Neil Gillman (z”l)
Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Professor Emeritus of Jewish Philosophy
BA, McGill University; MHL and Rabbinical Ordination, The Jewish Theological Seminary; PhD, Columbia University
A native of Quebec City, Dr. Neil Gillman graduated from McGill University in 1954, was ordained at JTS in 1960, and received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University in 1975. Dr. Gillman is the author of several books and essays, including Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew (winner of the 1991 National Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought and translated into Spanish and Portuguese); Conservative Judaism: A New Century; The Way into Encountering God in Judaism; Gabriel Marcel on Religious Knowledge; The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought (translated into Czech); The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians; and Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History, and Everyday Life. One of Dr. Gillman’s essays, an excursus on eschatology, appeared in Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (ed. David Lieber, 2001). His most recent book is Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah, and Israel in Modern Judaism.
In addition to having been a regular contributor to the “Sabbath Week” column in Jewish Week, Dr. Gillman is also a member of Sh’ma Advisory Committee and served on the Commission on the Philosophy of Conservative Judaism, which produced Emet Ve’Emunah, the first statement of principles for Conservative Judaism. Dr. Gillman also serves as a faculty fellow at The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Congregation Emanu-El in New York City. A popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Gillman has served as scholar-in-residence in many Conservative and Reform congregations. In the summer of 2002, Dr. Gillman taught two courses on the philosophies of Mordecai Kaplan and Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow on behalf of JTS’s Project Judaica. Dr. Gillman is the Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. As of July 2009, Dr. Gillman is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. Dr. Gillman was honored by Conservative Judaism magazine, who dedicated their Fall/Winter 2008–2009 issue to him in honor of his retirement.
Grants, Fellowships, and Awards
- Doctor of Hebrew Letters Honoris Causa, JTSA, 2005
- Kent Fellow, Danforth Foundation, 1963–1966
- Fellow, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, 1960–1961
- Fellow, Herbert H. Lehman Institute
- Gabriel Marcel on Religious Knowledge. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1980.
- Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1990
- Conservative Judaism: The New Century. Behrman House, Inc., 1992.
- The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1997.
- The Way into Encountering God in Judaism. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000.
- The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003.
- Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History and Everyday Life. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2005.
- Fragmados Sagrados: Recuperando a Theologia Para o Judeo Moderno [Portuguese translation of Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew]. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Comunidad Shalom, 2007.
- Czech translation of The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought. Prague: Vyschrad, 2007.
- “Theologically Speaking.” In My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts and Modern Commentaries, vols. 1 and 2. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008.
- Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah & Israel in Modern Judaism. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2009.
- “Morenu Franz Rosenzweig.” Conservative Judaism 36, no. 3 (Spring 1983).
- “Toward a Theology for Conservative Judaism.” Conservative Judaism 37, no. 1 (Fall 1983).
- “Mordecai Kaplan and the Ideology of Conservative Judaism.” In Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly, 1984.
- “The Jewish Philosopher in Search of a Role.” Judaism 34, no. 4 (Fall 1985).
- “Judaism and the Search for Spirituality.” Conservative Judaism 38, no. 2 (Winter 1985–1986).
- “Authority and Authenticity in Jewish Philosophy.” Judaism 35, no. 2 (Spring 1986).
- “On the Value of Religious Boundaries.” Religion and Intellectual Life 3, no. 4 (Summer 1986).
- “Entering the Second Century: From Scholarship to the Rabbinate.” In Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly, 1986.
- “Rituals, Myths and Communities.” In The Seminary at 100: Reflections on the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Conservative Movement, edited by Nina Beth Cardin and David Wolf Silverman. The Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1987.
- “On the Frontiers of Religious Diversity.” CLAL, Materials from the Critical Issues, Conference II, 1988: One Jewish People: From Conflict to Cohesion.
- “Inside or Outside? Emancipation and the Dilemmas of Conservative Judaism.” Judaism 38, no. 4 (Fall 1989).
- “Jewish Rites of Passage for Children.” 1989 Interfaith Symposium of Congregation Ahavas Israel, Grand Rapids, MI.
- “Modern Jewish Thought.” In The State of Jewish Studies, edited by Shaye J. D. Cohen and Edward L. Greenstein. New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1990.
- “On the Religious Education of American Rabbis.” In Caring for the Commonweal: Education for Religious Life. Edited by Parker J. Palmer, Barbara G. Wheeler, and James W. Fowler. Mercer University Press, 1990.
- “The Ambiguity of our Ties to Israel.” In Deepening the Commitment: Zionism and the Conservative/Masorti Movement, edited by John S. Ruskay and David Szonyi. New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1990.
- “The Changing Paradigm of the Conservative Rabbi.” Conservative Judaism 43, no. 2 (Winter 1990–91)
- “Modern Jewish Thought: A Bibliographical Essay.” In The Modern Jewish Experience, edited by Jack Wertheimer. Markus Weiner Publishing, 1993.
- “A Conservative Theology for the 21st Century.” In Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly, 1993.
- “Authority and Parameters in Jewish Decision-Making.” The Reconstructionist 59, no. 2 (Fall 1994).
- “Jacob Agus on the Meaning of Jewish History and Jewish Experience.” In American Rabbi: The Life and Thought of Jacob Agus, edited by Steven T. Katz. New York: New York University Press, 1997.
- “How Can We Speak of God?”
- “What Really Happened at Sinai?”
- “Conservative Judaism: Past, Present, and Future”
- Conservative Judaism