Steven Weitzman, who came to Penn in July from Stanford University, has been appointed Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature in the department of religious studies. He is also the new Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Dr. Weitzman is a scholar of biblical and Jewish studies. He applies insights from the study of religion, literary theory, anthropology and other fields to understand the origins of Jewish culture, the formation of the Bible and other ancient texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the history of how the Bible has been reimagined in later cultural traditions. Among his recent projects is a collaboration with a Stanford geneticist that aims to bridge Jewish studies and population genetics.For more on the genetics research mentioned above, see here.
As director of the Katz Center, Dr. Weitzman will lead this distinguished research institute into its third decade of post-doctoral research on Jewish civilization in all its historical and cultural manifestations.
Dr. Weitzman received his PhD from Harvard after completing his BA at UC Berkeley, and had previously spent several years teaching in the department of religious studies at Indiana University where he served as director of its Jewish Studies program for six years.
The Abraham M. Ellis chair was created in 1954 by the Abraham M. and Rose Ellis Foundation. The Ella Darivoff Director was established in 2001 by Philip M. Darivoff, W’79, WG’85 and Betsy Marks Darivoff, C’79.
*And also to his Penn colleague Eve Troutt Powell, who has also just been appointed to a named chair at Penn.