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Rabbi Leonard R. Levy, Ph.D.

Rabbi Leonard Levy is the founder of  He is on the faculty of the Institute of Traditional Judaism (מתיבתא למדעי היהדות) in Teaneck, NJ, where he received yoreh yoreh semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi David Weiss Halivni in 2009.  He is a member of Queens Jewish Center in Forest Hills, NY, where he teaches a Mishnah Berurah shi’ur before the Hashkama Minyan on Shabbat mornings.  He serves as a panelist for Jewish Values Online.

Rabbi Levy was previously ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1984, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Talmud and Rabbinics with a concentration in Medieval Jewish Law in 2002.  He taught Talmud and Jewish Law at JTS for over a decade.  He served on Conservative Judaism's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards before resigning in December 2006.  Rabbi Levy has also taught courses at Hebrew Union College (Reform) and the Academy for Jewish Religion (non-denominational). 

Rabbi Levy is convinced from his experience teaching in the rabbinical schools of all of these movements that all of the movements – despite their significant disagreements over the level of authority and source of the authority of Torah as understood through the Rabbinic tradition (תורה שבעל פה) – agree that serious engagement with Torah as understood through the Rabbinic tradition should be centrally important to all Jews.  He initiated in order to better enable fulfillment of this central goal for all Jews, regardless of affiliation or lack thereof.

Rabbi Levy is available for mentoring study partners who are interested in Talmud, Jewish Legal Codes, Responsa, Mishnah, Torah/Chumash/Bible/Tanakh and commentaries, Midrash and Judeo-Arabic texts.  His main research interest is the development of assumptions and principles behind various approaches of deciding Halakhah (Jewish Law).  His dissertation focused on how Rabbi Yitzhaq Alfasi (RIF) applied principles of adjudication in his Halakhot.  His most recent publication is “The Decisive Shift: from Geonim to RIF,” Tiferet Leyisrael: Jubilee Volume in Honor of Israel Francus (JTS Press, 2010).
See Rabbi Levy's hashkafa statement.
Subpages (1): Hashkafa Statement