Image and Self-Image of the Modern Rabbi

For the Public
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
7:30 PM

Main Line Reform Temple
410 Montgomery Avenue 
Wynnewood, PA 19096

Etty Lassman

The venerable teacher and scholar Michael Meyer will discuss how the figure of the rabbi has been transformed in the modern age. Visual and literary depictions of rabbis have evolved along with their changing roles in clerical, scholarly, communal, and public contexts. For example, they increasingly appeared as prophets and priests, and this was reflected in their portraits, postures, and forms of dress. Professor Meyer will also examine how such imagery changed with the entrance of women into the rabbinate.


Michael A. Meyer

Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion

Michael A. Meyer is the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He has also been a regular visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among his books, three of which have won the Jewish Book Council’s National Jewish Book Award, are The Origins of the Modern Jew (1967), Response to Modernity (1988), and Jewish Identity in the Modern World (1990). He has edited Ideas of Jewish History (1974), the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times (1996–1998), and Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi (2007). He is the author of more than two hundred articles and reviews. From 1978 to 1980 he was president of the Association for Jewish Studies and from 1991 to 2013 he was the international president of the Leo Baeck Institute. During his fellowship this fall, Professor Meyer will continue work on his recent project “Dispersion–Diversion: Consequences of the Migration of Jewish Studies from Germany to America.”

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