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Prof. Dr. Laura Lieber

Professor for the  Transregional History of Religion

Laura Lieber's (Ph.D. 2003, University of Chicago) primary area of research is in the area of synagogue poetry ("piyyut") from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. She examines these works from a variety of perspectives, including literary, performative, and comparative (particularly with early Christian hymnography in Syriac and Greek), and also as a genre of early Jewish biblical interpretation. In recent years, she has begun to integrate the study of material culture into her analysis of these literary works, as part of taking a more fully "contextual" approach to literary analysis.

Her most recent work approaches late ancient hymnography through the lens of theater studies and performance. Her research interests include: Byzantine liturgical poetry; history of biblical interpretation; history of Jewish liturgy; Jewish culture in late antiquity; material culture; medieval Judaism; rabbinic literature.


  • Poetics
  • Jewish Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern

Personal Website: https://carolina-duke-grad.german.duke.edu/laura-lieber


Acadamic Appoinments

  • University of Regensburg: Professor of Transregional History of Religions, 2023-present
  • Duke University: Professor of Late Ancient Judaism, Department of Religious Studies, 2016-2024
    • Associate Professor (with tenure), 2011-2016
    • Assistant Professor (tenure-track), 2008-2011
    • Secondary Appointment, Duke Divinity School
    • Secondary Appointment, Classical Studies
    • Secondary Appointment, German Studies
  • Middlebury College: Assistant Professor of Classics and Religion, 2003-2008
  • University of Chicago: Instructor in Biblical Hebrew, Divinity School, 2001-2003
  • Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati): Instructor in Bible and History of Interpretation (summer terms), 2000-2002
    • Teaching Assistant in Hebrew Bible and Rabbinics, 1997-1999
  • University of Cincinnati: Adjunct Instructor, Department of Religion, 1997-1999


  • Ph.D. in History of Judaism, University of Chicago Divinity School, August 2003
    Dissertation: “‘Let Me Sing for My Beloved’:  Transformations of the Song of Songs in Synagogal Poetry.”  Advisor:  Michael Fishbane; Readers: Menachem Brinker, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, and Joel Kraemer
  • Rabbinic Ordination, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, June 1999
    Rabbinic Thesis: “An Ephraimite Yankee in King David’s Court:  Dialect-Switching in the Book of Judges.”  Advisor:  Stephen Kaufman
  • M.A. in Hebrew Letters, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, June 1998
  • B.A. Summa Cum Laude in English Literature with minors in Classics and Social Work, University of Arkansas, May 1994; Phi Beta Kappa, Fall 1992
    Honors Thesis: “Lilith:  History of an Archetype.”  Advisor: Robert Cochran (English and Folklore Studies

Administrative Positions (Duke)

  • Department Chair, Religious Studies, 2023-present
  • Director, Duke Center for Jewish Studies, 2015-present
    • Co-Director (with Eric Meyers), 2014-2015
    • Associate Director, 2013-2014
    • Assistant Director, 2008-2013
  • Director, Duke-UNC Center for Late Ancient Studies, 2011-2020
  • Interim Department Chair, Germanic Languages and Literatures, 2014-2015


Books (Completed)

Staging the Sacred: Performance in Late Ancient Liturgical Poetry (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023).
Book Panel, SBL Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism Division, 2023
Selected for Discussion: Models of Piety, SBL 2023

Classical Samaritan Poetry in Context (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2022).

Jewish Aramaic Poetry from Late Antiquity: Translations and Commentary (Cambridge Genizah Series, volume 8; Leiden: Brill, 2018).
Review: D.B. Levy, AJL Reviews 8.4 (Nov/Dec 2018), 30: https://jewishlibraries.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/reviews2018_11_12.pdf 
Review:  Moshe Bernstein, Speculum 95 (2020): 857-858
Review:  Steven Fine, RBL (Oct. 2019): https://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/12960_14454.pdf 
Review:  Stefan Reif, Journal of Jewish Studies 70.2 (2019): 417-419

