Rabbi Shaul Magid

 

Shaul Magid became rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in 1997. His rabbinical ordination is from Rabbis Chaim Brovinder, Yaakov Warhaftig, and Zalman Nehemia Goldberg, all of Jerusalem. He studied in various yeshivot in Jerusalem from 1980-1986, was a student at the Hebrew University from1984-1988 and was a student at the (Conservative) Seminary for Judaic Studies from 1986-1988. He received his PhD in Jewish Thought from Brandeis University in 1994. His previous rabbinical posts include the egalitarian minyan at Harvard Hillel, the Tremont Street Synagogue in Cambridge (part-time) and Kehillat Israel in Brookline Massachusetts (assistant rabbi, part-time). His academic posts include the Anna Smith Fine Chair in Jewish Studies, Rice University (1994-1996), the Elaine Ravitch Chair in Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary (1996-2003) where he was also the chair of the Department of Jewish Philosophy from 1999-2003, and he is presently the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Chair in Modern Judaism at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

His academic teaching focuses on Kabbala, Hasidism and medieval and modern Jewish philosophy. Areas of interest and research include 16th century Kabbala, Hasidism, medieval pietism, gender and religion, Jewish ethics, and contemporary conceptions of Jewish religiosity, renewal, and fundamentalism. He is the editor of God's Voice from the Void: Old and New Essays on Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (Suny Press, 2001), co-editor of Beginning Again: Toward a Hermeneutic of Jewish Texts (Seven Bridges Press, 2002) and author of Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica and Radzin Hasidism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003). His new book From Theosophy to Midrash: Myth, History and the Interpretation of Scripture (Indiana University Press) is due out in the spring of 2008. He is the co-editor of the on-line Journal of Textual Reasoning and a contributor to Tikkun and Zeek Magazine. His new book tentatively entitled Becoming an American Religion: Judaism on the Cusp of Post-Ethnic America (Indiana University Press) deals with questions of intermarriage, conversion, and global spirituality in contemporary American Judaism. He is an active member of the Israeli peace movement and co-founder of the Middle East Conflict and Reform Group at Indiana University devoted to Jewish and Muslim dialogue and reconciliation. He is also a founding member of Jews against the War (www.jewsagainstthewar.org). Rabbi Magid has three grown children, Yehuda, Miriam, and Chisda. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his daughter Kinneret.