Byron Sherwin 1946-2015

Rabbi Dr. Byron L. Sherwin, Spertus Institute Distinguished Service Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs, died May 22, 2015, after a long illness. He will be missed by students and colleagues around the globe. Burial and services were held in New York and a Memorial Service was held at Spertus on June 23, 2015. Hear audio from the memorial service>

Dr. Sherwin was an internationally renowned Jewish theologian, ethicist, scholar of Jewish philosophy and mysticism, and a longtime participant in interreligious dialogue. He was the author or editor of more than 28 books and 150 articles and monographs, and his writings have been translated into Polish, Spanish, Italian, German, Czech, and Chinese. He and his works were often featured in national and international print media and on radio and television.

A native of New York, Dr. Sherwin received his PhD from the University of Chicago’s prestigious Committee on the History of Culture. He received his Rabbinical Ordination from Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA) where he was a protégé of Abraham Joshua Heschel. Dr. Sherwin received an honorary Doctor of Hebrew Letters from JTSA and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Spertus Institute. He was awarded a presidential medal, the Officer’s Order of Merit, by the Republic of Poland for his work in improving Polish-Jewish and Catholic-Jewish relations in Poland and the United States.


PhD, University of Chicago
Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
MA, New York University
MHL, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
BS, Columbia University
BHL, Jewish Theological Seminary of America


Selected titles:
Golems Among Us: How a Jewish Legend Can Help Us Navigate the Biotech Century
Jewish Ethics for the 21st Century
Sparks Amidst the Ashes: The Spiritual Legacy of Polish Jewry
Kabbalah: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
The Cubs and the Kabbalist: A Novel
Toward a Jewish Theology
The Life Worth Living

Research Interests

Jewish Studies


Jewish Mysticism
Jewish Ethics
Jewish Practices
Jewish Theology
Modern Judaism
Medieval Judaism
Jewish Thinking
What is Judaism?
Nature and Methodologies of Jewish Studies
Who is a Jew?
The Passover Haggadah
Conversion and Apostasy
Jewish Magic
The Legend of the Golem or Conversion/Apostasy 

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Faculty Profile