Beth A. Berkowitz

Beth A. Berkowitz

Research Interest


PhD, Department of Religion, with distinction, Columbia University, May 2001 
MA, University of Chicago Divinity School, June 1994
BA, Religion Major, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Columbia College, May 1992


Beth A. Berkowitz is Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor in the Department of Religion at Barnard College. She is the author of Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2006; winner of the Salo Baron prize for First Book in Jewish Studies); Defining Jewish Difference: From Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012); and Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud  (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is co-editor of Religious Studies and Rabbinics: A Conversation (Routledge, 2017) and a contributor to it. Her forthcoming book, under contract with University of California Press, is called What Animals Teach Us about Families: Kinship and Species in the Bible and Rabbinic Literature. She has published articles in the AJS Review, Biblical Interpretation, Jewish Quarterly ReviewJewish Law Association StudiesJournal for the American Academy of ReligionJournal of Ancient JudaismJournal of Jewish Studies, and Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. She has held post-doctoral fellowships in Yale University's Program in Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and New York University Law School's Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization. Before she came to Barnard in 2012, she was a professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Her research interests include rabbinic literature, Bible exegesis, Jewish difference, and critical animal studies.