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SHI North America Welcomes Five New York-Based Research Fellows

SHI-NA announces five scholars for the New York-based division of the Institute’s Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought

The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America is pleased to announce the addition of five leading scholars to the New York-based division of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought .

The Fellows, chosen from among dozens of applicants, will  collaborate with Hartman faculty and contribute to the Institute’s intellectual culture by adding to its rich shelf of educational resources.

Christine Hayes and Shaul Magid have been named Research Fellows of the Kogod Research Center, and Judah Bernstein, Mijal Biton, and Ari Gordon have been named Doctoral Fellows of the Kogod Research Center.

The Fellowships will permit these North American scholars to bring their own academic work to the framework of the Hartman Institute, and signals an expansion of the Institute’s Kogod Research Center beyond the Jerusalem campus, said Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

“With the growth of The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America as a central convener of sophisticated dialogue and study on major Jewish questions for Jewish leaders, I am proud that we are significantly expanding the Kogod Research Center to include more scholars based in North America,” Kurtzer said. “Our fellows will help us expand the corpus of Hartman Torah that focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing North American Judaism, especially on issues related to Jewish identity, Zionism, and the relationship with people of other faiths.

About the SHI-North America Fellows

Christine Hayes is the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, her published works include Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds (1997, winner of the Salo Baron prize), Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud (2003, National Jewish Book Award finalist), The Emergence of Judaism (2010), Introduction to the Bible (2012) and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and scholarly anthologies.  

Her most recent book, What’s Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives (Princeton University Press, 2015) untangles the conflicting classical and biblical roots of the Western idea of divine law and shows how early adherents to biblical tradition, including the Talmudic rabbis, struggled to make sense of this dual legacy. She currently serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review.

Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies at Indiana University. He is the author of Hasidism on the Margin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History and Scripture in Lurianic Kabbalah (Indiana University Press, 2008), winner of the AAR best book in religion on the textual studies category, American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society (Indiana University Press, 2013), and Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity and the Construction of Modern Judaism (Stanford University Press, 2015).

His scholarly work focuses on the Jewish mystical and pietistic tradition and contemporary Jewish religiosity and society. His two present book projects are American Jewish Survivalism: Meir Kahane and the Politics of Pride and Why Satmar?: The Political Theology of Joel Teitelbaum and its Contemporary Reception. He is also the rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in Sea View, New York, and is the Rose and Henry Zifkin Teaching Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015-2016

Judah Bernstein is a doctoral candidate at New York University in the departments of Hebrew-Judaic Studies and History. He is studying the history of Zionism in the United States in the early twentieth century. He has previously held fellowships at the Tikvah Center for Law and Civilization, the Wexner Foundation, and the American Jewish Archive.

Mijal Bitton is a doctoral candidate at New York University as an Avichai Fellow, where she is studying the experience of contemporary Sephardic communities in the United States. Through her research and teaching, Mijal is interested in exploring new paradigms of Jewish identity for diverse Jewish populations and expanding normative conceptions such as Jewishness, religion and tradition. Mijal previously worked at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future. She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.

She has been managing the SHI-North America project, “Created Equal: Men, Women and the Ethics of Shared Leadership,” which aims to expand current conceptions of Jewish leadership in North America.

Ari Gordon is a doctoral candidate in Islamic studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he researches the history of Muslim-Jewish relations. He also serves as American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Special Advisor for Interreligious and Intergroup Relations and, was previously serve the department’s assistant director. Ari was a Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellow and received his Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. He studied for his bachelor’s degree at Yeshiva University.

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