Leon A. Feldman, Retired Faculty, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, died on July 23, 2008. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Feldman was a member of the Hebriac Studies Department.
Dr. Leon A. Feldman was born in Berlin, Germany, and found refuge in England and Canada during World War II, eventually settling in New York. In 1947, he was ordained as a rabbi by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He earned a D.H.L. from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He also received a doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, and bachelorís and masterís degrees from Oxford University.
Dr. Feldman founded the Department of Hebraic Studies at Rutgers University and taught there from 1962-1992, serving as Distinguished Professor of Hebraic Studies. He also held visiting faculty appointments at universities in Canada, England, Germany, Israel, Spain, and Switzerland, and was the founding rector of the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg, Germany. He served as Professor of Jewish History at the Touro College Graduate School of Jewish Studies since September 2004.
Dr. Feldmanís many scholarly volumes and articles focus primarily upon medieval rabbinic literature and, in particular, on responsa as a source for the study of Jewish history. His critical edition of the sermons of Rabbi Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for Literature and Jewish Thought, in 1975. In 1988, he received the Rabbi Judah Leib Maimon Prize for Rabbinic Literature and Jewish History. Dr. Feldman was the recipient of numerous prestigious academic fellowships, and served as consultant to a wide variety of Jewish communal and educational organizations. He was a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research since 1982.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Small Feldman; his brother Emmanuel Feldman; his sons Howard R. Feldman (Rutgers 1966 [B.A.]; Rutgers 1978 [Ph.D.]) and Peter B. Telem (Rutgers 1971[B.A.]); his granddaughters Debra Belowich, Adee and Michal Telem; grandsons Brian Feldman, Elan Telem; great grandchildren Alexa and Talia Belowich.