Meet the Press



David H. Aaron (Co-Director) has been Professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Interpretation at HUC-JIR, Cincinnati since 1998. He earned his Ph.D. from the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University and rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR, Cincinnati. He has held fellowships at Hebrew University and Universität Tübingen and taught at Wellesley College and Hebrew College. He is the author of Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery, Etched in Stone: The Emergence of the Decalogue, and several scholarly articles as well as a novel and a play. There is a long legacy of music education and performance in his life, going to back to his maternal great-grandfather and grandfather, who were cantors and composers in Reform synagogues in Germany.


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David Ellenson (Editorial Director), Ph.D., Columbia University, is Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and visiting professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University and Chancellor Emeritus at HUC-JIR (where he was ordained as rabbi in 1977). Internationally recognized for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history, his twelve years as President was distinguished by his devotion to sustaining HUC-JIR’s academic excellence. His book, After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity, won the National Jewish Book Council’s award as outstanding book in Jewish Thought in 2005. Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa, co-authored with Daniel Gordis, was published by Stanford University Press in 2012, and his newest book, Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice, appeared in 2014 in the Jewish Publication Society’s Scholar of Distinction Series.


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Sharon Gillerman (Editorial Director) is Associate Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996 and has served as visiting professor at Brandeis University, UCLA, the University of Hamburg, and Harvard University. Her research focuses on modern German and central European Jewish history, with a particular interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history. She is the author of Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic, which won the 2012 Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, and co-editor (with Benjamin Baader and Paul Lerner) of Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender and History.


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Alyssa Gray (Editorial Director) is Associate Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature at HUC-JIR, New York. She received her Ph.D. from Jewish Theological Seminary and her J.D. from Columbia University. She has served as visiting professor at Yale University and Jewish Theological Seminary. Her research interests include charity in classical and medieval rabbinic literature, the application of legal theory to rabbinic literature, and the comparative study of the two Talmuds. She is the author of A Talmud in Exile: The Influence of Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah on the Formation of Bavli Avodah Zarah and the co-editor (with Bernard Jackson) of Studies in Medieval Halakhah in Honor of Stephen M. Passamaneck, and numerous scholarly articles.


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Jason Kalman (Co-Director) joined the faculty of HUC-JIR, Cincinnati in 2005 and currently holds the Gottschalk-Slade Chair in Jewish Intellectual History. He is also a research fellow with the University of the Free State, South Africa, affiliate faculty in the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and visiting professor in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in the history of Jewish biblical interpretation from McGill in 2005. He is the author of Hebrew Union College and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Canada’s Big Biblical Bargain: How McGill University Bought the Dead Sea Scrolls (with Jaqueline DuToit), and twenty scholarly articles. He has also served as book review editor for H-JUDAIC.


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Sonja Rethy (Managing Editor) has been the Managing Editor of Hebrew Union College Press since 2010. She has served as a graduate fellow in philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, taught Chinese at Penn State University, and been on the editorial staffs of Penn State University Press and Contemporary German Philosophy: A Yearbook. She is the current Managing Editor of the Journal of Asthma, a consultant for the American Jewish Archives, and the English language editor of Frontiers in Philosophy, a journal dedicated to the meeting of Eastern and Western thought, published by Beijing Normal University. In her spare time, she serves as a lay cantor at Northern Hills Synagogue.


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Richard Sarason (Editorial Director) is Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought at HUC-JIR, Cincinnati, where he has been a faculty member since 1979. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1977. He received his A.B. in Economics from Brandeis University in 1969 and was a visiting graduate student at Hebrew University from 1970-1972, while attending HUC-JIR, Jerusalem. He was ordained at HUC-JIR, Cincinnati in 1974. He is the author of A History of the Mishnaic Law of Agriculture: A Study of Tractate Demai and The Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation: Tractate Demai, as well as numerous articles in classical rabbinic literature and thought (Mishnah, midrash, liturgy).




Adam Shear (Editorial Director) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2009 convened the Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group on the Jewish Book at the Center for Jewish History in New York, where he currently serves on the Academic Advisory Council. He is also project director for the digital humanities research project, “Footprints: Jewish Books through Time and Place.” He is the author of The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, as well as several articles on medieval and early modern Jewish cultural and intellectual history.





Yaron Tsur (Editorial Director) is Chair of the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. While working on his Ph.D. (1988) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tsur helped establish the Open University of Israel. His research focuses on modern Jewish History and especially on Jewish life in Islamic lands. He is the author of Jews in an Era of Transformation: Introduction to Modern Jewish History, A Torn Community: The Jews of Morocco and Nationalism 1943-1954, and Jews in Muslim lands in the Period of the Reforms, 1830-1880 He is the founder and director of the archival project “The Jews of Islamic Countries”.


Editorial Advisory Board

Michael J. Cook, HUC-JIR Cincinnati, Gospels, Pauline Epistles; Hebrew Biblical History; Intertestamental Writings (Apocrypha, Josephus, etc.); Antisemitism; Missionizing & Millennialism; Post-Holocaust Theology

Reuven Firestone, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Bible and its exegesis; Qur’an and its exegesis; Religious Phenomenology; Comparative Religion; Religious Dialogue

Joshua D. Garroway, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Early Christianity; Second Commonwealth Judaism

Kristine Henriksen Garroway, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Hebrew Bible; Ancient Near Eastern History; Archaeology; Child Studies

Joshua David Holo, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Social and economic history

Jan D. Katzew, HUC-JIR Cincinnati, Ethics; Education; Interfaith Dialogue

Bruce A. Phillips, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Sociology & demography of American Jewry; intermarriage; Migration; Historical demography of American Jewry

Haim O. Rechnitzer, HUC-JIR Cincinnati, Political Theology; Theological Trends in Hebrew Literature; Jewish and Israeli Modern Thought

Rachel Sabath Beit-HalachmiHUC-JIR Cincinnati, Modern Jewish Theology, Reform Judaism

David S. Sperling, HUC-JIR New York, Biblical texts; Biblical Religion; Comparative Semitic Philology; History of Jewish Bible Scholarship

Mark Washofsky, HUC-JIR Cincinnati, History of Jewish Law; Halakhic Theory; Bioethics

Dvora Weisberg, HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Rabbinics and Liturgy