Shmuel Trigano

Shmuel Trigano is Paris University Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Religion and Politics. He was Senior Fellow for 2012-2013 at the Herzl Institute where he wrote Hebrew, a Philosophy. Toward a New Jewish Thought (French, 2014). He has published 24 books in the fields of Jewish (Political) Philosophy, Jewish Identity, Jewish Modernity, Contemporary Judaism, French Jewry, Sociology of Religion and Politics, and more. He has edited numerous collective books in the domains of Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Jewish Memory.  Among his publications, The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah: The Unconscious in Political Modernity was published in English by SUNY Press in 2009 and in Hebrew by Ben Gurion University Press in 2010. His most recent English-language publication, Philosophy of the Law, was published by Shalem Press in 2012. One of Trigano’s recent works, Judaism and the Spirit of the World (French, 2011), proposes a global theory of Judaism as a living and symbolical system. His latest book is titled: The New Jewish State (French, 2015).  Trigano was the founding Director of the College of Jewish Studies (1986-2013) at the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Paris. He founded in 2013 in Paris the Popular University for Judaism ( He is also Founding Director of Pardès, a European Journal of Jewish Studies and Culture ( (1985-) and of Controverses ( ), a journal of political ideas (2006-2011). In 2001, he created a research center devoted to the analysis of contemporary antisemitism. He is president of the Observatoire du monde juif (

His current research project at the Herzl Institute is titled The Angelic Moment in Monotheism: Theory and Historical Development of a Figure.

Shira Weiss

Shira Weiss teaches medieval and modern Jewish Philosophy at Stern College, Yeshiva University. She holds a PhD in Medieval Jewish Philosophy and wrote her dissertation on the concept of choice in the philosophic exegesis of Joseph Albo. She was awarded an NEH fellowship for college professors on Free Will and Human Perfection in Medieval Jewish Philosophy and has authored several articles. Additionally, she holds an EdD and served as Assistant Principal at The Frisch School, Paramus, NJ.

The focus for her current research at the Herzl Institute is on reevaluating theological concepts in the Bible, in which she subjects challenging biblical narratives to contemporary moral philosophical analysis.

Jacob Wright

Jacob L. Wright teaches Hebrew Bible at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes on the formation of Biblical literature, the political thought of the Bible and Jewish writings, and the history of the ancient Near East. His most recent books are on King David.  His project with the Herzl Institute examines knowledge of God as a way to understand the distinctive teachings of the Hebrew Bible.

Alex Sztuden

Alex Sztuden has taught philosophy at Fordham University, where he received his M.A and was awarded a distinguished fellowship. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yeshiva University.  He has published widely in philosophy and religion and is the winner of the Joel and Jeanne Novak Prize for Best Essay in Jewish Thought. He is the cofounder and director of an online education company.

His research at the Herzl Institute will focus on the resolution of the Euthyphro Dilemma in Christian and Jewish sources, and in doing so, will aim to provide a comprehensive account of the nature of God’s relation to morality, and an account of God’s attributes as depicted in the Bible and Talmud.

Alan Mittleman

Alan Mittleman teaches Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. He works in the areas of ethics, political theory, and modern Jewish thought. He is the author of six books, most recently Human Nature and Jewish Thought: Judaism’s Case for Why Persons Matter.

Prof. Mittleman’s research topic at the Herzl Institute is titled Holiness and Violence: A Philosophical Investigation.

Berel Dov Lerner

Berel Dov Lerner was born in Washington D.C. and is a member of Kibbutz Sheluhot in Israel’s Beit Shean Valley. He received a BA in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University, an MA in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in philosophy from Tel Aviv University. He also studied Judaism at Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati.   Berel is currently an associate professor of philosophy at the Western Galilee College in Akko and also teaches at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. He is the author of many articles in philosophy and Jewish studies and of the book Rules, Magic, and Instrumental Reason (Routledge 2002).

His current research at the Herzl Institute deals with various aspects of agency in the Hebrew Scriptures, including the relationship between divine plans and human action as well as the roles of temporality and knowledge in human agency. This project involves close readings of much of Genesis, Exodus, and Ruth.

