Dr. Zack Wainer

Hi! My name is Zack Wainer and I’m a lover of all things Jewish. Things nearest and dearest to my heart include singing around the Shabbat table with my family, sharing words of Torah, tuning in to the Grateful Dead, and caring more than I should about the New York Mets. As a former academic, I have a deep interest in how communities engage with and make meaning out of their key texts – and as a committed & curious Jew, I gravitate to Torah, Midrash, Targum ([interpretive] Aramaic Biblical translation), Piyyut (liturgical poetry), and Zohar, alongside topics like Talmud and Musar (ethical/spiritual conduct).

I’ve taught & lectured in academic and Jewish communal settings in the US, Israel, & Europe, on topics ranging from the Hebrew Bible within its socio-cultural context, to early Jewish interpretation, comparative mythology, and ancient Middle Eastern languages. Before leaving academia – first for the world of management consulting and now for the Jewish communal space – I was a lecturer at William & Mary and a Fulbright & Lady Davis postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I received my PhD (focused on the Ancient Near East, History of Science, and Hebrew Bible) from Brown and did my BA at UPenn (also focused on the Ancient Near East & Hebrew Bible).

Born and raised in New Jersey, I now call that beautiful state home along with my wife and three kids. When not Jewishly engaged, I like to hike, cook, read, and build fires (often in fireplaces).

Dr. Zack Wainer Favorite Subjects

Hebrew Language

Judaism and Comparative Religion



Rabbinical Literature





The Structure of Jewish Texts


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