The Vocabulary of Desire: The Song of Songs in the Early Synagogue (Brill Reference Library of Judaism, vol. 40; Leiden: Brill, 2014).
Interviewed on “Up Close” (The Jewish Channel) Nov. 20, 2014 (link:                        https://twitter.com/tjctv/status/548131123499266048)
Review:  Rivka Ulmer, H-Judaic, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=43200 
Review:  Riikka Tuori, Review of Rabbinic Judaism 19.1 (2016): 147-149
Review: J. L. Andruska, Journal of Theological Studies 67.1 (2016): 208-211

Yannai on Genesis: An Invitation to Piyyut (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2010); e-book (https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14jxrwk: JSTOR, 2015). 
Review:  Debra Blank, H-Judaic, https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=30605

Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed)

Power and Praxis: Writing and Performance in Megillat Ahimaatz, in Hebrew Studies 64 (forthcoming 2023)

Aesthetic Convention and Ritual Creativity in Late Antique Piyyut, in Prooftexts 40.1(2023): 12-58.

An Unholy Spectacle: The Ordeal of the Accused Adulteress in a Late Antique Piyyut, in Jewish Studies Quarterly 29 (2022): 135-162.

‘On This Day, We are Perfect’: Embodiment in Yannai’s Yom Kippur Qedushta, The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 30 (2022): 37-69.

Remembering Jonathan, in Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies 5 (2021): 11-14.

Call and Response:  Antiphonal Elements in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic Poetry in Aramaic Studies 17 (2019): 127-144.

With One Voice:  Elements of Acclamation in Early Jewish Liturgical Poetry, Harvard Theological Review 111.3 (2018): 401–424.

Daru in the Winehouse: Dancing and Performance in the Jewish East in Late Antiquity, Journal of Religion 98.1 (2018): 90-113.

Scripture Personified:  Torah as Character in the Hymns of Marqah, Jewish Studies Quarterly 24.2 (2017), 195-217.

Bitter Waters and Dew of Rest: Corruption and Creation in Two Late Ancient Jewish Hymns, in Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium, edited by Susan Ashbrook Harvey and Margaret Mullett, special issue of Dumbarton Oaks Papers (2017), 171-199.

Forever Let it be Said:  Issues of Authorial Multivocality in a Samaritan Hymn, Journal of Ancient Judaism 7 (2016): 249-268.

On the Road with Mater Dolorosa: An Exploration of Maternal-Filial Discourse in Performance, The Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.2 (2016): 265-291. 

Stages of Grief: Enacting Laments in Late Ancient Hymnography, AJS Review 40.1 (2016): 101-125.

Theater of the Holy:  Jewish Piyyut, Christian Hymnography, and the Rhetoric of the Late Ancient Stage, Harvard Theological Review 108.4 (2015): 327-355.

From the Margins: A Response to ‘Schoeps on Schoeps’, in NEXUS: Essays in German Jewish Studies 2 (2015): 33-36.

Telling a Liturgical Tale: Storytelling in Early Jewish Liturgical Poetry, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 66 (2015): 211-232.

The Plot within the Piyyut: Retelling the Story of Balak on the Liturgical Stage, Journal of Textual Reasoning 8.1 (2015): http://jtr.lib.virginia.edu/volume-8-number-1/the-plot-within-the-piyyut-retelling-the-story-of-balak-on-the-liturgical-stage/ 

Setting the Stage: The Theatricality of Jewish Aramaic Poetry from Late Antiquity, Jewish Quarterly Review 104 (2014): 537-572.

The Rhetoric of Participation: The Experiential Elements of Early Hebrew Liturgical Poetry, Journal of Religion 90 (2010): 119-147. 

Themes and Variations:  Yannai on Exodus 3:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4, Prooftexts 30 (2010): 180-216. 

‘You Have Been Skirting this Hill Long Enough’: The Tension between History and Rhetoric in a Byzantine Piyyut, Hebrew Union College Annual 80 (2009): 63-114. 

Portraits of Righteousness:  Noah in Early Christian and Jewish Hymnography, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 61 (2009):  332-355. 

