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Rubin Family Sponsors The Commentators' Bible: The JPS Miqra'ot Gedolot

December 4, 2012


Joel D. & Tammy S. Rubin and Family

Joel Rubin first learned about JPS in the 1960s as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Hillel House weekly and in those days the new JPS Torah translation was a major topic of conversation. Years later he served on the JPS board and was asked to consider a book sponsorship. He was intrigued by the concept of the The JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot, by Michael Carasik.

But since the first volume had not yet been published, he couldn’t picture what it was going to look like. When the first volume (Exodus) was released, Mr. Rubin was very impressed. Since then Joel and Tammy have generously sponsored all the remaining volumes.

“I always had a feeling that as an orthodox Jew I had an obligation to open up these sacred texts to those who are not as educated in Torah as I am … to make them more accessible. I also realized that it is much easier for many people to study Torah commentary in English than in Hebrew,” said Joel.

Joel Rubin confessed that he was tempted to sponsor the writing of a Sefer Torah instead, which could be considered a more significant contribution, but he felt it would be a more selfish one. “Sponsoring the Miqra’ot Gedolot is more about making Torah reachable to others,” he said.

With the support of the Rubin Family, JPS has published three volumes of The JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot: Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Deuteronomy and Genesis will be published in the coming years.

These books are substantial works of Jewish scholarship, requiring much time and resources. Without the generous gifts of the Rubin Family, this vital JPS series would not have been possible.

About The Commentators' Bible: The Rubin JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot:

First published 500 years ago as the “Rabbinic Bible,” the biblical commentaries known as Miqra'ot Gedolot have inspired and educated generations of Hebrew readers. In these new JPS volumes the voices of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nachmanides and Rashbam, and other medieval commentators come alive, speaking in a contemporary English translation, annotated and explicated for lay readers. Each page contains the biblical Hebrew , surrounded by both the 1917 and the 1985 JPS translations, and by new English translations of commentaries.

The Commentators' Bible: The Rubin JPS Miqra'ot Gedolot has been the life work, a magnum opus, of scholar and translator Michael Carasik.