Alfred Gottschalk

Dr. Alfred Gottschalk

Address3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Professor of Bible and Jewish Religious, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

Ordained, HUC-JIR, 1957
Ph.D., USC, 1965

Dr. Gottschalk is the Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He served as Distinguished Professor of Bible and Jewish Religious Thought and is the John and Marianne Slade Professor of Jewish Intellectual History. Dr. Gottschalk joined the HUC-JIR faculty following his ordination from HUC-JIR and was Dean at HUC-JIR, Los Angeles. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and the History of Religion. He served as President of HUC-JIR from 1971-1995.

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Brief Biography

Dr. Alfred Gottschalk
Born in Oberwesel, Germany in 1930, Dr. Alfred Gottschalk fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1939, just weeks prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. A graduate of Boys High School in Brooklyn and Brooklyn College (1952), he was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1957. Dr. Gottschalk was appointed Acting Dean (1958) and Dean (1959) of HUC-JIR’s newly established Los Angeles campus and received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1965. In 1971 he succeeded Dr. Nelson Glueck as the sixth President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. During his tenure as President (1971-1996), Dr. Gottschalk advanced the growth of HUC-JIR’s academic programs and campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York. He established the first School of Jewish Communal Service in America, opened the Rabbinical and Cantorial Schools to women, ordained the first woman rabbi in America in 1972 and invested the first woman cantor in America in 1975, inaugurated the program to train Israelis for the Reform rabbinate in Israel and ordained the first woman rabbi in Israel in 1992. A scholar of Jewish intellectual history and a leading authority on Ahad Ha’Am, the leader of cultural Zionism, Dr. Gottschalk is the Distinguished Professor of Bible and Jewish Religious Thought, the John and Marianne Slade Professor of Jewish Intellectual History, and Chancellor Emeritus at HUC-JIR. In addition to his numerous articles, Dr. Gottschalk is the author of Your Future as a Rabbi – A Calling That Counts (1967; 1989), Ahad Ha-Am as Biblical Critic – A Profile (1970), and co-editor of Beyond Survival and Philanthropy: American Jewry and Israel (2000).

President Carter appointed Dr. Gottschalk to the President’s Commission on the Holocaust in 1979 and to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980, where he chaired the Council’s Academic Committee, stepped in as Acting Chairman of the Council in 1986, and continues to serve as a member of the Council’s Academic Committee and Committee on Conscience. He served as President of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York and continues to serve on its Board.


  • Ordained, HUC-JIR (1957)
  • Ph.D., USC (1965)

Lecture Titles

  • The Need for Prophetic Thinking in a Non-prophetic Society
  • Political and Spiritual Zionism: Complimentary or Antagonistic Ideas?
  • Reform Judaism – a Sect or a Mainstream Religion?

Recent Books

  • To Learn and To Teach revised by Rabbi Gary Zola, Ph.D., The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. New York 1988 (order online from

Electronic Publications

  • “Get Yourself a Teacher...”, Commencement Exercises , HUC-JIR Cincinnati, June 3, 1998

Past Publications

  • “Ahad Ha-’Am (1856-1927)” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: Verlag Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.)
  • “The Future of an Illusion Viewed Thirty Years Later”, New Outlook, September 1959, pgs. 14-18 (PDF format)
  • Beyond Survival and Philanthropy
  • A Life of Reason – Ahad Ha-Am and His Work, by Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, Translated by Professor Xu Xin, University of Nanjing, Edited by Professor Xun FiHun (Inner Mongolia: PeopleUs Publishing House)

In The News

  • Cincinnati Enquirer article on Dr. Alfred Gottschalk’s Return to the German Home He Fled
  • Journeys of Remembrance and Renewal: Dr. Alfred Gottschalk Commemorates the Past and Educates for the Future in Germany and China

Areas of Interest

Logos Almanac of the Christian World

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