Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Ph.D., elected Vice-President (beginning 2023) and President (beginning 2024) of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)

Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Ph.D

Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Ph.D.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Ph.D., the Effie Wise Ochs Professor of Biblical Literature and History at HUC-JIR/LA, has been elected Vice-President (beginning 2023) and President (beginning 2024) of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). SBL is a membership organization with over 8,000 scholars, and is the oldest and largest learned society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible from a variety of academic disciplines. SBL supports scholarly research and fosters the public understanding of the Bible and its influence.


“This is a tremendous honor for Rabbi Dr. Eskenazi, for which she is most deserving as a renowned Bible scholar. For 32 years, Dr. Eskenazi has contributed her expertise to our students’ educational and academic pursuits, while furthering the fields of biblical and religious studies as a whole,” said HUC-JIR President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.


Rabbi Dr. Eskenazi stated, “I am touched and inspired by the honor that the Society of Biblical Literature has bestowed upon me. Being a member of this international, diverse, and global scholarly community has given me and many others great opportunities to pursue scholarship with depth, and in a context of mutual respect. I look forward to contributing to the mission of SBL and to representing the significance and impact of HUC-JIR and of biblical studies.”


Rabbi Dr. Eskenazi’s work focuses on the biblical texts and ancient world during the Persian period (539-333 BCE). Her several works on the subject include the forthcoming Yale Anchor Bible Commentary on Ezra (Spring 2023). Additionally, she is Editor of the award-winning volume, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, named Book of the Year by the Jewish Book Council in 2008, with Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D., and is co-author of the award winning JPS Bible Commentary: Ruth (2012).


Rabbi Dr. Eskenazi lectures widely in scholarly conferences, synagogues, and churches. She was the first woman professor in the rabbinical school at HUC-JIR since its founding in 1875.


Rabbi Dr. Eskenazi is a mother of five and grandmother of five, active in community organizing, and co-founder of the Jewish Women Resource Center in Denver, CO where she lived and taught prior to joining HUC-JIR.