University of California Berkeley School of Law
Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship

Research Topic

The Tsni’ut Laws: Halakhah and Metahalakhah in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries


Emmanuel Bloch researches how modern Jewish law responds to social evolutions, moral developments, and technological innovations. A former attorney, he now explores the halakhization of nonhalakhic norms, and will analyze tsni’ut (modesty) as a case study of this phenomenon while at the Katz Center.

Bloch received his PhD in Jewish philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a dissertation titled “Modesty: Halakhah, Meta-Halakhah, and Historical Development in the Twentieth Century.” He was previously a Robbins Research Fellow at the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at Berkeley Law School and an Associate Fellow in Jewish Studies at the Center for Jewish Studies at Fordham University.

Selected publications

  • “Gender Equality and Religious Law: The Ordination of Women as Rabbis in the Conservative Movement as a Case Study,” Journal of Law and Religion 36.2 (2021)
  • “When the Naked Encounters the Sacred: The Two Paradigms of the Prohibition to Recite Holy Words in the Presence of ‘Ervah,” Diné Israel 34 (2020)
  • “Immodest Modesty: The Emergence of Halakhic Dress Codes,” Journal of Studies in Judaism, Humanities, and the Social Sciences (2018)



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.