Document Type

Conference Paper

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Publication Source

CCAR Yearbook



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Any discussion of the Reform rabbinate and the academic study of Judaism presupposes some distinct notion of the primary function of a rabbi, as well as a clear definition of what Torah means in the context of our contemporary community and the new settings in which Jewish learning are presently located. Admittedly, both definitions that I offer are subjective and incomplete and arise from my own unique situation of being both an academic scholar and a Reform rabbi, as well as the son of a Reform rabbi.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in the CCAR Yearbook by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) © 1989. Reproduced with permission.


At the time of this publication, Dr. Ruderman was affiliated with Yale University, but he is now a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania.


Date Posted: 02 August 2017