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Meltzer Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature: David Stern

SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston has announced that Dr. David Stern, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies and of religious studies, has been appointed to the Ruth Meltzer Professorship of Classical Hebrew Literature.

Dr. Stern, who specializes in classical Jewish literature and religion, serves as director of the Jewish Studies Program and teaches in the Comparative Literature Program. In 1980, Dr. Stern received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University where he was also a junior fellow in Harvard's Society of Fellows. He has been teaching at Penn since 1984.

Dr. Stern was recently named a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research. He also has received fellowships and grants from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Dr. Stern has written widely on midrash, the Biblical commentaries of the Rabbis. To date, he has published four books, including Midrash and Theory: Ancient Jewish Exegesis and Contemporary Literary Studies and Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature. He is currently working on a book which traces the histories of the Talmud, the Rabbinic Bible, the Prayerbook, and the Passover Haggadah as material artifacts in order to show how the physical forms of these books have helped to shape their meaning in Jewish culture. His essays and reviews on modern Jewish literature and culture have appeared in The New Republic, Commentary, The New York Times Book Review and Tikkun. He is also a founding editor of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History.

The Ruth Meltzer Professorship of Classical Hebrew Literature was created by the bequest of Ruth Meltzer, CCC'38, who passed away in 2001. Mrs. Meltzer was the wife of the late Leon Meltzer, Esq. A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Mr. Meltzer earned his B.S. in economics at the Wharton School in 1923 and his J.D. at Penn's Law School in 1928. He was a partner of the law firm of Meltzer and Schiffrin. Mrs. Meltzer was a major supporter of a number of areas at Penn, establishing professorships in the Law School and the Medical School. Mrs. Meltzer also provided significant support for the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and the Jewish Studies Program.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 7, October 8, 2002

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