The Exegesis of Love: Text and Context in the Early Synagogue, Review of Rabbinic Judaism 11 (2008): 73-99. 

There is None like You among the Mute: the Theology of Ein Kamokha Ba-Illemim in Context, with a New Edition and Translation, Crusades 6 (2007): 15-35. 

The Generation that Built the Tower:  Yannai on Genesis 11, Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8 (2005): 161-188.

Kissing Cousins:  The Relationship of the Mekhilta and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Parashat Mishpatim, The Journal of the Aramaic Bible 2 (2000): 89-119.

Edited Journal Issues

Guest editor, Hebrew Studies 64 (2023); special issue on books and materiality in late antiquity

Guest editor, The CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly (theme issue: Family), Fall 2022

Guest editor, with Lawrence Edwards, The CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly (Special book review section: Essays on Michael Fishbane, Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology), Summer 2011

Invited Book Chapters and Reference Articles (Refereed)

“Not in the Heavens: A Poetic Celebration of Accessible Revelation,” in G’dulat Mordechai: Essays on Rabbinic Thought in Honor of Mark Washofsky, ed. Jason Kalman and Ari Ballaban (Cincinnati: HUC Press, forthcoming).

“‘Arise, My Beloved, and Come Away’: The Eros of Genesis 12 in an Early Jewish Liturgical Poem,” in Abraham as Ritual Model, ed. Thomas R. Blanton IV and Claudia Bergmann (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming).

“The Schoolhouse of ‘In the Beginning’: Architectural Torah in Classical Samaritan Sources,” in Rabbinic Instruction in Context: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Transmission of Religious Knowledge and Praxis in Antiquity and Late Antiquity, ed. Elisabetta Abate and Lutz Doering (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, forthcoming).

“Spiritual but not Religious: Form and Function in a Samaritan Aramaic Poem,” in a surprise Festschrift, ed. Andrew D. Gross, Andrew Litke, and Stephen Coleman (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, forthcoming).

“The Prayers of Moses: Psalm 90 and Moses’ Refusal to Die,” in The Psalms in Jewish Liturgy, Ritual and Community Formation from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: Biblical Texts in Dynamic, Pluralistic Contexts, ed. Claudia D. Bergmann, Tessa Rajak, Benedikt Kranemann, and Rebecca Sebbagh (Leiden: Brill, 2023), 147-160.

“Exegetical Palimpsests: The Eros and Mythos of Poetic Intertextuality,” in Michael Fishbane Festschrift, ed. Eitan Fishbane and Elisha Russ-Fishbane (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2023), 139-153.

“Sukkot in the Garden of Eden: Liturgy, Christianity, and the Bronze Bird on Mount Gerizim” in The Samaritans: A Biblical People, ed. Steven Fine (Leiden: Brill, 2022), 94-99.

“Shabbat in the Garden of Eden: Two Samaritan Hymns for Sukkot,” in Land and Spirituality in Rabbinic Literature: Studies in Memory of Yaakov Elman ז"ל, ed. Shana Schick and Steven Fine (Leiden: Brill, 2022), 137-158.

“The Good Christian: A Classical Samaritan Circumcision Poem,” in Genesis in Late Antique Poetry, ed. Andrew Faulkner, Jeffrey Wickes, and Cillian O’Hogan (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2022), 124-152.

“I Will Awake the Dawn: Two Samaritan Sunrise Hymns from Late Antiquity,” in Analogie und Differenz: Das dynamische Verhältnis von jüdischer und christlicher Liturgie, ed. Claudia Bergmann and Benedikt Kranemann (Tūbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021), 89-100.

“No Translation Needed: Hebrew in Two Samaritan Aramaic Hymns,” in The Poet and the World: Festschrift for Wout van Bekkum on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday, ed. Elisabeth Hollender, Naoya Katsumata, and Joachim Yeshaya (Berlin: DeGruyter, 2019), 161-182.

“Stage Mothers: Performing the Matriarchs in Genesis Rabbah and Yannai,” in Genesis Rabbah in Text and Context, ed. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, David M. Grossman, Martha Himmelfarb, and Peter Schaefer (Berlin/New York: De Gruyter, 2016), 156-173.

