Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/New York and the Associate Director of the Tisch/Star Fellowship program. He received his Ph.D. in Jewish History from Columbia University, his rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR, and his A.B. in History from Princeton University.
Skloot is a historian of Jewish culture and religious thought in the early modern and modern periods. His research explores the history of Hebrew books, Jewish-Christian relations, the development of Jewish law, and Reform Jewish theology. His book, First Impressions: Sefer Ḥasidim and Early Modern Hebrew Printing, will be published by Brandeis University Press. It describes how sixteenth century Hebrew printers (Jewish and Christian) transformed a heterogeneous corpus of manuscripts into canonical book, and by extension, how Jewish sacred texts, long thought to be eternal and unchanging, were in fact created by and for human beings, with specific agendas and interests.
Prior to his appointment to HUC-JIR’s faculty, Skloot served as Associate Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C. He was chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Worship and Practice Committee for five years, overseeing the production of the Reform movement’s liturgies. Skloot is a sought-after teacher of adult learners and he has served on the faculty of The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center in New York, as well as a scholar-in-residence at congregations across the US.