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The JPS Torah at Fifty - A Celebration of a Translation and a Translator

September 27, 2012

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and The Jewish Publication Society will mark the milestone occasion of “The JPS Torah at Fifty – A Celebration of a Translation and a Translator” on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 6 pm at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, One West Fourth Street, New York.

This public program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landmark publication will feature a keynote address by Dr. Leonard Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization; Professor of Classical & Near Eastern Studies and Theology, Creighton University (pictured, right); followed by responses by Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR; Dr. S. David Sperling, Professor of Bible, HUC-JIR; and Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz, Director, JPS. Since its publication in 1962, the JPS Torah has become the most widely read English translation of the Hebrew Bible.

This occasion will also commemorate the 20th yahrzeit of Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky, editor-in-chief of the JPS Torah and Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR (pictured, left). Dr. Orlinsky was the only Jewish scholar on the team that produced the monumental Revised Standard Version of the Bible (1952) prepared by, and primarily for, Christians. He became a major figure in the philosophical movement to turn biblical scholarship away from word-for-word literalism toward idiomatic translations aimed at capturing the original meaning of phrases.Beginning in1953, Dr. Orlinsky ardently advocated for a new English-language translation of the Bible, prepared by Jews for Jews (as well as others) that would take the place of the 1917 JPS translation, which resulted in the JPS Torah published in 1962.

This program is part of the year-long celebration of the 90th anniversary of the 1922 founding of the Jewish Institute of Religion (JIR) by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the renowned Zionist and social justice and human rights activist, as an institution serving all streams of Judaism. The JIR merged with Hebrew Union College in 1950.

Free admission. Photo ID required.

Please RSVP by November 30 by clicking here or calling 212-824-2293.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish history, identity, art, and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.


About The Jewish Publication Society: Founded in 1888, The Jewish Publication Society is the preeminent publisher of classic and contemporary Jewish texts for readers of English worldwide. The current list includes nearly 300 scholarly and popular works of history, philosophy, ethics, and theology. JPS is best known for its acclaimed Bible commentary, and the most widely read English translation of the Hebrew Bible, the JPS TANAKH. For more information, visit www.jps.org.