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Senior Research Fellow

Leora Batnitzky is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She is Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion at Princeton University, where she has been on the faculty since 1997. She has taught, as a visiting professor, at Tokyo University, Tel Aviv University, Radzyner IDC Law School, and Cardozo Law School and has also been a visiting researcher at NYU Law School and The Hebrew University. She is co-director of the international Center for Bible, Culture, and Modernity, and since 2004 she has served as co-editor of the journal Jewish Studies Quarterly. She is also a member of the American Academy for Jewish Research. Leora received a BA from Barnard College, a BA from The Jewish Theological Seminary, and an MA and PhD from Princeton.

Leora’s research and teaching interests include modern Jewish thought, philosophy of religion, and legal and political theory. Her publications include Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000); Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006); How Judaism Became a Religion (Princeton, 2013); as well as the co-edited volumes The Book of Job: Aesthetics, Ethics and Hermeneutics (De Gruyter, 2014); Institutionalizing Rights and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2017); and Jewish Legal Theories (Brandies Library of Modern Jewish Thought, 2018).

She is currently working on completing two books, the first a comparative study of conversion controversies in Israel and India, tentatively titled What is Religious Freedom? The Case of Conversion in Israel and India, and the second on the Jewish apostate and Catholic saint Edith Stein, tentatively titled Apostate and Saint: On the Continued Relevance of Edith Stein for Jewish and Christian Self-Understanding.

Dec 3, 2023

Leora Batnitzky


Jan 28, 2022

Three-part series led by Leora Batnitzky exploring how and why modernity has forced Jews to define themselves either as a religion or a nation.

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics