Rabbi Dov Berkovits has been a leader in innovative Torah education in Israel for thirty years. His teaching has inspired thousands of students, American and Israelis, religious and secular alike. He is committed to making Torah study speak directly to issues of personal and community life. His original and penetrating thought links Judaism to areas of social concern, personal creativity and the critical needs of family life.
He has been a significant figure in bringing together religious and secular Israelis, integrating personal creativity and Torah study, Judaism and the arts. His passionate teaching continues to be a powerful link between Torah study and the search for personal meaning for both youth and adults.
He was a key figure in the planning and development of Pardes, Elul, Nesiya, Yakar and Tehudah, – and taught on their senior faculty – pioneering programs in contemporary education and Israel’s cultural life that have created a new encounter between in-depth Torah study, personal creativity and issues of contemporary concern.
Five years ago Dov founded Bet Av – Creativity and Renewal in Torah, in memory of his father, Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits, z”l, whose work he embodies. Bet Av has been an important vehicle for the practical implementation of Dov’s ideas in teacher training and enrichment, and in innovative Torah education in Israel. Bet Av has successfully re-oriented the thinking of many teachers and those in educational leadership with a vision of how Torah study can personally impact the lives of teachers and students alike and help deepen their commitment to healing the divisions among Jews today.
Rabbi Berkovits studied at the University of Chicago. He holds degrees in sociology, philosophy and Jewish History from Yeshiva University and was ordained by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l. Rabbi Berkovits made Aliyah in 1970 and lives today with his family in Shilo. He studied in Israel at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav and at the Shalom Hartman Institute until becoming chairman of the faculty for fifteen years at Pardes. He has also served as a senior research fellow with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.
Rabbi Berkovits has written widely on issues of Judaism and contemporary concern in Israel. He writes a weekly column on Talmud and issues of contemporary thought in the Cultural Supplement of one of Israeli’s main newspapers.