The Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization

The Gruss Scholars

2013-2014 Shraga Bar-On

Research fellow and teaches both at the Shalom Hartman Institute and at the Kerem Institute of the David Yellin College in Jerusalem, Israel. His research and his public involvement focus on two major issues: Talmudic and Halachic thought and Contemporary Jewish identity.

The Lord’s Portion is Israel: The Chosen God, the Chosen People, the Chosen Land and the Chosen Torah

2012-2013 Shivi Greenfield

Holds a PhD in Political Theory from Oxford University, where he was a Weidenfeld Scholar. His primary research interests are in ethics and contemporary political philosophy. His PhD dissertation presented a democratic-based decision procedure for the construction of a legitimate constitution for a liberal regime.


Talmudic Justice: Revisiting Contemporary Justice Theory in light of Talmudic Deliberation

2011-2012 Ruth Kaniel Kara-Ivanov

Born in Moscow in 1979, an immigrant from Russia and a daughter of a 'Refusenik' family. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. She received her BA, MA, and PhD in Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Myth, Ethics and Gender: The Zohar—between Antinomianism and a New Halacha

2009-2011 and 2007-2008 Dr. Job Jindo

Received a B.A. in the Bible and Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1997. In 1999, he earned an M.A. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, United States. He then completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2006 (awarded with distinction). His current research focuses on the cognitive approach of the poetics and the Weltanschauung of ancient literature as set forth in his dissertation. He is also coordinator of The Tikvah Scholars program.


2008-2009 Yehuda Septimus

Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.    He received his doctorate in Religious Studies from Yale University in December of 2008.  His dissertation, “On the Boundaries of Prayer: Rabbinic Ritual Texts with Addressees Other Than God,” examines the rhetorical, ritual, and definitional limits of rabbinic prayer based on ritual recitations preserved in talmudic texts addressed to non-divine beings such as humans and angels. His research interests include Jewish Law; Talmud and Midrash; Jewish Ritual and Synagogue Culture; and the intersection of early Christianity and Judaism.

2006-2007 Rabbi Naftali Cohn

Received a B.A. from Harvard University, United States, in 1996. In 2001 he earned an M.A. in Talmudic Studies from Yeshiva University, United States, and in 2002 was ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, United States. In addition, since 2002, he has served as an Adjunct Instructor in Judaic Studies at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. His current research, on the ancient Jewish legal work known as the Mishnah, combines the perspectives of narrative theory and ritual theory to read ritual narrative texts as cultural documents. 

2005-2006 Rabbi David Flatto

Received a B.A. from Yeshiva University, United States, in 1994. He then continued into law school earning a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, United States, in 1997. In 1998 he obtained Ordination from Yeshiva University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, United States. His current research focuses on the interdisciplinary field of law and Jewish studies, and particularly topics in rabbinic jurisprudence.


2003-2004 Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein

Has served as a congregational rabbi and an educator while completing a PhD in Post-Biblical Jewish History and Literature. His main area of interest is the intersection of text and practice, both in terms of reading texts to find new insight into practice and ideals of the religion as well as studying how Jews have read and continue to derive practical guidance on building a spiritual relationship with God from their readings of earlier texts. His current research on the Noahide laws seeks to show that this corpus teaches about the Jewish worldview as a whole, while also offering insight into how societies can and should manage the differences between citizens, foreigners, and lawful permanent residents.