Judah Sarna
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration

RabbiYehuda Sarna serves as the University Chaplain and Rabbi at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University.

As a community leader, Rabbi Sarna has guided the astounding growth of the NYU Jewish community since 2002. One signature of his leadership is extensive multi-faith collaboration, particularly with the Muslim community. He has convened campus-wide multi-faith vigils on behalf of victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre, the Mumbai bombing, the Haiti earthquake, and the tsunami in Japan. Internal to the Jewish community, Rabbi Sarna is a strong advocate for pluralism and outreach. In organizing Jewish institutions in Lower Manhattan to construct the Manhattan Eruv, a virtual “boundary” for the community, he united Reform, Conservative, Chabad and Orthodox synagogues.

As an educator, Rabbi Sarna founded the Jewish Learning Fellowship at NYU, a “school-within- a-school”, offering intensive ten-week courses of exploration in Jewish thought. With nearly a thousand alumni since its birth in 2007, the Fellowship now serves as a national educational model for Jewish campus groups. Rabbi Sarna was awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence from Hillel International in 2008 and was the honoree at the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus Awards Dinner in 2009.

As an innovator, Rabbi Sarna is a founding board member of the Jewish Disaster Response Corps which mobilizes the American Jewish community to provide direct support to communities recovering from natural disasters. In 2009, he was listed as one of“36-under-36 Change-makers” by the New York Jewish Week; in 2008 he was featured as a “Man with a Plan” by Presentense: Fostering Innovation. As an undergraduate student, Rabbi Sarna founded Eimatai, a leadership training program for high school students, Mimaamakim: Journal of Jewish Art, and Nachalah: The Yeshiva University Journal for the Study of Bible. He is the editor of The Koren Shabbat Evening Siddur (2011) and Orthodox Forum Series: Toward a Jewish Perspective on Culture (forthcoming).

Rabbi Sarna is married to Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna, a psychologist, and they have five children.

 

Semester Course
Spring 2014 UPADM-GP.254.001 Multi-Faith Leadership in the 21st Century

The course utilizes the evolution of Muslim-Jewish relations in NYC since 9-11 as an extended case study in spiritual and religious leadership and public service. How have Jewish and Muslim communities worked together to combat media narratives and inherited stereotypes? What internal battles has each community experienced? What was the impact of global/national events on local reconciliation? The course will highlight the role of joint public service efforts in developing and sustaining leadership.


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Spring 2013 UPADM-GP.258.001 Contemporary Approaches to Jewish Law

In this course, we will study foundational topics in Jewish law and philosophy, employing a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. From biblical to modern times, we will trace how the Jewish legal tradition has developed. We will explore the complex interplay of law, religion, society and politics in various formative stages of the Jewish normative tradition.


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Fall 2012 UPADM-GP.252.001 Legal and Ethical Approaches to Judaism

In this course, we will study foundational topics in Jewish law and philosophy, employing a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. From biblical to modern times, we will trace how the Jewish legal tradition has developed. We will explore the complex interplay of law, religion, society and politics in various formative stages of the Jewish normative tradition.


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Fall 2012 UPADM-GP.250.001 Interfaith Dialogue, Leadership, and Public Service: Traditions of Engagement in the US and Beyond
The course utilizes the evolution of Muslim-Jewish relations in NYC since 9-11 as an extended case study in spiritual and religious leadership and public service. How have Jewish and Muslim communities worked together to combat media narratives and inherited stereotypes? What internal battles has each community experienced? What was the impact of global/national events on local reconciliation? The course will highlight the role of joint public service efforts in developing and sustaining leadership.
Download Syllabus
Spring 2011 UPADM-GP.252.001 Legal and Ethical Approaches to Judaism

In this course, we will study foundational topics in Jewish law and philosophy, employing a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. From biblical to modern times, we will trace how the Jewish legal tradition has developed. We will explore the complex interplay of law, religion, society and politics in various formative stages of the Jewish normative tradition.


Download Syllabus