Rabbi Michael Shmidman
Touro Graduate School of Jewish Studies
Mar 9, 2014
Rabbi Dr. Michael A. Shmidman has served as Dean of the Touro Graduate School of Jewish Studies since 1986, and was appointed Victor J. Selmanowitz Professor of Jewish History in 2003. He also serves as Editor of Touro College Press. He has been a member of Touro’s faculty and administration since 1981, when he was recruited to serve as the first director of the newly-established graduate school. Dr. Shmidman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Yeshiva University (also serving as Editor-in-Chief of Hamevaser), a Master of Arts (with highest honors) in 1973 from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in 1980 from Harvard University. He was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard (1976-78) and taught as Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati (1978-1980) and Yeshiva University (1980-1981) prior to his appointment at Touro. He has been the recipient of numerous academic prizes, scholarships and fellowships, and most recently was selected to be an adjunct fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (2013). Dr. Shmidman has published numerous articles and lectured extensively in his areas of research, medieval Jewish history and Maimonidean studies, and often serves as a scholar-in-residence or speaker at synagogues and Jewish communal institutions. He has edited (and contributed to) a number of recent works, including a two-volume Festschrift entitled Turim: Studies in Jewish History and Literature Presented to Dr. Bernard Lander and a volume entitled Carmi Sheli: Studies in Aggadah and its Interpretation Presented to Professor Carmi Horowitz. He also is co-author, together with his academic mentor, Rabbi Professor Isadore (Yitzchak) Twersky, of a two-volume Hebrew textbook on Maimonides entitled Law and Philosophy: Perspectives on Maimonides’ Teaching, and was editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought (2001-2004). Presently, he is completing a volume (co-authored with Dr. Alan Kadish) on the Salient Traits of the Jewish Intellectual Tradition. Rabbi Shmidman served as Orthodox rabbi of Harvard Hillel (1974-76) and of Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, New Jersey (1998-2003). He also served as associate director of Drisha Institute (1984-86), and as founding director of the Drisha Fellowship Program. Rabbi Shmidman and his wife Linda are blessed with four children and twenty-three grandchildren.