Lori Lefkovitz: Top scholar first to hold Jewish Studies chair

Source: Northeastern University News, 12-1-10

Top scholar first to hold Jewish Studies chair

Lori Lefkovitz has been named the inaugural holder of the Ruderman Professorship of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University Photo by Lauren McFalls

Renowned scholar Lori Lefkovitz has been named the inaugural holder of the Ruderman Professorship of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University and the director of Northeastern’s Jewish Studies program.

Alumnus Morton Ruderman, COE, ’59, and his wife, Marcia, made the chair possible through a generous donation.

“The Ruderman’s commitment to the Jewish community and the study of its history and culture will be enriched by the appointment of Lori Lefkovitz. She is an outstanding scholar whose love of teaching and engagement with the Jewish community will elevate the impact of Jewish studies at Northeastern,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University.

Before coming to Northeastern in August 2010, Lefkovitz was the Sadie Gottesman and Arlene Gottesman Reff Professor of Gender and Judaism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the founding director of the College’s Kolot: Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies.

“Our family welcomes Professor Lefkovitz as the new Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies at Northeastern,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

“We believe that her passion for Jewish life and scholarship coupled with Northeastern’s unique co-op program will have a profound positive impact on the Jewish community of Greater Boston and beyond.”

To Northeastern, Lefkovitz brings a diverse background that includes interdisciplinary training in Jewish Studies and program development, specifically training in literature and critical theory and experience teaching both Bible and modern and contemporary Jewish literature.

“Professor Lefkovitz is the right leader at the right time to lead Northeastern’s Jewish Studies program. She is a gifted and talented scholar whose expertise and knowledge undoubtedly will enhance the program’s mission to develop future leaders, to nourish Jewish identity in the modern world, and to represent Judaism in the public sphere,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Lefkovitz hopes to establish strong relationships with the Jewish community through co-op and student life, work with Northeastern’s talented faculty to expand the program’s curriculum and coordinate events and conferences. The goal of these efforts, she says, is to further increase student interest in the program.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position,” said Lefkovitz, “and excited and challenged by this opportunity. A full-time chaired position is an expression of commitment to Jewish Studies and opens the possibility of developing a first-rate program that emerges from Northeastern’s unique strengths.”…READ MORE

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