Tradition Podcast podcast

A Colonial Protestant Rabbi at Harvard

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts

Yisroel Ben-Porat, a doctoral candidate in early American history at CUNY Graduate Center, is writing a doctorate on the Puritans’ use of the Hebrew Bible as a political text. In TRADITION’s recent Fall 2023 issue he offered a historical investigation of an enigmatic early eighteenth-century figure, “Rabbi” Judah Monis—the first known Jewish-born degree recipient and faculty member at Harvard, where he taught Hebrew for almost four decades. Monis converted in advance of his appointment, but seems to have maintained a complicated relationship with the Judaism he left (or tried to leave) behind. The Tradition Podcast spoke with Ben-Porat about this little-known chapter which opens very many questions about American Jewish identity and politics, Antisemitism, and even current events and conflict on the Harvard campus and the halls of Congress (in ways Ben-Porat could not have anticipated when he authored the essay months ago).

Read Yisroel Ben-Porat, “Protestant Rabbi: The Conversion of Judah Monis in Colonial Massachusetts,” TRADITION (Fall 2023).

Watch a video recording of this discussion.

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