“Pausing at the Threshold: In Praise of Open Gates,” in Mishkan ha-Nefesh (New York: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2015), xvii-xix.

“The Piyyutim le-Hatan of Qallir and Amittai:  Jewish Marriage Customs in Early Byzantium,” in Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael: Archaeology and the Rabbis in Late Ancient Palestine, ed. Steven Fine and Aaron Koller (Berlin/New York: De Gruyter, 2014), 275-299. 

“The Poetry of Creation: Zevadiah and Amittai’s Yotzerot le-Hatan (‘Groom’s Yotzers’),” in Re-Presenting Texts: Jewish and Black Biblical Interpretation: Proceedings of the 2010 and 2011 SBL Midrash Section, eds. David Nelson and Rikva Ulmer (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2013), 103-138.

“Dew of Rest:  The World of Nature in Qallir’s Gevurot shel Tal,” in The Experience of Jewish Liturgy: Studies Dedicated to Menahem Schmelzer, ed. Debra Reed Blank (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 167-183.  See review, which cites this essay at length:  https://networks.h-net.org/node/28655/reviews/30951/kahn-blank-experience-jewish-liturgy-studies-dedicated-menahem-shmelzer

“Confessing from A-Z:  Penitential Forms in Early Synagogue Poetry,” in:  Mark J. Boda, Daniel K. Falk, and Rodney Werline, eds., Penitential Prayer: Origins, Development, and Impact, vol. 3 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), 99-125. 

“Post-Biblical Exegesis: Parashat Tetzaveh,” in WRJ Women’s Commentary on the Torah.  Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, ed.  (New York: UAHC, 2007), 490-491.

“Piyyut,” The Encyclopedia of Judaism, Vol. 3.  (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 2nd ed., 2000-2019. 

“‘O, my dove in the cranny of the rocks, let me see your face!’ Targum, piyyut, and the literary life of the ancient synagogue,” Paratext and Megatext in Jewish and Christian Traditions.  A. den Hollander, U. Schmidt, and W.F. Smelik, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 109-135. 

Handbook, Encyclopedia, Dictionary, and Reference Entries

“Jewish Devotional Poetry,” for the Cambridge Companion to Devotional Poetry, ed. Mark Oakley and Helen Wilcox (Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

Entries for “Yannai,” “Amram Dare,” and “Marqe,” in Prayer in the Ancient World, ed. Daniel Falk and Rodney Werline (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).

“Poetry” in The Encyclopedia of Jewish and Christian Relations, ed. Walter Homolka, Rainer Kampling, Amy-Jill Levine, Christoph Markschies, Peter Schäfer, Martin Thurner (Berlin: de Gruyter, forthcoming).

Multiple Entries in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, eds. Christine Hays and Robert Goldenberg (Berlin: de Gruyter, forthcoming): “Lament and Lamentation in Judaism: Premodern,” “Lament and Lamentation in Judaism: Contemporary,” “Markah,” and “Mourning: Rabbinic.”

“Jewish Prayer, Liturgy, and Ritual” in The Blackwell Companion to Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity, eds. Naomi Koltun-Fromm and Gwynn Kessler (Oxford: Blackwell, 2020), 477-494.

“Jewish Worship,” in The Dictionary of the Bible in Ancient Media, eds. Elsie Stern, Ray Person, Chris Keith, and Tom Thatcher (London: T&T Clark, 2017), 464-470.

“Kedushah,” in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, eds. Eric Orlin, Lisbeth Fried, Michael Satlow, and Jennifer Knust (New York: Routledge, 2016), 508.

“Piyyut,” Oxford Bibliographies in “Jewish Studies.” Ed. David Biale. New York: Oxford University Press, Sep. 4, 2012; rev. Mar. 30, 2015: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199840731/obo-9780199840731-0059.xml .

“Piyyut (Jewish Liturgical and Secular Poetry),” in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, 13 vols. Eds.  Roger S. Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige B. Champion, Andrew Erskine, Sabine R. Huebner (Oxford: Blackwell, 2012), doi:10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah11186 

“Jewish Women,” in The Blackwell Companion to Women in the Ancient World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 329-342. (Volume named “2013 Outstanding Academic Title from 2012” by American Library Association journal Choice; and PROSE [Association of American Publishers] Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence—Honorable Mention, 2012, for Single Volume Reference in the Humanities & Social Sciences).

“Piyyut” and “Song of Songs” entries, Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 479-480 and 552-553.

Educational Media and Public Sholarship

“It Came to Pass at Midnight: The Poetry of the Passover Haggadah” for www.TheTorah.com (forthcoming)

“Kol Nidre: Yom Kippur's Most Famous Melody,” Adventures in Jewish Studies (the official Podcast of the Association for Jewish Studies): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/kol-nidre-yom-kippurs-most-famous-melody/id1445592926?i=1000581040649  (posted September 30, 2022).

“Akdamut Milin” for TheTorah.com:  http://thetorah.com/akdamut-milin/ (posted May 26, 2014); translated into Hebrew: https://thetorah.co.il/article/akdamut-milin-the-enigma-and-perseverance-of-tradition  (June 1, 2022)

“Taverns in the Talmud,” The Jewish Drinking Show Podcast (episode 85; December 7, 2021): http://jewishdrinking.com/barrelhousetalmud

“Speaking Truth in Late Antique Poetry” and “Common Culture: The Complex Social Mosaic of Late Antiquity,” American Religion, special series: Dabru Emet: Twenty Years Later: https://www.american-religion.org/dabruemet/lieber1 (published April 27, 2021); and https://www.american-religion.org/dabruemet/lieber2 (published May 1, 2021)

“Professor, Interrupted,” Duke University COVID Diaries: https://medium.com/dukeuniversity/professor-interrupted-ae48440d3609 

“Synagogue and Theatre in Late Antiquity,” The Biggest Questions Podcast (episode 9): https://soundcloud.com/user-911095804/episode-9-synagogue-and-theatre-in-late-antiquity-featuring-laura-lieber 

“From Many, One: Parashat Tetzavveh,” for World Union for Progressive Judaism: Torah from Around the World: https://wupj.org/library/uncategorized/33927/from-many-one-parashat-tetzave/ 

“Law as Love-Song,” for Canopy Forum: On the Interactions of Law and Religion: https://canopyforum.org/2020/11/10/law-as-love-song/ 

“Yom Kippur: Afflicted but Angelic” for TheTorah.com: https://www.thetorah.com/article/yom-kippur-afflicted-but-angelic (posted September 27, 2020)

“A Stroll in the Garden: A Brief History of the Rose without Thorns,” Decoded: A Duke Performances Journal (Spring 2020), 22-23; blog post version: https://dukeperformances.duke.edu/stroll-in-the-garden/ 

“Demonic Femininity in the Ancient Synagogue: Dancing with the Angel of Death,” Stroum Center for Jewish Studies E-Journal, University of Washington: https://jewishstudies.washington.edu/jewish-history-and-thought/yannai-sotah-poem-piyyut-magic-demonic-women-lilith/ 

“Aramaic Poetry: A Window into Jewish Life in Late Antiquity,” for Ancient Near East Today (online magazine of ASOR): http://www.asor.org/anetoday/2018/10/Aramaic-Poetry 

“Mourning in Late Antiquity,” Cambridge University Taylor-Schechter Fragment of the Month (April 2018): https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/280713 

“I will flee to my Helper: A Rosh Hashanah Love Song,” for TheTorah.com:  http://thetorah.com/let-me-flee-to-my-helper-a-rosh-hashanah-love-poem/ (posted September 29, 2016)

“Tisha b’Av with Queen Esther” for TheTorah.com: http://thetorah.com/tisha-bav-with-queen-esther/  (posted July 20, 2015; a Mosaic Magazine “pick”:  http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2015/07/a-forgotten-connection-between-tisha-bav-and-purim/)

Study Guide to the JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot by Michael Fishbane (Philadelphia: JPS, 2002).

Co-Edited Publications

Jonathan Hess (UNC) and Laura Lieber, eds.  AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies (Biannual), Spring 2015-Fall 2018 (http://perspectives.ajsnet.org/)
    Fall 2015: “The Translation Issue”
    Spring 2016: “The Sound Issue”
    Fall 2016: “The Freedom Issue”
    Spring 2017: “The Transgression Issue”
    Fall 2017: “The Migration Issue”
    Spring 2018: “The Old/New Media Issue”
    Fall 2019: “The Fiftieth Anniversary Issue: New Vistas in Jewish Studies”

Deborah Green and Laura Lieber, eds., Scriptural Exegesis: The Shapes of Culture and Religious Imagination, a Festschrift in Honour of Michael Fishbane (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009).

Book Reviews

Claudia Bergmann, Festmahl ohne Ende. Apokalyptische Vorstellungen vom Speisen in der Kommenden Welt im antiken Judentum und ihre biblischen Wurzeln (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2019).  In: Review of Biblical Literature: https://www.sblcentral.org/home/bookDetails/1000479 (November 9, 2022). 

The Song of Songs Afresh: Perspectives on a Biblical Love Poem, ed. Stefan Fischer and Gavin Fernandes (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2019). In Review of Biblical Literature: https://www.sblcentral.org/API/Reviews/13976_71674.pdf 

Martin Goodman, A History of Judaism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018). In: Interpretation 75.2 (2021): 174.

Alberto J. Quiroga Puertas, The Dynamics of Rhetorical Performances in Late Antiquity (New York/London: Routledge, 2019).  In:  Bryn Mawr Classical Review: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2019/2019-12-02.html 

Yishai Kiel, Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). In: Religious Studies Review 44 (2018): 318.

Stefan Reif, Jewish Prayer Texts from the Cairo Genizah (Leiden: Brill, 2016).  In: Speculum 93.3 (July 2018): 897-898.

Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th Centuries, ed. Bruria Bitton-Ashkelony and Derek Krueger (London: Routledge, 2017).  In: Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2017.11.58): http://www.bmcreview.org/2017/11/20171158.html 

Karl Shuve, The Song of Songs and the Fashioning of Identity in Early Latin Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).  In: The Journal of Early Christian Studies 26 (2018): 155-158.

Jonathan Kaplan, My Perfect One: Typology and Early Rabbinic Interpretation of Song of Songs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).  In:  The Reviews of the Enoch Seminar (2017.11.10): http://enochseminar.org/review/14038 

Richard Kalmin, Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2014). In: The Journal of Early Christian Studies (forthcoming).

Joseph Blenkinsopp, Abraham: The Story of a Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015). In: Interpretation 71 (2017): 333.

Jon Levenson, The Love of God: Divine Gift, Human Gratitude, and Mutual Faithfulness in Judaism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016). In: The Journal of Religion 97.3 (2017): 427-428.

Michael Fishbane, The Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2015).  In:  Review of Biblical Literature 5 (2017): https://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/10536_13029.pdf

Daniel Boyarin, A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). In:  The Journal of Religion 97.2 (2017): 267-269.

Steven Fine, Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). In:  IMAGES 6 (2015): 133-135.

Deborah A. Green, Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2011). In:  Interpretation 66 (2012): 334-35.

Geza Vermes, Jesus in the Jewish World (Norwich, UK:  SCM Canterbury Press, 2010). In: Theology 115 (2012): 53-54.

Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence A. Hoffman, and Ari Y. Kelman, Sacred Strategies, Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2010).  In: Worship 85 (2011): 270-272.

Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Song and Memory. Biblical Women in Syriac Tradition (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010).  In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte, 62 (2010): 393.

Michael Satlow, Creating Judaism:  History, Tradition, and Practice (New York: Columbia UP, 2006).  In: Hebrew Studies 49 (2008): 329-330.
Mark Washofsky, Jewish Living:  A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice (New York: UAHC, 2001).  In: The Journal of Religion 82 (2002): 670-671.

