Foundation for Jewish Studies Speakers

Rabbi Jules and Navah Harlow

Rabbi Jules Harlow was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and served on the staff of the Rabbinical Assembly, most notably as Director of Publications, where he specialized in editing and translating the liturgy.

Prominent among Rabbi Harlow's contributions to synagogue liturgy are Siddur Sim Shalom, published by the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, published by the Rabbinical Assembly. Other liturgical publications include The Bond of Life, for a house of mourning, and The Feast of Freedom, the Rabbinical Assembly's Haggadah, for which he served as a translator and a member of the editorial committee. Rabbi Harlow also participated in editing and translating the Rabbinical Assembly's Weekday Prayer Book and Selihot service.

Rabbi Harlow is the Literary Editor of Etz Hayim, the Torah commentary published in 2001 by the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue, awarded first prize in non-fiction by the Jewish Book Council in 2000 and designated as the Book of the Year. He is the author of the prayer book commentary featured in Pray Tell, A Hadassah Book of Jewish Prayer, published by Jewish Lights in 2003.

His published translations of stories by Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon and by Yehudah Amichai have appeared in Commentary, Midstream, and Conservative Judaism magazines and in collections of stories published by Schocken Books. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nominated for an Emmy his interview of Isaac Bashevis Singer on NBC “for outstanding achievement in religious programming.” He is the translator of Megillat Ha-Shoah, liturgy for services on Yom Ha-Shoah published by the Rabbinical Assembly and Jerusalem’s Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies.

The University of Notre Dame Press included his essay, “Peace in Traditional Jewish Expression,” in Liturgical Foundations of Public Policy in the Catholic and Jewish Traditions and his essay, “Revising the Liturgy for Conservative Jews," in The Changing Face of Jewish and Christian Worship in North America. Rabbi Harlow also has edited textbooks for children, including Lessons from Our Living Past and Exploring Our Living Past, published by Behrman House.

He has lectured and preached in congregations throughout the United States and Canada. From 1996 through 1998, he served as Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden. Most recently, he and his wife, Navah, have been teaching and meeting with a group of b’nei anousim in Lisbon, Portugal, helping these descendants of Jews who were forcibly baptized five hundred years ago return to Jewish tradition through halakhic conversion.

Navah Harlow is the founding director of the Center for Ethics in Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Her groundbreaking work in end-of-life care, medical advance directives, and the right to self-determination has been prominently featured in The New York Times, The Today Show, and National Public Radio, as well as professional journals both here and abroad.

She was instrumental in the establishment of the Jacob Perlow Hospice, the first hospice under Jewish auspices in Manhattan. Through a research grant, Navah developed a curriculum guide for medical residents, Speaking with Families of Seriously Ill Patients, which was distributed to medical centers throughout the United States. For many years, she co-chaired the International Congress of Ethics in Medicine, sponsored by Beth Israel Medical Center, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and Ben Gurion Medical Center in Beer Sheva.

Her overriding concern has been to humanize and personalize the hospital experience in a culturally sensitive manner. Her interest in and sensitivity to diverse cultures as well as her fluency in five languages have proven to be major assets in her work.

In recent years, she and her husband, Rabbi Jules Harlow, have been working with the community of b’nei anousim in Lisbon, in preparing them for halachic conversion. Navah was awarded a graduate degree in counseling by Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Boston Hebrew College, and spent many summers as dance counselor at Camp Yavneh and Camp Ramah.

She and her husband, Jules, consider their most significant contributions to the future of a better world to be their two children (who chose perfect spouses) and their five grandchildren.

Online Learning for this Speaker

Survivors of the Inquisition: The B'nei Anousim of Lisbon - Audio

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