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Tamar Kamionkowski, Ph.D.

Professor of Biblical Studies, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Tamar Kamionkowski joined RRC’s faculty in 1997. Her lifelong passion has been bridging the worlds of biblical scholarship and contemporary Jewish life. She encourages her students to develop a life-long relationship with biblical texts and to read text through many lenses. Kamionkowski is a two-time winner of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s Yaakov Gladstone Award for Fine Teaching.

Kamionkowski served as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of RRC from 2004 to 2013. During her tenure, she put greater focus on rabbinic identity and character-building as essential components of rabbinical school.

Her prize-winning book, Leviticus: A Wisdom Commentary (Liturgical Press 2018), is the first book-length commentary on Leviticus written from a feminist and post-colonial perspective. Kamionkowski is also the author of Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos: Studies in the Book of Ezekiel (Sheffield Academic Press, 2003) and co-editor of Bodies, Embodiment and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures (T&T Clark, 2010).

She is the founder of the Kamionkowski Beit Midrash, an online center that provides courses, webinars, resources and advice on learning classical Hebrew.

Kamionkowski holds a Bachelor of Arts in religion with a minor in history from Oberlin College, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Kamionkowski has also held research and teaching appointments at Brandeis University, Hebrew College and Tel Aviv University. She is trained in Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic and Greek. She has served on the steering committees for the Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Theology of the Book of Ezekiel sections of the Society for Biblical Literature. She served as president for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society of Biblical Literature from 2020-21. She also is a member of the Association for Jewish Studies and the American Academy of Religion.

Selected Courses

Biblical Theologies of Exile: A Hands-On Approach: This examines various biblical texts that offer theological responses to the experience of dislocation, exile and resettlement. Students will use class time to conduct close readings of biblical texts in their ancient context and to reflect on service-learning projects.

Mekhinah Tanakh 1-2: Students are introduced to the Hebrew Bible’s language and literary features.

Creation in Tanakh: This course explores how biblical narratives and poems regarding creation reveal assumptions about the nature of God, the origins of humanity, and the relationship between God and humanity.

Psalms: Students engage in close readings of the psalms, exploring their poetic features, original settings, and how they might be interpreted and utilized in contemporary Jewish life.

Biblical Theology: God: This course includes careful readings of a number of texts about God in the Bible, as well as secondary literary on biblical theology.


Selected Publications

“Nadav and Avihu and Dietary Laws: A Case of Action and Reaction”


“The “Problem” of Violence in Prophetic Literature: Definitions as the Real Problem”


“One Jewish Feminist’s Lifelong Companionship with a Misogynist”


“Leviticus Has the Answers: COVID-19 and Community Welfare”


“What to Do When You Want a Burger”


“Will the Real Miriam Please Stand Up?”


“A Theological Revolution in Devarim”


The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

The Reconstructionist Network