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
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
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