How much do you know about the early years of Yeshiva University and Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel?

Read this article from the Jewish Link to find out more!


Revel Associate Dean Mordechai Cohen gave a mini-course at the University of Shandong in the Chinese city of Jinan in early June. As described in the program below, his 3-lecture series on the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible focused on the books of Job, the Song of Songs, and the Pentateuch, as understood by Jewish interpreters from ancient to modern times. Dr. Cohen also addressed the ways in which the Hebrew Bible was interpreted by Christians and Muslims by way of comparison, The subject of his recently published volume by Cambridge University press, Interpreting Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Dr. Cohen was invited to Shandong by Professor Youde Fu, Director of the Institute for advanced Judaic and comparative religious studies, who had come to Revel in October 2015 to deliver a lecture on Confucius and the Hebrew prophets. (Click here to view the complete lecture on the Revel YouTube channel.) At the time, Dr. Fu and Dr. Cohen saw the potential for further comparative work of the two traditions. (Click here to view a conversation between Dr. Fu and Dr. Cohen on our YouTube channel.)




This past Thursday evening, May 26th 2016, the BRGS community gathered together to celebrate the class of 2016 and welcome incoming students. It was a well attended event, bringing in just over 100 people. The graduates and their families enjoyed a light reception followed by this program:



Dean David Berger


President Richard M. Joel

Presentation to the Graduates


Dr. Jess Olson Associate Professor of Jewish History


Malka Lebovic Alweis

Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies Class of 2016


Mark Glass

Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary Class of 2016


Rona Steinerman

Director of Admissions and Student Affairs


Congrats to our graduating class. Pictures from the event can be viewed on our Facebook Page.


Read about “The 50th Annual Mickey Marcus Memorial Service at West Point” Published by Revel board member Mr. Len Grunstein.



Pious Women in Midrashic and Aggadic Narratives


Dr. Tamar Meir (right) presenting at BRGS


A special visiting lecture, “The Image of the Wives of the Pious in Midrashic and Aggadic Narratives” was presented by Dr Tamar Meir on Tuesday evening May 17 to an audience that filled the Revel lounge. A distinguished scholar of midrashic literature in Israel, Dr. Meir analyzed the number of rabbinic sources—both from Eretz Yisrael and Babylonia—that speak of pious men (hasidim) and their wives. While in most instances little is known about the latter, there are some remarkable cases in which the rabbis discuss the behavior and characteristics of these pious women. Dr Meir noted that scholarship was, generally speaking, not available to women in the ancient period. With rare exceptions, the wives of the rabbinic sages were not learned. But the sort of fervent devotion to, and special connection with, God manifested by the hasidim was not dependent on scholarship. Both men and women could therefore participate equally in this realm of Jewish spiritual achievement. Indeed, while it was completely possible for a great rabbinic sage to be married to an ignorant woman, a hasid could not normally maintain his piety unless he had an equally devout partner—termed hasidah in one rabbinic source cited by Dr. Meir.

Although Dr. Meir kept her academic presentation focused on the ancient rabbinic sources from Talmud and midrash, during the question-and-answer period that followed her lecture she addressed some of the modern implications of her research. In response to one question, e.g., she noted that in the modern Orthodox community today men and women can be equally learned, and so the partnership between the hasid and hasidah attested in the ancient sources can perhaps serve as a model for husbands and wives who both dedicate themselves to the study and teaching of Torah scholarship. Exemplifying this sort of partnership herself, Dr. Meir noted that her husband is a Talmud scholar—whom she thanked for caring for their six children, enabling her to come to the United States to lecture in the areas of her scholarship.

Dr Meir is director of the Literature Department at Givat Washington College and teaches Aggadah in the Masters program in Efrata College. She teaches and researches Midrash, Aggadah, Piyut and Prayer, Chassidic stories, and Modern Hebrew Literature. Dr. Meir is also founder and director of the women’s communal Bet Midrash “Kulanu” in Givat Shmuel, and teaches in the Midrasha at Bar Ilan University. Her book, Tradition Versus Innovation: Redactional Orientations and Deep Structures in Ruth Rabbah, is in press.

Written by Dr. Mordechai Cohen, Associate Dean and Professor of Bible at BRGS