Teaching Jewish Law in American Law Schools: An Emerging Development in Law and Religion

10 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2009

See all articles by Samuel J. Levine

Samuel J. Levine

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Date Written: 1999


In recent years, religion has gained an increasing prominence in both the legal profession and the academy. Through the emergence of the "religious lawyering movement," lawyers and legal scholars have demonstrated the potential relevance of religion to many aspects of lawyering. Likewise, legal scholars have incorporated religious thought into their work through books, law journals and classroom teaching relating to various areas of law and religion. In this Essay, Levine discusses one particular aspect of these efforts, namely, the place of Jewish law in the American law school curriculum. Specifically, he outlines briefly three possible models for a course in Jewish law in an American law school and considers some of the advantages and disadvantages of each model. The three models are: a Jewish law course that serves as a course in comparative law; Jewish law as a course in international law; and a course that examines Jewish law almost exclusively, with little, if any, reference to other legal systems. Levine then describes the structure he has chosen, in an attempt to synthesize these models, for the seminar in Jewish law that he teaches at St. John's University School of Law. At the end of this essay is an appendix which includes a bibliography of articles, relating primarily to Jewish law, which have appeared in American law journals since 1995.

Keywords: jewish law, teaching, law school

JEL Classification: K39

Suggested Citation

Levine, Samuel J., Teaching Jewish Law in American Law Schools: An Emerging Development in Law and Religion (1999). Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1333860

Samuel J. Levine (Contact Author)

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States
(631) 761-7138 (Phone)
(631) 761-7009 (Fax)

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