Shalem College
Daniel Gordis

Dr. Daniel Gordis

Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A. and Rabbinic Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
B.A. Columbia University

Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President, Koret Distinguished Fellow, and Chair of the Core Curriculum at Shalem College. Previously the vice president of the Mandel Foundation in Israel and director of its Leadership Institute, Dr. Gordis was also the founding Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Author of numerous books, a regular columnist for Bloomberg View and The Jerusalem Post, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Times of Israel, and other leading news outlets, Dr. Gordis lectures throughout the world on Israeli society, American-Israeli relations, and the challenges facing the Jewish state.

Dr. Gordis is a two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, first for Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End (Wiley, 2010), and then for his recent Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn (Ecco, 2017), a comprehensive yet accessible single-volume history of the state of Israel from its inception to the present day.

Dr. Gordis’s other books include Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul (Nextbook, 2014), an original examination of Israel’s sixth Prime Minister, and The Promise of Israel, Why Its Seemingly Greatest Weakness is Actually its Greatest Strength (Wiley, 2012), which was named by Jewish Ideas Daily as one of the “best Jewish books of 2012.”

Selected Publications


Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn (New York, NY: Ecco, forthcoming October 2016).

Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel's Soul (New York: Nextbook, 2014).

The Promise of Israel: How Israel’s Seemingly Greatest Weakness is Actually its Greatest Strength (New York: Wiley, 2012).

Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policy-Making in 19th and 20th Century Orthodox Responsa, with David Ellenson (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford, 2012).

Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End (New York, NY: Wiley, 2009). Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice category.

Coming Together, Coming Apart: A Memoir of Heartbreak and Promise in Israel(New York, NY: Wiley, 2006).

If a Place Can Make You Cry: Dispatches from an Anxious State (New York, NY: Crown, 2002).

God Was Not in the Fire: The Search for a Spiritual Judaism (New York: Scribner, 1995).


Book Chapters

"A Basic Religious Datum," Languages and Literatures in Jewish Education: Studies in Honor of Michael Rosenak, vol. I (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2007), pp. 215-246.

"Israel and Zionism in the Religious World View of Contemporary Conservative Judaism," Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity, eds. Danny Ben-Moshe and Zohar Segev (Sussex: Sussex Academic Press, 2007), pp. 67-78.

“‘It Is My Brothers I am Seeking’: Educational Responses to the Isolationist Trend of Contemporary American Jewish Spirituality," in Educational Deliberations: Studies in Education Dedicated to Shlomo (Seymour) Fox, eds. Mordecai Nisan and Oded Schremer (Jerusalem: Keter and Mandel Leadership Institute, 2005), pp. 343-372.

"Conservative Judaism – Critical Documents," The Blackwell Reader in Judaism, eds. Jacob Neusner and Alan Avery-Peck (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 256-276.

"Contemporary American Conservative Judaism: The Struggle Between Ideology and Popularity," The Blackwell Companion to Judaism, eds. Jacob Neusner and Alan Avery-Peck (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 334-353.



“From a Jewish People to a Jewish Religion: A Shifting American Jewish Weltanschauung and Its Implications for Israel,” in Israel Studies (2012).

“The Few Over the Many, The Weak Over the Strong: Towards A New Jewish Meta-Narrative,” a monograph published by the Steinhardt Foundation / Jewish Life Network (2007).

“Jewish Education in the Diaspora,” in Challenges Facing the Jewish People: Ways and Means of Response (Proceedings of Consultative Meeting at the Residence of the President of Israel, June 22-23, 2005), pp. 51-54.

“Behaving and Believing, Behaving and Belonging: The Role of Norms in Jewish Continuity” (New York: American Jewish Committee “Jewish Identity Today” Monograph Series, 1995).

"David Zevi Hoffmann on Civil Marriage: Evidence of a Traditional Community under Siege," Modern Judaism IX:1 (Feb. 1990).

"Wanted – A Role for Ethics in Jewish Bioethics: Thoughts on the Use of Text in a Continuing Conservation," Judaism: A Quarterly Journal XXXVIII(1) (Winter 1989).

"Lies, Wives and Sisters: The Wife/Sister Motif Revisited," Judaism: A Quarterly Journal XXXIV(3) (Summer 1985).

"Scripture and Halakhah in Two Parallel Sugyot," Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History V:2 (May 1985).