Lenn Goodman

Lenn Goodman is a professor of philosophy and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University where he holds the Andrew W. Mellon chair in the Humanities.  His books include On Justice: An Essay in Jewish Philosophy (Yale University Press, 1991; Littman Library, 2000), God of Abraham (Oxford University Press, 1996, winner of the Gratz Centennial Prize), Judaism, Human Rights and Human Values (Oxford University Press, 1998), In Defense of Truth: A Pluralistic Approach (Humanity Press, 2001), Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself (Gifford Lectures, Oxford University Press, 2008), Coming to Mind: The Soul and its Body (co-authored with D. G. Caramenico, University of Chicago Press, 2013), and Religious Values in the Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He edited Neoplatonism and Jewish Thought (Suny Press, 1992) and co-edited Jewish Themes in Spinoza’s Philosophy (Suny Press, 2002) and Maimonides and his Heritage (Suny Press, 2009). He also translated with commentary, The Book of Theodicy, Saadiah Gaon’s Arabic translation and commentary on the Book of Job. Soon to appear is his new study, Judaism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge). Goodman won the American Philosophical Association Baumgardt Prize for his 1981 book Monotheism. His work in Jewish philosophy is the subject of Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron Hughes’ volume Lenn E. Goodman: Judaism, Humanity, and Nature in the Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers (Brill, 2015). Goodman is now at work with his colleague Philip Lieberman on a new translation and commentary on Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed. Goodman describes himself as a synthetic philosopher.

As a Templeton Fellow at the Herzl Institute, he is preparing a new book with the working title, The Holy One of Israel, seeking to integrate the ideas of immanence and transcendence, universality and chosenness, divine and human action, in a Judaic idea of God.

Melis Erdur

Melis Erdur received her Ph.D. from the New York University Philosophy Department in 2013.  In her doctoral dissertation, A Moral Critique of Moral Philosophy (written under the supervision of Professor David Velleman), she examines central meta-ethical questions concerning moral truth and objectivity, and argues that some of the common ways of posing and answering these questions are predicated upon substantive moral mistakes.  Recently she has been interested in articulating an alternative meta-ethical approach inspired by canonical Jewish texts. She lives in Tel Aviv.

Her project as a Templeton fellow, entitled Torah From (but not in) Heaven: A Philosophical Examination of the Limits of Human Contribution to Revelation, focuses on the notion of Torah from Heaven and offers a philosophical examination of the major traditional Jewish approaches to it.

James Diamond

James A. Diamond is a full professor and the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo and former director of the university’s Friedberg Genizah Project.  His principle areas of study include biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, medieval Jewish thought and philosophy, Maimonides, and rabbinics. He has published widely on all areas of Jewish thought.  He is the author of Maimonides and the Hermeneutics of Concealment (SUNY Press, 2002) which was awarded the Canadian Jewish Book Award and Converts, Heretics and Lepers: Maimonides and the Outsider (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008) awarded Notable Selection- Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the Category of Philosophy and Jewish Thought for best book in 4 years (2008) as well as the Canadian Jewish Book Award. His most recent book, Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014, argues that Maimonides’ philosophy and jurisprudence has become an integral part of the Jewish canon alongside the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud.  He is also coeditor of Emil Fackenheim: Philosopher, Theologian, Jew (Brill, 2008) and Encountering the Medieval in Modern Jewish Thought (Brill, 2012). His articles have appeared in many of the leading peer reviewed scholarly journals, including Harvard Theological Review;  Journal of Religion; Vetus Testamentum; Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy; Association of Jewish Studies Review; Jewish Studies Quarterly; Jewish History; Philosophy and Literature; Journal of Religious Ethics; Medieval Philosophy and Theology; Prooftexts; Jewish Quarterly Review; Journal of Jewish Studies as well as a periodic contributor to such popular forums as the Jerusalem Post.

In his current research as a Templeton Fellow, he is working on a prolegomenon for the “practice” of Jewish philosophical theology. This project aims to offer a repository for the future growth of Jewish philosophical theology by addressing an array of  notions critical for Jewish thought such as love, power, death, ethics, miracles, history, as well as  the very way the Hebrew sources conceive of philosophical discourse itself.

Craig Bartholomew

Craig Bartholomew is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Canada. Dr. Bartholomew is the author and editor of many books including Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today, Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction (co-authored with Michael Goheen), and Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics.

Dr. Bartholomew’s research project at the Herzl Institute deals with divine action.

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