Advisor: Elisheva Carlebach
Joseph Aaron Skloot is a Ph.D. candidate in Jewish History at Columbia, where he is a recipient of the US Department of Education's prestigious Jacob K. Javits Graduate Fellowship. His research interests concern the history of the interpretation of classical rabbinic texts by early-modern and modern rabbis and laity in Western Europe. He has written both about the construction of the Shulhan Arukh (the sixteenth century Jewish legal code) and the history of Jewish dietary law.
A New Yorker by birth, Skloot received his A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University in modern European cultural and intellectual history, where he was awarded the Carolyn L. Drucker '80 Memorial Prize in Judaic Studies and the Kenneth Christopher Harris '68 Memorial Award for Service to the Moral and Ethical Life of the University. His undergraduate thesis was a critical analysis the first English-language Jewish commentary on the Pentateuch, the Hertz Torah commentary (1929-36). In 2005, Skloot entered rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he was awarded the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. He earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature in 2009 and was ordained a rabbi in 2010. Skloot has taught students of all ages at a number of New York-area synagogues. At various points, Skloot worked as a small-time caterer, a recycling advocate, a back-up guitarist/mandolinist, a learning and writing specialist and an unofficial (and unpaid) promoter of the New York Mets.
He is married to Rabbi Erin Glazer of Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, NJ.