Displaced Torah? Toward a Theory of Jews and the Constitution

For the Public
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

Zoom link to be provided
Password required

Jews played almost no role in shaping the original Constitution, but American Jews have played an important role in modern constitutional interpretation as theorists and practitioners. From Brandeis and Frankfurter to Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan, and from Frank to Cover, Fiss, Dworkin and beyond, is there a unifying account of culturally Jewish efforts to make sense of the Constitution and apply it as the law of the political community?

About the “Jewish Law and the Constitution” Series

The familiar talmudic statement dina de-malkhuta dina (“the law of the kingdom is the law”) doesn’t even begin to cover the complex relationship between Judaism and state law—especially when the state itself takes account of Jewish law and religion. This series of lectures will draw out some signal characteristics of that relationship as it has evolved and unfolded in the orbit of American constitutional law. Each speaker will highlight one arena in which the American legal system has been drawn into conversation with American Jewish life and vice versa. Case by case, they tell stories of religion and politics, democracy and minorities, theory and practice: law entangled with law.


About the image above: Catalogue, Belcher Mosaic Glass Company (New York, 1886), Winterthur Museum Library, via publicdomainreview.org.


Noah Feldman

Noah Feldman

Harvard University

Noah Feldman is a professor at Harvard Law School with areas of specialization including ethical philosophy, religious studies, and history. He speaks and writes widely including as a podcast host, columnist, and consultant.

Read more.


We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Klatt Family and the Harry Stern Family Foundation.