Mar 18, 2014
Dr. Norman Lamm, distinguished rabbi, philosopher, teacher, and author, was elected President of Yeshiva University in August 1976, succeeding Dr. Samuel Belkin and Dr. Bernard Revel. He was the University’s third president and the first native-born American to head the nation’s oldest and most comprehensive Jewish institution of higher learning. He now serves as Chancellor of the University and Rosh ha-Yeshiva of its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1927, Dr. Lamm received his elementary and high school education at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodaath. In 1945, he entered Yeshiva College, where he continued his Jewish learning and undertook a liberal arts program with a major in chemistry. He graduated summa cum laude in 1949 and was class valedictorian.
Upon graduation, Dr. Lamm pursued advanced scientific studies at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn while continuing his Judaic studies and rabbinic scholarship. He was ordained as a rabbi by YU’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1951, and earned a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy from the University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School in 1966.
During the seventeen years preceding his election as president, Dr. Lamm served on the Yeshiva University faculty, culminating in his appointment as the Erna and Jakob Michael Professor of Jewish Philosophy in 1966. A pulpit rabbi for twenty-five years, he served as spiritual leader of The Jewish Center
in Manhattan. Prior to that, he served as assistant rabbi of New York City’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
and then as rabbi of Congregation Kodimoh in Springfield, MA.
Dr. Lamm has gained wide recognition for his writings and discourses on interpretation of Jewish philosophy and law, especially in relation to problems involving science, law, technology, and philosophy in the modern world. He has authored ten books, including The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary
, which won the coveted 1999 Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought. Rabbi Lamm has edited or co-edited over twenty volumes, including The Library of Jewish Law and Ethics. Most of his books are available here
He was the founder and first editor of Tradition
, associate editor of the RCA's Hebrew language Jewish law journal, Hadarom, founder of the Torah U-Madda Journal
, and founder of the Orthodox Forum. Many of his sermons are available here