Orthodox Jewish dean University of Chicago Divinity School

Zoloth has earned multiple feathers in her illustrious career

The University of Chicago Divinity School's new dean is a woman of many talents. She is a renowned bioethicist, union activist, and a former nurse. Laurie Zoloth, who held a professorship in a number of fields, happens to be an Orthodox Jew. The 67-year old, a known face in Judaic studies and other religious studies, became dean in July.

Divinity degrees qualification are offered by University of Chicago Divinity School in what the academic powerhouse terms 'Christian context'. The university accepts students of different religious backgrounds. The university offers an extensive variety of research opportunities and courses across a bouquet of religions.

Zoloth's previous academic posts include being a Northwestern University faculty. She held appointments in the religious studies department and the accompanying school of medicine. She had done extensive research on the Jewish social justice when it comes to healthcare. She has also written extensively on genetics seen through Jewish eyes. Zoloth was the inaugural director at San Francisco State University's Jewish studies program. She was also the president of the American Academy of Religion in 2014.

According to Zoloth, anything she does when she is awake, from social action to academia, is simply following Deuteronomy 16:18-20. She has been described as an idealist, who quit Swarthmore to take the job of a licensed practical nurse. She spent that time as caring for poor women, fighting for civil rights, she boycotted grapes with United Farm Workers, marched in opposition to Vietnam War. In 1969, and she cut sugar cane in Cuba to oppose U.S. trade embargo.

Zoloth holds a master's degree in Jewish Studies. She also holds a social ethics doctorate from Graduate Theological Union. Her other qualification is a San Francisco State University conferred   master's degree in English. In a 2014 interview with Religion News Service, she mentioned of being born in a secular Jewish family in Los Angeles. Only in college, she developed an affinity for Orthodox Jewish communities.

Zoloth made her views known during her interview saying, “The questions of religion are at the center of our national life. We see today questions of good and evil, how we ought to live and what we owe one another. Our job is to uncover the truth and ask questions: What does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to be free? And what must we do about the suffering of others? The university exists to pursue this.”

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