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Rabbi David Fox Sandmel

Rabbi David Fox Sandmel
Crown Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

David Fox Sandmel is the Crown Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union and Rabbi Educator at Temple Sholom, both in Chicago.  He also serves as Senior Advisor on Interreligious Affairs to the Religious Action Center and Adjunt Faculty at the Union for Reform Judaism. 

From 1998-2001, he was the Jewish Scholar at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies in Baltimore. There, he directed the National Jewish Scholars Project, a major initiative to promote a new discussion within the Jewish community and between Jews and Christians about the differences and similarities between the two traditions.  As part of the project, Rabbi Sandmel coordinated the publication of “Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity,” a groundbreaking event that generated international attention in the interfaith community and wide media coverage. 

He is the co-editor of Christianity in Jewish Terms (Westview, 2000), to which he has also contributed an essay.  In addition, he is the lead editor of Irreconcilable Differences? A Learning Resource for Jews and Christians (Westview Press, 2001), a study and discussion guide that focuses on core theological issues on the boundary between Judaism and Christianity.  He contributed the commentary on First Thessalonians to the Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press, 2011).  Rabbi Sandmel is the founding rabbi of Congregation Bet Ha’am in Portland, Maine, and also has served congregations in Cleveland and Chicago.

Rabbi Sandmel is also involved in Jewish-Muslim dialogue and in the tri-lateral dialogue between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  He teaches a course at CTU with a Roman Catholic and an Imam on the Abrahamic faiths and serves on the steering committee of In Good Faith, a CTU sponsored trl-lateral dialogue involving the wider community.

Rabbi Sandmel lectures widely on contemporary issues in Jewish-Christian relations, Jewish-Muslim relations, religion in contemporary society, and the foundations of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. He chairs the Committee on Interfaith Activities of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and is a CCAR Representative to the Joint UAHC-CCAR Commission on Interfaith Relations, the National Council of Synagogues, and The International Jewish Committee on Interfaith Consultations.

Rabbi Sandmel received his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in Jewish Studies from the Ohio State University and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.  He completed his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied the history and literature of Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman world. 

He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Association for Jewish Studies, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR).