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Dr. Daniel Gordis

Dr. Daniel Gordis
Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President of the Shalem Center, where he is also a Senior Fellow.  He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, in print and on-line.  The author of numerous books on Jewish thought and currents in Israel, and a recent winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Dr. Gordis was the founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, the first rabbinical college on the West Coast of the United States.  Dr. Gordis joined Shalem in 2007 to help found Israel’s first liberal arts college, after spending nine years as vice president of the Mandel Foundation in Israel and director of its Leadership Institute.

Since moving to Israel in 1998, Dr. Gordis has written and lectured throughout the world on Israeli society and the challenges facing the Jewish state. His writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Moment, Tikkun, Azure, Commentary Magazine and Conservative Judaism. His latest book, Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End was published by Wiley in March 2009, and was subsequently awarded the 2009 National Jewish Book Award.

Dr. Gordis is presently at work on two new books.  A volume about 19th and 20th century rabbinic responsa on conversion, which he is writing together with Rabbi David Ellenson of the Hebrew Union College, is tentatively entitled For the Sake of Heaven:  Conversion, Law and Politics in the Modern World of Jewish Orthodoxy. And another book, on Zionism and its contributions to human freedom and vitality worldwide, is tentatively called Israel’s Promise: How Zionism Can Help Preserve the Nation-State and Human Freedom, is also now being written.
His books to date are:
  • Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End (Wiley, 2009)
  • Coming Together, Coming Apart: A Memoir of Heartbreak and Promise in Israel (Wiley, 2006)
  • Home to Stay: One American Family’s Chronicle of Miracles and Struggles in Contemporary Israel (Random House, 2003)
  • If a Place Can Make You Cry: Dispatches from an Anxious State (Crown/Random House, 2002)
  • Becoming a Jewish Parent: How to Explore Spirituality and Tradition with Your Children (Random House, 1999)
  • Does the World Need the Jews: Rethinking Chosenness and American Jewish Identity (Scribner, 1997)
  • God Was Not in the Fire: The Search for a Spiritual Judaism (Scribner, 1995)
Dr. Gordis received his B.A. from Columbia College (Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa), a Masters Degree and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

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