Yehuda Kurtzer


Yehuda Kurtzer is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He received his doctorate in Jewish Studies from Harvard University, where he wrote his dissertation on the Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora and their relationship to the rise of rabbinic piety.

YehudaKurtzerAn alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowships and Bronfman Youth Fellowships, Yehuda lectures and teaches widely in both academic and community educational settings.

His newest book, entitled Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past (released April, 2012), focuses on issues of Jewish identity and meaning, and offers new thinking on how contemporary Jews can and should relate to our past. The book has been called a work “of rare academic and spiritual depth” in which Dr. Kurtzer “draws effortlessly and brilliantly upon Jewish and western intellectual and religious traditions to create a work of constructive Jewish thought at its best.”


November 8, 2018 – “The Moral, the Political and the Partisan: Jewish Community and Jewish Values in an Era of Polarization”

The corrosive nature of partisanship in American political culture is the central threat to Jews in America today. We are at a critical juncture for a new conversation, one that asks us to consider how our political choices as Jews implicate our collective identity as Jews in America. In our quest to thrive, what is lost and what is gained by what appears to be a dismantling of the American civic project?


April 22, 2015 – “The Ethics of Public Leadership: Who Speaks for the Jews?”

Members of the Jewish community hold a wide spectrum of beliefs, and in the aftermath of the recent elections in Israel, our sense of communal identity is being tested. We are left to wonder if anyone has the right – or the responsibility – to speak on behalf of us all. The evening will feature a discussion between Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and Jeremy Burton, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

Watch the Lecture


February 12, 2012 – “On Power and Authority: Five Radical Rabbinic Ideas”

Using both an historical orientation as well as an ethical orientation, learn about the different concepts and ideas that the rabbis introduce that help us think about how we attain authority, its relationship to power, and most importantly how we use our power ethically.

Listen to Lecture :

Source Materials : On Power and Authority