Samuel Balentine, The Torah’s Vision of Worship (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1999). In: The Journal of Religion 82 (2002): 269-270.

Research and Grants

Selected National Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships

Fellow, Beyond Canon Center, Universität Regensburg (Germany), 2022-present

Fellow, Research Centre, “Dynamics of Jewish Ritual Practices in Pluralistic Contexts from Antiquity to the Present,” Universität Erfurt, Max Weber Kolleg (Germany), in-residence May-June 2019

Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), 2015-2016

Fellow, National Humanities Center, 2015-16

Alternate, National Humanities Center, 2011-2012

Littauer Foundation Publication Grant (for Yannai volume), 2008

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Research Fellowship, 2007-2008

American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant, 2005 (Summer research travel)

Littauer Foundation Research Grant, 2003-2005 (Summer research)

Graduate Fellowship, the University of Chicago, 1999-2003

Fellowship and Appointment as Visiting Researcher, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, the Netherlands, Summer 1999

Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship, 1994

National Security Education Program Graduate Fellowship (one of two nationally; inaugural year), 1994

Phi Beta Kappa Scholar (graduate school fellowship award), 1994

Selected Prizes and Awards

Arthur Vining Davis grant in support of “Religion, Restrictions, and Violence” course (2018-2021)

The Philanthropy Lab (for First Year Seminar, “Values in Action: The Duke Philanthropy Lab”), 2017-18

Top 5% of Undergraduate Instructors (small classes), Spring 2013
Nominee, Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award for Excellence in Teaching (Middlebury), 2006

Netherland School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion Travel Grant, 2000

Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize (for highest academic standing in ordination class), 1999

Nathan Stern Prize (for top M.A. student), 1998

Nathan Stern Essay Prize in Hebraica, 1998

Herman E. Snyder Alumni Prize for Academic Excellence (HUC-JIR), 1995

Phi Kappa Phi honor society, inducted 1993

Professional Affiliations and Service

European Association for Jewish Studies
    Associate Member, 2023-present

International Organisation for Targum Studies
    Executive Committee, 2018-2022

University of Chicago Divinity School Alumni Council (two terms), 2012-2022

Society for Biblical Literature
    Steering Committee for Section: “Prayer in Antiquity,” 2021-present

Association for Jewish Studies
    Division Chair, Rabbinics and Rabbinic Literature, 2022-present
    Contingent Faculty Taskforce, 2019-2020
    Distinguished Speaker, 2016-present
    Member of Executive Board, 2016-2019
    Division Chair for Interdisciplinary, Theoretical and New Approaches (2017-2020)
    Member, Nominating Committee, 2017

Central Conference of American Rabbis

External Review Committee, University of Oregon Program in Judaic Studies, February 2016

Board of Directors, Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina

Rabbinical Duties

Selected Rabbinical and Congregational Leadership

Guest Rabbi, Temple Shalom (Fayetteville, AR, occasional), 2022-2024

High Holiday Rabbi, Jewish Life at Duke / Duke Hillel, 2016-present

Text Study (Adult Education) co-leader, Judea Reform Congregation (Durham, NC), 2015-present

Interim Associate Rabbi (part-time), Judea Reform Congregation, July 2013-June 2016

Mentor, HUC-JIR/CCAR Joint Commission for Rabbinic Mentoring, 2007-present

Chair, Ritual Committee, Beth El Congregation of Durham (USCJ), January 2013-May 2014

Rabbi, Temple Shalom (Fayetteville, AR, monthly), 2000-2003

Visiting Rabbi, Liberal Congregation of Twente (the Netherlands), Summer 1999

Student Rabbi, Temple Adath Israel (Owensboro, KY, tri-weekly), 1998-1999

Student Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel (Clarksdale, MS, bi-weekly), 1996-1998


Vorstand | Board: Prof. Dr. Anna Steigemann and Prof. Dr. Rike Krämer-Hoppe

Geschäftsführung | Manager: Dr. Paul Vickers

Sekretariat | Secretary dimas@ur.de
Tel. +49 941 943 5966