Raymond P. Scheindlin is professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary and director of JTS's Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry. He has been on the JTS faculty since 1974 and served as provost from 1984 to 1988.
Dr. Scheindlin teaches and conducts research on the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. An expert on Arabic literature, Dr. Scheindlin is the author of a reference book widely used by students of Arabic titled 201 Arabic Verbs and reissued as 501 Arabic Verbs in 2007. His thesis, a study of a medieval Arab poet from Spain, was published as a book in 1975.
Dr. Scheindlin has also pursued an interest in literary translation, having published translations of a Yiddish novella by Mendele Mocher Seforim and of a number of medieval Hebrew fictions. Combining the results of his research with his interest in translation, he published a book on secular Hebrew poetry in Muslim Spain titled Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (1986). This was followed in 1991 by a companion volume on religious poetry titled The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul.
Dr. Scheindlin's translation of the late Ismar Elbogen's monumental history of the Jewish liturgy appeared in 1993. Other books include The Book of Job (W.W. Norton, 1998), a verse translation of the biblical book with introduction and notes; and A Short History of the Jewish People (Macmillan, 1998). He was coeditor of a volume of the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature titled The Literature of Al-Andalus (2000).
Dr. Scheindlin has been the recipient of the Cultural Achievement Award of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (2004), a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library (2005–2006), and a visiting professor at Harvard University (spring 2007). His latest book, a study of the pilgrimage poems of Judah Halevi entitled Song of the Distant Dove, appeared in 2007.
Dr. Scheindlin was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1988. He served for three years as the part-time rabbi of the Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, New York. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research and a member of PEN American Center, as well as a member of the editorial boards of the journals Jewish Quarterly Review and Edebiyat. Dr. Scheindlin served on the faculties of McGill and Cornell universities before assuming his position at JTS.
A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Scheindlin received a BA in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an MHL and rabbinic ordination from JTS, and a PhD from Columbia University.
A Short History of the Jewish People Available for Purchase
The Book of Job Available for Purchase
The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul Available for Purchase
501 Arabic Verbs Available for Purchase
Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life Available for Purchase
Translated poetry for Lady, Take a Lover Now: Music and Poetry from the Ghettos of Renaissance Italy Available for Purchase
"Communal Prayer and Liturgical Poetry." Judaism in Practice, edited by L. Fine, 2001
"Old Age in Hebrew and Arabic Zuhd Poetry." Judíos y Musulmanes en al-Andalus y el Magreb: Contactos Intelectuales, Colección de la casa de Velázquez, 2002
"Merchants and Intellectuals, Rabbis and Poets: Judeo-Arabic Culture in the Golden Age of Islam." Cultures of the Jews: A New History, edited by David Biale