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Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures

Emanuel S. Goldsmith

Professor Emeritus, Coordinator and Advisor of Hebrew

PhD, Brandeis, Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary

Emanuel Goldsmith teaches courses in Israeli and European Jewish (Hebrew and Yiddish) literary and intellectual culture as well as Biblical Hebrew literature; he also supplies courses on Judaism for Religious Studies. He specializes in the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and in American religious thought.

Research Interests

Emanuel S. Goldsmith is Professor of Yiddish and Jewish Studies and Rabbi of Congregation M'vakshe Derech in Scarsdale, NY. He has lectured widely on modern Jewish literature and thought, and is a recognized authority on the writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan, having co-edited both The American Judaism of Mordecai Kaplan and Dynamic Judaism: The Essential Writings of Mordecai Kaplan. He has also written the essay on Kaplan in the forthcoming Dictionary of Modern American Philosophy. His other publications include Thinkers and Teachers of Modern Judaism and Events and Movements in Modern Judaism. On the subject of Yiddish literature, his signal contributions include Modern Yiddish Culture: The Story of the Yiddish Language Movement and the two-volume anthology Yiddish Literature in America 1980-2000 (in Yiddish).


Emanuel S. Goldsmith's book was a pioneering achievement in modern Jewish scholarship. It was the first history of the Yiddishist movement. In one master stroke, it enabled the bold, open-minded reader to overcome the myriad prejudices and misconceptions that continue to misguide popular notions about Yiddish and the Yiddish language movement.

Now the historians of events, and (especially) the historians of ideas are supposed to maintain a studious "distance" from their material. That Professor Goldsmith did in the two incarnations of this splendid book. Still, the highly charged nature of the relevant controversies, and the ongoing heated debate about them, left readers wondering: And what does Professor Goldsmith say? In addition to his professorial persona at Queens College, he is after all an eminent Reconstructionist rabbi and a beloved writer and lecturer on Jewish thought.

David Katz
Oxford University.

The American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan - Edited by Emanuel S. Goldsmith, Mel Scult and Robert M. Seltze

Dynamic Judaism - The Essential Writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan - Edited by Emanuel S. Goldsmith and Mel Scult

Confluence of Spiritual and Poetic Quests in the writings of H. Leivick - by Emanuel S. Goldsmith


 Office Information

Miryam Segal
Department Chair
Location: Queens Hall, Room 215
Phone: 718-997-5570
Fax: 718-997-5577

Faculty and Staff Information

Language Placement

Language Coordinators

Upcoming Language Placement Exams

  • February 1, 2016, Queens Hall 245E. Students may arrive between 2pm and 5:30pm for placement into Spring 2016 courses.
  • March 14, 2016, Queens Hall 325. Students may arrive between 12pm and 5:30pm for placement into Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 courses.


 Faculty Profiles


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