Richard Kalmin

Theodore R. Racoosin Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Department: Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish History, Rabbinic Literature

Phone: (212) 678-8018


Building Room: Brush 620

Office Hours: Mon. and Wed. 4:00-5:00 p.m.


BA, Brown University; MA and PhD, The Jewish Theological Seminary

Richard Kalmin is the Theodore R. Racoosin Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the interpretation of rabbinic stories, ancient Jewish history, and the development of rabbinic literature. His publications include the award-winning Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine, published in 2006 by Oxford University Press, and Sages, Stories, Authors, and Editors in Rabbinic Babylonia, considered a classic in its field. He has been a visiting professor at Hebrew Union College, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale University, and a faculty fellow at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. He is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of the research and writing of his most recent book, Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context, published in September 2014 by the University of California Press. Dr. Kalmin was elected to the American Academy of Jewish Research in 2015.


  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine was named a Notable Selection in the category of Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Archaeology by the Association for Jewish Studies. This book was also named “best book of the year” on Ancient Iran by the Ministry of Culture in Tehran. 



  • “The Talmudic Story”
  • “Aggadah as History” 
  • Ancient Jewish History 
  • The Rise of the Rabbis in Ancient Times 
  • Biblical Heroes in the Eyes of the Rabbis 
  • The Rabbi in Ancient and Modern Times