to his academic position at HUC-JIR, he was National Director
of Education for Reform Judaism at the Union of American Hebrew
Congregations, editing its books, curricula, and educational publications.
A profile of Dr. Borowitz, entitled "Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz at 80: A
Jewish Spiritual Journey at HUC-JIR," which was recently published in
HUC-JIR's Chronicle magazine [2004, Issue 63] appears on the HUC-JIR website at: http://huc.edu/chronicle/63/borowitz.pdf.