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Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Christine Hayes is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She is the Sterling Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, specializing in talmudic-midrashic studies.

She received a BA in the Study of Religion, summa cum laude, from Harvard University and both an MA and PhD from the University of California Berkeley, Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Her most recent book, What’s Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives, received the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship, a 2016 PROSE award in Theology and Religious Studies from the American Publishers Association, and a 2016 Jordan Schnitzer Award from the Association of Jewish Studies. Her other scholarly monographs include Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds (1997 Salo Baron prize) and Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities (2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist). She has authored two introductory volumes, The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible. Edited works include Jewish Law and its Interactions with other Legal Systems (2014), The Cambridge Companion to Judaism and Law (2017) and Classic Essays in Rabbinic Culture and History (2018).

She has held a faculty position at Princeton University, and visiting faculty positions at Tel Aviv University Law School and the University of Pennsylvania law school, and was a 2018 fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is active in professional and academic organizations, serving for four years as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review and for two years as the President of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Dec 3, 2023

Exploring the relationship between liberalism and pluralism.

Christine Hayes


Oct 18, 2021

Christine Hayes and Benjamin Balint discuss her Sources essay, Shaming, Disagreement & Purposeful Difference

Jul 15, 2021

Christine Hayes explores Talmudic stories that elucidate the complex ethical issues involved when communities navigate difference.

Mar 18, 2021

Christine Hayes writes that fighting for the soul of our nation…will require the twinned virtues of justice and mercy.

Oct 29, 2020

Christine Hayes discusses how the study of primary Jewish texts contributes to contemporary political and moral debates.

May 18, 2020

The first of a two-part study guide and lecture by Christine Hayes about Moses and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

May 18, 2020

The second of a two-part study guide and lecture by Christine Hayes about Moses and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

May 15, 2018

Christine Hayes discusses Moses at Sinai in this Rabbinic Holiday Webinar for Shavuot

Jan 19, 2017

Lecture from 2016-2017 series on intermarriage at B`nai Jeshurun Congregation in New York City.

Jul 6, 2016

Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 6, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics