Gail Labovitz, PhD

Gail Labovitz

Gail Labovitz

Associate Professor of Rabbinics

Ext: 525


New York Univ., B.S. (Applied Behavioral Science), magna cum laude, 1987;
Jewish Theological Seminary, M.A., 1991; Rabbinic Ordination, 1992; M. Phil., 1998; Ph.D. (distinction: Talmud and Rabbinics), 2002


Rabbi Gail Labovitz, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature and former Chair of the Department of Rabbinics for the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. She also enjoys serving as the Ziegler School’s faculty advisor for “InterSem,” a dialogue program for students training for religious leadership at Jewish and Christian seminaries around the Los Angeles area.
Dr. Labovitz formerly taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) and the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York. Prior to joining the faculty at AJU, Dr. Labovitz worked as the Senior Research Analyst in Judaism for the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project at Brandeis University, and as the Coordinator for the Jewish Women’s Research Group, a project of the Women’s Studies Program at JTS.
Rabbi Labovitz is also preparing a teshuva (rabbinic responsum) for consideration by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly on whether a person who is unable to fast for medical reasons may nonetheless serve as a leader of communal prayer on Yom Kippur.


She has been selected to author the volume on tractate Moed Katan as part of Dr. Tal Ilan’s compilation of the first feminist commentary on the Talmud.  Dr. Labovitz’s articles have appeared in journals such as Nashim and Shofar and the recent books The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism and The New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future; several more items are forthcoming in journals and edited volumes.  She has also contributed entries to a number of reference and educational works, including the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series, The Torah: A Women's Commentary, the Reader’s Guide to Judaism, the new edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, and the study guide for Walking with God, an adult education program of the Ziegler School.
Dr. Labovitz’s forthcoming book, Marriage and Metaphor: Constructions of Gender in Rabbinic Literature, focuses on metaphors of ownership by which rabbinic culture shaped its dominant model of marriage and gender relations. 

Additional Professional Accomplishments

She has been involved for many years in supporting the Women of the Wall in Jerusalem, and coordinates their e-mail announcement list; more recently she created and administers the “Dr. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant,” which provides funds for doctoral students traveling abroad to conduct research towards their dissertations.  Since 2006, Dr. Labovitz has been a member of the board of the Women’s Caucus of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Dr. Labovitz's Writings