About the Rabbi

Short Biography

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is internationally regarded as one of the leading scholars and rabbis of our times. He was born in Israel in 1937 to a secular family. At age 23, he became Israel’s youngest high school principal of an experimental school that he and some friends established in the Negev.

Best known for his monumental commentaries and translations of the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Steinsaltz works with teams of scholars and editors in producing the forty-four Hebrew volumes of the Steinsaltz Talmud, along with the English, French, Russian and Spanish editions. This project was launched in 1965, and the Hebrew Talmud was completed in November, 2010.

Since 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz has founded the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Moscow, the Jewish Universities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a publishing house in Moscow, and Lamed, the national Jewish teachers' organization. He has travelled to Russia and the Republics frequently for lectures and meetings with students, teachers, politicians, journalists and key decision makers, serving as Duchovny Ravin – a historic title bestowed upon him in 1995, indicating his role as spiritual mentor of Russian Jewry.

Founder of the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, Rabbi Steinsaltz has published over 300 titles and hundreds of essays on a variety of topics, including the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. Some of these publications have been translated into Russian, English, French, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Georgian, and even Chinese.

To the Bibliography list, Click here.

In Israel, Rabbi Steinsaltz established the Mekor Chaim network of schools in Jerusalem and the vicinity. In 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz received the Israel Prize – the country’s highest honor – for Jewish Studies. In 2012 he was one of the first recipients of the Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction for his contribution to Israel and its standing in the world.

Rabbi Steinsaltz has been a visiting lecturer and resident scholar at leading academic institutions in Europe, China and the United States, including Oxford University, the Sorbonne, The Academies of Social Sciences in Beijing and Shanghai, Yale University, University of Cape Town, The Institute for Advanced Studies and the Woodrow Wilson Center.

In December 2016, he suffered a severe stroke which has left him unable to write and very limited in his speech. Nevertheless, he continues to come to the office daily, read over texts given to him, and make his comments on them.

In August 2020 the Rabbi departed this earth.

Rabbi Steinsaltz lives in Jerusalem with his wife, and has three children, numerous grandchildren and some great-grandchildren.



            1971 – Abramowitz–Zeitlin Award for a series of articles on contemporary Jewry

            1986 – Marcus Katz Award, awarded by Israel’s President

            1988 – Israel Prize for the Steinsaltz edition of the Talmud

            1991 – Honorary Ph.D., Yeshiva University

                         Medal of Honor, the Prime Minister of Italy

            1994 – Paris Mayor’s Medal

Membership, the Order of Art and Literature of the French Ministry of Culture

            1995 – Honorary Ph.D., Ben Gurion University

                        Appointment as Duchovny Ravin – Spiritual Leader of Soviet Jewry

            1996 – Honorary Ph.D., Bar Ilan University

1999 – Honorary Ph.D., Brandeis University

2002 – Zalman Shazar Memorial Prize

            National US Jewish Book Award to the Talmud

2005 – Honorary Ph.D., Florida International University

2012 – The Israel President Medal of Distinction

2017 – Honorary citizenship of Jerusalem.

2019 -  Honorary Ph.D., Weitzman Institute

2020 – Entering of the English Talmud Noe edition to the Library of Congress



            1960s onwards – Member of the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

            1977 – Board Member, Gesher

            1980 – Member of the Committee for Curriculum Planning for State Schools, the

Israel Ministry of Education

            1982-1983 – Member of the Ethics Committee of the Israeli Medical Association

            1987 – Global Forum for Spiritual and Religious Leaders, Oxford University

            1989 – Chairman of the Board, Jewish University of St. Petersburg

            1990 – Scholar-in-Residence, The Woodrow Wilson Center

            1993 – Guest lecturer, Melbourne University

            1994 – Guest Lecturer, Sorbonne University

1995 and onwards – Duchovni Ravin – spiritual leader of Soviet Jewry

            1997 – Thanksgiving World Advisor, Center for World Thanksgiving

            1997-2014 – Board Member, the Joint Distribution Committee

2000 – Participant in the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations

2004 - World Symposium of Catholic Cardinals and Jewish Leaders

2016 – Member of the Marcus Katz Prize Committee.


Academic Roles

-      1976 – Research Fellow, Yale University's Divinity School

-      1981 – Terry Lectures, Yale University

-      1982 – Scholar-in-residence, Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies

-                        1988 – Guest Lecturer, the Space Research Department of the Soviet Academy of Sciences

Guest Lecturer, Oxford University

-      1990 -  Scholar in Residence, the Woodrow Wilson Institute

-      1993 – Guest Lecturer, Melbourne University

-      1994 – Guest Lecturer, the Sorbonne, Paris

-      1996 – Guest Lecturer, the Academies and Universities of Beijing, Shanghai, and

-                                     Nanjing, the People’s Republic of China

-      1998 – Guest Lecturer, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, the University of Lugano

-      1999 – Guest Lecturer, the University of Capetown

-                        2001-2005 – Senior Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Science and Religion, Columbia University

-      2007 – Visiting Scholar, Columbia University.


Institutions Founded

            1965 – The Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications

            1972 – Founding Member and Board Member, Pardes Institute

            1975 – Shefa Institute

            1984 – The Mekor Chaim Educational Institutions, Jerusalem and Kfar Etzion

            1988 – The Aleph Society (NY, London, Melbourne, and Israel)

            1989 – Lamed: The National Jewish Teachers’ Organization in the CIS

            1990 – The Free Jewish University in Moscow

            1994 – Institute for Jewish Leadership Training in the CIS

1999 – Mekor Chaim High Yeshiva, Tekoa

2004 – the Hesder Yeshiva at Tekoa

2006 – Melamedia: The Center for Jewish Family Life in the FSU and Israel

2007 – the Shefa Middle and High School for Boys

2009 – The Shefa High School for Girls

2016 – The High Kollel for Halachah at the Tekoa Yeshiav

2017 – The Pedagogical Center for Curriculum Writing.


Activities at the Steinsaltz Center

2010 – First Global Day of Jewish Learning (an annual event every November)

2010-2017 – Favorite Sugya– a series of weekly lectures by a wide variety of people

2015 – Establishment of the Steinsaltz Beit Din

2016 – Establishment of the Steinsaltz Institution for Conversion to Judaism in Marseilles, which occasionally meets at the Steinsaltz Center

2017 –2019 Establishment of the Friday Morning Beit Midrash, which now operates also on Wednesdays.

About the Rabbi