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Rachel Slutsky

Harvard University

Rachel Slutsky is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University, where she specializes in biblical interpretation during the Second Temple period. She is working on a dissertation regarding the historiographical assumptions made by Second Temple texts about the nature of the Hebrew Bible; that is, the historicity of the latter and the interpretive freedom of the former. She is also proficient in Yiddish and is working on a book-length project to translate and analyze the writings of the little-known yet prolific Yehezkel Kornhendler. Rachel received her BA with Honors from Stern College (Yeshiva University) in English Literature and Jewish Studies, as well as an MA from the University of Chicago in Hebrew Bible. She has presented papers at the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) and the University of Oxford, and has upcoming lectures at the Catholic Theological Union and the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS). Rachel is a copy editor for the Harvard Theological Review, and she is this year’s guest editor for the Harvard Divinity Bulletin.

Sample lecture topics:

“Echoes of the Aqedah in the Bible,” AJS Annual Conference, December 2017

“Kingship after Exile,” Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies, December 2017

“Kingship after Exile,” Harvard Jewish Studies Workshop, November 2017

“Yiddish and the Bible” (three-part series), Cambridge Open Beit Midrash, October 2017

“Karaite History and Exegesis,” Young Israel, Sharon, MA, 2017

“The Importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” ASBI Congregation, Chicago, IL 2016

“Birth Imagery in Eichah,” Young Israel, Sharon, MA, 2014

“Medieval Exegesis,” Northwestern Hillel, Chicago, IL 2016

“The Flood Narrative(s): A Dual Method for a Dual Narrative,” Yeshiva University, 2013



  • Review of Song of Riddles: Deciphering the Song of Songs by Geula Twersky, JOFA Journal (forthcoming)

  • JPS Study Guide and Accompanying Curriculum for The Second Temple Scriptures by Malka Simkovich (forthcoming)

  • Review of The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, by John J. Collins, in Reading Religion on AAR. Website.

  • Review of How the Wise Men Got to Chelm: The Life and Times of a Yiddish Folk Tradition, by Ruth von Bernuth, in Reading Religion on AAR. Website.

  • Review of What’s Divine about Divine Law? By Christine Hays, in Reading Religion on AAR. Website.

Sample of teaching:


Source Sheet


Target audience:

Young adults and adults. I am fully comfortable, and experienced, at speaking to audiences of mixed gender and have no preference.

Speaking fee:


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