Beth Berkowitz

Professor, Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies

Classical Rabbinic Literature Animal Studies

Beth Berkowitz is a scholar of Jewish and Religious Studies who specializes in classical rabbinic literature. She is the author of Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2006); Defining Jewish Difference: From Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012); and Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is co-editor with Elizabeth Shanks Alexander of Religious Studies and Rabbinics: A Conversation (Routledge, 2017). Her current book project is called What Animals Teach Us about Families: A Study of Four Biblical Laws and Their Afterlives.

She has published articles in Journal for the American Academy of ReligionJournal of Jewish StudiesJewish Quarterly Review,Yale Journal of Law and the HumanitiesJournal for Ancient Judaism, AJS ReviewBiblical Interpretation, Currents in Biblical Research, and Worldviews.

She has given conference presentations at the annual meetings of the Association of Jewish Studies, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, the Jewish Law Association, the American Academy of Anthropology, and the Modern Language Association. She has given talks at Bard College, Barnard College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Columbia University, Concordia University, Harvard University Law School, Hebrew University, Middlebury College, New York University Law School, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, University of Virginia, Villanova University, and Yale University.

She is on the editorial board of Jewish Quarterly Review and Prooftexts, a member of the Association of Jewish Studies Program Committee, and on the advisory boards of University of Pennsylvania's Katz Center for Judaic Studies, the AJS Paula Hyman Memorial Mentorship Program, and Columbia's Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.