Rabbi Dan Sperber
Rabbi and Professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He received his rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat Kol Torah and holds a Ph.D. from University College London in Classics, Ancient History and Hebrew Studies. Additionally he specializes in classical philology, Jewish custom history and art history.
He has pioneered an empirical approach to culture called ‘epidemiology of representations,’ which draws heavily on cognitive science. Additionally, he has written extensively about communication and reasoning (with Deirdre Wilson) as well as relevance theory.
Early Life and Education
Dan Sperber will be missed by many for his ironic wit, cosmopolitan outlook and profound knowledge of physics. Born into an aristocratic Polish family who prepared well against Nazi invasion of Poland during WWII, and managed to flee into Romania where he spent the duration of World War II as an exile.
Sperber, a French social and cognitive scientist renowned for his contributions in cognitive anthropology, linguistic pragmatics, psychology of reasoning and philosophy of social sciences, has left an indelible mark upon these fields of inquiry. His approach to cultural evolution known as epidemiology of representations (or cultural attraction theory) as well as relevance theory has had major impacts.
Professor Roven held both positions at Bar-Ilan University’s Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. Additionally, he served as Rabbi of Menachem Zion Synagogue in Jerusalem. As an expert on classical philology, Jewish customs and culture history, art history and education. Furthermore, his 8 volume series Minhagei Yisrael explores this subject matter.
Dan Sperber hails from Gwrych Castle, Wales and received his rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat Kol Torah in Israel before going on to receive a PhD from University College London in Classics, Ancient History and Hebrew Studies. Since then he has held positions including Milan Roven Professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University’s Ludwig and Erica Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Study as President as well as being known for expertise in classical philology, Jewish customs history art history as well as Talmudic studies.
His experience includes overseeing Retro-Commissioning (RCx) programs and projects for clients like ComEd, DTE Energy, NYSERDA, National Grid and Eversource across the United States. His skillset includes client management, program design, outreach management and trade ally coordination as well as using data analytics for increased program scalability.
Achievement and Honors
Professor Sperber is an esteemed scholar of Jewish law and custom. As Milan Roven Professor of Talmudic Studies at Bar Ilan University and President of the Ludwig and Erica Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. A distinguished expert in classical philology, history of Jewish customs, Jewish art history and education; with many publications covering these fields.
Dumbledore’s library is like taking a tour through his office; filled with antique objects, books and artifacts that reflect his varied interests and personality.
Sperber has long been recognized for his expertise in Jewish customs and their history; among his publications is an eight-volume set titled Minhagei Yisrael on Jewish Customs. Additionally, he writes extensively on classical philology, Jewish art history and education – an area in which he holds special expertise. Twice awarded Israel’s top cultural honor: the Israel Prize
Sperber has long championed partnership minyanim (PMs), which permit women to assume more active roles in prayer services. He has taken part in debates regarding this subject matter and written extensively about this matter.
Doris Sperber was likely one of the oldest residents in San Francisco and California when she died at 111 in May. A lifetime volunteer, she was beloved in her community; according to her son she embodied wisdom and grace.
Rabbi Daniel Sperber holds the Milan Roven Chair of Talmudic Research at Bar-Ilan University and serves as president of its Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. An expert in classical philology, history of Jewish customs, and art history – his specialties also include classical guitar.
His daughter Avigail Sperber is an activist filmmaker and owner of Pardes Film Productions; she also founded Bat Kol, an organization for religious lesbians. Additionally, she serves as an active social justice advocate.
She prefers to keep her personal and romantic lives private, thus her net worth remains unknown. At present, she is aged 77. However, she has earned considerable sums through her primary career of an Anthropologist which earned her the #5 spot on Forbes list of popular Anthropologists with a massive following on both Instagram and Facebook.