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The Caroline Zelaznik & Joseph S. Gruss Lecture in Talmudic Civil Law

In 1987 Mr. Gruss, by a bequest from his wife Caroline’s estate, established the Caroline Zelaznik Gruss and Joseph S. Gruss Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. One of the responsibilities of the Gruss Chair is to present lectures to the public on Talmudic Civil Law.

Joseph Gruss explained the estate gift in these terms: “Talmudic civil law reflects the universal principles of justice and protection of the rights of the most vulnerable. It has played a substantial role in the development of the Judeo-Christian heritage that serves as a foundation of the Common Law.” The Gruss gift has enhanced the Law School’s curriculum and the University’s Jewish Studies Program. An international advisory committee assists in development of the associated academic program. In addition to the Chair in Talmudic Civil Law, Mr. Gruss gave generously to establish a special Talmudic Law collection in the Biddle Law Library.

Gruss Workshops

Past Gruss Lectures

2013-14

The Impact of Torah Study on Halakhic Codification

Chaim Saiman, Gruss Professor of Talmudic Law at Penn Law and Professor of Law at Villanova Law School

Video

2012-13

Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law

Chaim Saiman, Gruss Professor of Talmudic Law at Penn Law and Professor of Law at Villanova Law School

Lecture I: Talmud Torah: The Study of Law as Religious Devotion

Video

Lecture II: Law as Literature: The Talmudic Sugya

Video

2011-12

Is it a Sin to Accidentally Sin?: Mistake and Error in Rabbinic Law

Arye Edrei, Visiting Professor of Law, Tel Aviv University

2010-11

The House of Israel Divided: Schisms of Language, Law, and Legitimacy

Arye Edrei, Visiting Professor of Law, Tel Aviv University

Lecture I Video

Lecture II Video

2009-10

Defining Community in an Era of Nationalism: Who is in and who is out in the eyes of the law?

Arye Edrei, Visiting Professor of Law, Tel Aviv University

Lecture I Video

Lecture II Video

2008-09

Religion and the State of Israel: Views from within Jewish Law

Suzanne Last Stone, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Law, Cordozo School of Law at Yeshiva University

2007-08 Between Revenge and Reconciliation: Rabbinic Views on Historical Justice
Suzanne Last Stone, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Law, Cordozo School of Law at Yeshiva University
2006-07

The Image of God in Classical Judaism

Yair Lorberbaum, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy of Law, Jewish Law and Jewish Thought at Bar Ilan University; Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem

2005-06 Halakhah, Aggadah, and the Limits of Law
Yair Lorberbaum, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy of Law, Jewish Law and Jewish Thought at Bar Ilan University; Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem
2004-05 Maimonides on the Commandments to Eradicate Amaleq
Josef Stern, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Divinity School and Committee on Jewish Studies, University of Chicago
2003-04 Unbinding of Isaac: Maimonides on the Aqedah
Josef Stern, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Divinity School and Committee on Jewish Studies, University of Chicago
2002-03

Two Concepts of Kedushah/Holiness

Josef Stern, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Divinity School and Committee on Jewish Studies, University of Chicago

2001-02 Moshe Halbertal, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Hebrew University; Fellow at the Hartman Institute
2000-01 Moshe Halbertal, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Hebrew University; Fellow at the Hartman Institute
1998-99 Gideon Libson, Professor of Muslim Law, Jewish Law and Comparative Jewish-Islamic Law, Hebrew University
1996-97 Moshe Halbertal, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Hebrew University; Fellow at the Hartman Institute
Izhak Englard, Israel Supreme Court Justice and Professor of Law at Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Gruss Bio

Joseph and Caroline Gruss

Joseph S. Gruss, a banker who founded Gruss and Company in 1942, was counted among the leading benefactors of Jewish education in both New York and Israel. In 1987 Mr. Gruss, by a bequest from his wife Caroline’s estate, established the Caroline Zelaznik Gruss and Joseph S. Gruss Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. and Mrs. Gruss gave generously to Jewish education. They were responsible for forming the Fund for Jewish Education in association with the Federation for Jewish Philanthropies and the United Jewish Appeal of New York.

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