David Ellenson

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David Ellenson is a rabbi who is known as a leader of the Reform movement in Judaism. He is the president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and the I.H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought. He is also a fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, and a fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Ellenson was named as HUC's eighth president in October 2002, succeeding Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman.

Ellenson is the author of Tradition in Transition: Orthodoxy, Halakhah and the Boundaries of Modern Jewish History (1989), Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (1990), and After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity (2004). David Ellenson and his daughter Ruth Andrew Ellenson, editor of The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt, won the National Jewish Book Award in the same year; the only father and daughter to do so since Abraham Joshua Heschel and Susannah Heschel.

On May 4, 2008 Rabbi Ellenson handed over the Roger E. Joseph Prize to Desbois in New York [1].

Additionally, President George W. Bush appointed Ellenson to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[1]


Ellenson graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in 1969. He was then ordained at HUC-JIR in 1977, and received his Ph.D from Columbia University in 1981.[2]


  • National Jewish Book Awards on the same year,*After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity. HUC-Press, 2004.
  • Between Tradition and Culture: The Dialectics of Jewish Religion and Identity in the Modern World. Scholar's Press, 1994.
  • with Stanley Chyet. Bits of Honey: Essays for Samson H. Levey. Scholar's Press, 1993.
  • Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy. University of Alabama Press, 1990.
  • Tradition in Transition: Orthodoxy. Halakhah and the Boundaries of Modem Jewish Identity. University Press of America. 1989.


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