Leora Batnitzky was appointed director of the Program in Judaic Studies beginning July 1, 2020. She joined the faculty in 1997. Her teaching and research interests include philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, hermeneutics, and contemporary legal and political theory.
She is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000), Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006), and How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton, 2011). She is currently working on two books, the first a comparative study of conversion controversies in Israel and India, tentatively titled “What is Religious Freedom? The Case of Conversion in Israel and India,” and the second on the Jewish apostate and Catholic saint Edith Stein, tentatively titled “The
Continued Relevance of Edith Stein for Jewish and Christian Self-Understanding.” She served as Chair of the Department of Religion from 2010-2019.