Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf
Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf is an internationally known scholar, lecturer, and public figure. He is an associate professor in the Talmud Department at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, specializing in the History of Halacha, Medieval and Renaissance Jewish History, Italian Jewish History, and the interaction between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. He received his PhD (1991) in Medieval Jewish History and Literature at Harvard University and spent two years at Yale University as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Religion. He studied for nine and a half years under Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l, and received semicha from RIETS in 1982.
Prof. Woolf is well known in the public arena, as both a thinker and organizational head. He has been a leading advocate and spokesman for Orthodoxy in both the United States and Israel. In Israel, he was the founding Chairman of YU’s Orthodox Forum in Israel, and in the United States, was the founding Executive Chairman of YU’s Orthodox Caucus. He serves on the Board and the Executive Committee of the Museum of Italian Jewry in Jerusalem and of Ma’aleh: The Center for Religious Zionism. He is a much sought-after lecturer, addressing a broad swath of issues and topics, of both historical and contemporary interest. Fluent in five languages, he is frequently interviewed in the electronic and print media, both in Israel and abroad
Rabbi Woolf has authored or edited three books and over forty scholarly monographs. His latest book, The Fabric of Religious Life in Medieval Ashkenaz (1000-1300): Creating Sacred Communities, Leiden: Brill, appeared in 2015. He is married to Toby (née Bergstein). They are blessed with five children and three grandchildren. They make their home in Efrat, Israel.