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Seeking an American Jewish Bible with Prof. Alan Levenson

Thursday, December 8, 2022 14 Kislev 5783

5:30 PM - 7:00 PMVirtual Event on Zoom

The American Jewish community has produced several translations of the Chumash (Torah), each with its own unique point of view. In his presentation about American Chumashim, Alan Levenson will focus on three of these translations, each of which reflects particular denominational ideologies and theologies of the American Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements.

What does this tale of three Torahs tell us? Does a Chumash that treats the Torah as a book of historical, literary, and ethical gems, without the premise of divine authorship resonate for Jews who identify with the liberal movements in Judaism? And can a Chumash that draws only from traditional sources have an appeal outside of the Orthodox community? Does the Conservative translation satisfy a broader audience with its dual commitment to both modern biblical scholarship and traditional sources?  

The appearance of three American Chumashim in a time span of twenty years is a remarkable achievement, and testifies to the enormous creativity and scholarship in the contemporary American Jewish community. Join us as Professor Levenson takes us on this journey to discover the ways in which diverse Jews in American find meaning in the ancient Torah text.

Book by Alan Levenson: The Making of the Modern Jewish BibleABOUT THE PRESENTER

Alan Levenson (BA/MA Brown University, Ph.D. Ohio State University), holds the Schusterman/Josey Chair of Jewish History at the University of Oklahoma and serves as Director of the Schusterman Center for Judaic & Israel Studies.

Alan taught history, thought and Bible at Siegal College in Cleveland, Ohio for eighteen years, where he authored three books: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thinkers: An Introduction (Jason Aronson, 2000; 2nd edition with Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism: German Defenses of Jews and Judaism (University of Nebraska Press, 2004/pbk 2013); The Story of Joseph: A Jewish Journey of Interpretation (William & Mary, 2006).

Since moving to the University of Oklahoma, Alan has published The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011); as general editor, The Wiley-Blackwell History of Jews and Judaism (2012); Joseph: Portraits Through the Ages (JPS /University of Nebraska (2016) and Maurice Samuel: Life and Letters of a Secular Jewish Contrarian (Alabama University Press, 2022). Alan regularly teaches “Judaism,” “Genesis Through Jewish Eyes” and “The Bible Since the Enlightenment.”


All are warmly welcome ~ please feel free to invite family members and friends. 


A Zoom link will be emailed upon registration.


Seeking an American Jewish Bible
Thursday, December 8, 2022, 5:30 - 7:00 pm MST (6:30 - 8:00 pm CST)
Virtual Event on Zoom

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Sat, December 2 2023 19 Kislev 5784