Dr. Alyssa Gray is the Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics and Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature at HUC-JIR in New York. She received her PhD with distinction in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and also earned an LLM in Mishpat Ivri (Jewish law) from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law. She is a graduate of Barnard College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and earned a JD from the Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Dr. Gray researches and writes on the development of Talmudic literature and the history of Jewish law. She is the author most recently of Charity in Rabbinic Judaism: Atonement, Rewards, and Righteousness (New York and London: Routledge, 2019), and of A Talmud in Exile: The Influence of Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah on the Formation of Bavli Avodah Zarah (Brown, 2005), soon to be re-released digitally in a second edition with a new retrospective preface. She has also published numerous shorter studies on topics such as Jewish liturgy, wealth, poverty, and charity in Jewish law and tradition, Talmudic redaction, and the application of legal and literary theory to the study of medieval Jewish legal works.

She has been a visiting professor at Yale University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has also lectured in a variety of other academic and non-academic settings, including Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, Colby College, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Florida Atlantic University, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Freehof Institute for Progressive Halakhah, Limmud UK, the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the Masorti movement in Latin America, and the Union for Reform Judaism. Dr. Gray also sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Jewish Ethics and of HUC Press.

Join Dr. Gray…
Friday, March 13, 2020
6:30PM Friday Night Service
7:30PM Congregational Dinner
8:30PM “God: A Talmudic Biography” What does God do all day? All night? What does God think about? What does God think of us? The rabbis of the Talmud have some very interesting ideas about God, and these ideas (of course) say more about them than they do about God. This week’s parashah is an interesting starting-point for thinking about the Talmud’s God.

Saturday, March 14, 2020
9:30AM Shabbat Morning Services
“Tzedakah: Who and What Is It For?”We all know (don’t we?) that “tzedakah” means “charity” (among other things). But what we don’t always think about is how some major figures in Jewish tradition see “tzedakah” as a sort of religious force-field that ties together God and humans, heaven and earth, the past and the present, the living and the dead. Other equally major figures stress the purely human aspects of “tzedakah.” Who has it right about who and what tzedakah is for?

Sunday, March 15, 2020
9:00AM Minyan
“A Civil War in the House of Study: A Talmudic Tale and Its Implications” a dramatic story in Tractate Berakhot describes the plot to unseat the autocratic Rabban Gamliel, head of the House of Study. The exciting plot points beyond itself to larger issues about freedom of thought and inquiry in Jewish tradition and whether we should look for one “right answer” in Jewish law or embrace multiple perspectives. Come study with us.

Support the TEPV’s Scholar-in-Residence Program, which is solely funded by donations. Every donation is important, and your contribution is vital to Adult Education at TEPV. Thank you for your generous support.


Benefactor $540.00 includes Shabbat dinner for 2, Dr. Gray’s book and name listing in program