Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion
Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship

Research Topic

Reading Halakhah: The Jewish Legal Canon as Literature


Alyssa M. Gray is the Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics and Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York. Her scholarly interests include the development of Talmudic literature and the history of Jewish law.

Gray received her PhD with distinction in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also holds an LLM in Mishpat Ivri (Jewish law) from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and a JD from the Columbia University School of Law. She has been a visiting professor at Yale University and the Jewish Theological Seminary and has also lectured in a variety of other academic and non-academic settings. She is a co-editor of AJS Review: The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies and sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Jewish Ethics and of HUC Press.

Selected publications

  • Charity in Rabbinic Judaism: Atonement, Rewards, and Righteousness (Routledge, 2019)
  • A Talmud in Exile: The Influence of Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah on the Formation of Bavli Avodah Zarah (Brown, 2005; 2nd digital edition: Brown, 2020)



Focusing on the broad contexts in which Jewish (and Israelite) law was developed by and for Jews, and in which it operated, treating law as a necessary component for understanding the broader dynamics of culture, history, governance, and economics of each place and period.