Harvard starting Jewish and Israeli law program

As part of new track, university set to bring in visiting scholars, offer courses, and host annual conference

Harvard University (Shutterstock)
Harvard University (Shutterstock)

Harvard Law School is set to launch a program on Jewish and Israeli law.

The Julis-Rabinowitz Program in Jewish and Israeli Law, established through a gift from hedge fund manager Mitchell Julis, will bring in visiting scholars, host an annual conference and offer courses.

Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman will be the program’s inaugural director. At 32, Feldman advised the Iraqi government on how to write its Constitution in 2003.

“Jewish law and Israeli law are distinct and different,” Feldman told Tablet. “Yet they also interact and make claims on each other. It makes sense to study them both in the same program, even as we study them independently.”

Harvard’s announcement follows the establishment of Yale University’s Islamic law center, which was started in September with a $10 million gift from Saudi banker Abdallah Kamel.

“Throughout history, Jewish law has made profound contributions to legal thought and practice, and it remains vibrant and relevant around the world,” Harvard Law professor Martha Minow said in a Harvard news release on Tuesday. “[T]he Julis Family has created significant new opportunities for our community to explore this living legal tradition as well as the laws and legal discourse of a nation, which shares the same roots and many new branches.”

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