Efroymson Lectures

The Gustav A. and Mamie W. Efroymson Memorial Lectures were founded in 1946 by brothers Clarence W. and Robert A. Efroymson in memory of their parents. Since the inaugural lecture in 1975, the Efroymson Lectures have brought many fine scholars to the Cincinnati campus, including William Beardslee, Jack Bemporad, Peter Bertocci, Morton Enslin, Deane W. Ferm, Frederick Ferre, Edward C. Hobbs, A. Leland Jamison, Gordon D. Kaufman, Bernard Martin, Levi Olan, Harold M. Schulweis, Lou Silberman, Anthony Yu, Haim Gevaryahu, Arnaldo Momigliano, Lewis Feuer, David Savan, Robert Seltzer, Eva Frojmovic, Steven E. Aschheim, Ruth Kartun-Blum, Bernard Lewis, Peter Gay, Louis Jacobs, Meir Sternberg, George Mosse, Raul Hilberg, Saul Friedlander, Jeffrey Stout, Michael L. Morgan, and Noah Efron. The following publications of Efroymson Lectures are available through Hebrew Union College Press.

Devotion and Commandment: THe Faith Of Abraham in the Hasidic Imagination

Arthur Green

Now available in paperback, Arthur Green’s Devotion and Commandment uses the Hasidic debate on the patriarchs and the commandments as a point of departure for a wide-ranging consideration of the relationship between piety and commandment in Hasidic Judaism. The result is a series of remarkable mystical defenses of the commandments and an original contribution of Hasidic thought to the ongoing history of Judaism.


Efron Chosen Calling

A Chosen Calling: Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century

Noah J. Efron

Rejecting the idea that Jews have done well in science because of uniquely Jewish traits, Noah J. Efron approaches the Jewish affinity for science through the geographic and cultural circumstances of Jews who were compelled to settle in new worlds in the early twentieth century.


Kartun-Blum Profane Scriptures

Profane Scriptures: Reflections on the Dialogue with the Bible in Modern Hebrew Poetry

Ruth Kartun-Blum, with drawings by Menashe Kadishman

Profane Scriptures, based on the Gustave A. and Mamie W. Efroymson Memorial Lectures (1995), illuminates the new midrashic method in modern Hebrew poetry that seeks to neutralize the Bible’s sway over modern Israeli life.


Jacobs-God-Torah-Israel-cover-smallGod, Torah, Israel: Traditionalism without Fundamentalism

Louis Jacobs

In these three lectures, the eminent British rabbi and theologian Louis Jacobs defines and defends his position as a liberal supernaturalist and halakhic nonfundamentalist in those areas where the religious Jew is confronted with the conflicting truth claims of modern knowledge and traditional belief. Jacobs begins by contrasting the theistic belief in a personal God with some of its alternatives. The second lecture explores the impact of modern science and scholarship on the doctrine of Torah min hashamayim. In the third lecture, Jacobs discusses traditional interpretations of the doctrine of the Chosen People.

Mosse German Jews

German Jews Beyond Judaism

George L. Mosse

Jews were emancipated at a time when high culture was becoming an integral part of German citizenship. German Jews felt a powerful urge to integrate, to find their Jewish substance in German culture and craft an identity as both Germans and Jews. In this volume, based on the 1983 Efroymson Memorial Lectures given at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, George Mosse traces their pursuit of Bildung and German Enlightenment ideals and their efforts to influence German society even at a time when this led to intellectual isolation. Yet out of this German-Jewish dialogue, what had once been part of German culture became a central Jewish heritage.

Kogan-Spinoza-coverSpinoza: A Tercentenary Perspective

Edited by Barry S. Kogan

As a seat of liberal Judaism in the modern world, the College also has a special relation to Spinoza and his enterprise. It is an heir to what we may call his positive vision. For wherever freedom of inquiry exists to encourage the critical study of the Bible and Israel’s past in conjunction with reasoned reflection about God, man, and the natural world, Spinoza’s legacy remains alive. In order to examine that legacy properly, HUC-JIR organized a symposium to discuss Spinoza from a tercentenary perspective, and the proceedings of that symposium are published here.