Collaboration on Jewish studies

Trainee Progressive rabbis will be taking degrees at a leading academic institution where Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is a visiting professor.

King’s College, London has for several years offered an MA in Jewish studies in conjunction with the Orthodox London School of Jewish Studies.

Now King’s has entered into a similar partnership with the Leo Baeck College, London’s Progressive rabbinic academy.

It means that from September, Leo Baeck students will do a King’s MA as part of their rabbinic training, while some of the Progressive college’s faculty will teach at King’s.

Leo Baeck principal Rabbi Marc Saperstein has followed the Chief Rabbi in becoming a visiting professor at King’s. Leo Baeck’s newly appointed rabbinics lecturer Laliv Clenman, who will arrive shortly from Toronto University, will teach courses on the Talmud and other rabbinic literature at King’s.

Sir Jonathan, who is president of LSJS, does not give a course on the MA but occasionally lectures at King’s, such as the seminar on revelation he is due to lead next month.

Professor Saperstein said: “I hope this joint degree will demonstrate that students of various backgrounds and different faith commitments can study Jewish texts together, using the best tools of contemporary academic scholarship, with mutually beneficial results.”

Diana Lipton, Bible expert at King’s, said the arrangements with Leo Baeck and LSJS would allow King’s to offer “one of the most broad-ranging MAs in Jewish studies in Europe. A single institution could not offer anything like the richness of diversity that we can by working together.”

    Last updated: 12:05pm, April 30 2009