Rabbi Zev Eleff, Ph.D., chief academic officer and dean of the Men’s Division of the Hebrew Theological College (HTC) of Skokie, Ill., received the 2015 Salo Wittmayer Baron Dissertation Award at the Association of Jewish Studies (AJS) annual conference in Boston, the principal academic conference for the entire field of Jewish studies.
Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron was one of the preeminent Jewish historians of the 20th century. The Baron Dissertation Award, sponsored by the Arizona State University Center for Jewish Studies, recognizes the best dissertation in the field of American Jewish history and culture over a three-year period. Dr. Eleff’s dissertation was on the topic of the transformation of rabbinic authority in American Judaism during the nineteenth century.
L-r: Dr. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, professor of modern Judaism at Arizona State University; Dr. Shoshana B. Tancer, professor emeritus at Arizona State; Dr. Zev Eleff, chief academic officer and dean of the Men’s Division of the Hebrew Theological College; Dr. Robert Tancer, professor emeritus at Arizona State; and Dr. Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.
“This paper is an excellent piece of scholarship,” according Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, the Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism at Arizona State. “Dr. Eleff has articulated an original, multi-faceted and nuanced argument, building on the work of previous scholars, while deepening our understanding of the mechanisms that shaped the emergence of the rabbinate in America.”
Before coming to HTC in 2015, Dr. Eleff earned his Ph.D. in the field of American Jewish history from Brandeis University, was ordained at Yeshiva University and received a master’s in history and education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Dr. Eleff is the author and editor of six books and more than 30 scholarly articles, published in both English and Hebrew. He was most recently an instructor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis.
“It’s an honor to be associated with Salo Baron, the great pioneering Jewish historian in American universities,” said Dr. Eleff. “I’m also proud to be included among the faculty members of HTC and Touro who have distinguished themselves in the field. Hopefully this will encourage others to delve deep into the study of Judaism.”
On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Hebrew Theological College held its 93rd Annual Banquet at the Westin O’Hare. HTC payed tribute to David and Gayle Aronin, Guests of Honor; Rabbi Tzvi and Shifra Haskell, Marbitz Torah Award; and Rabbi Yehiel and Shulamis Kalish, Distinguished Alumnus Award. This year's honorees are all true examples of the Dinner theme, Teaching, Leading and Building.