Villanova University School of Law
Albert J. Wood Fellowship

Research Topic

The New American Halakhah: Praxis of Contemporary American Beth Dins


Chaim Saiman is a professor of law and chair in Jewish law at Villanova University. His areas of expertise include Jewish law, insurance law, and private law. At the Katz Center, he will examine how modern American business culture, bate din, and Jewish and American law more broadly have interacted in recent decades, both competing and converging.

Saiman received his JD from Columbia University. He has taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as well as at the University of Toronto, Bar-Ilan University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and IDC faculties of law. He sits as a rabbinical court judge (dayan) with the Beth Din of America and serves as an expert witness in insurance law and Jewish law in federal court.

Selected publications

  • Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law (Princeton University Press, 2018)
  • “The Status of the Halakhic State,” Tradition 53.4 (2021)



Studying law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.