Skip to main content

Sh'ma Journal Collection

Identifier: I-606

Scope and Contents

This collection is primarily comprised of administrative materials, journal issues, editorial content, and interviews. Interviews are transcribed for inclusion in editorial content. The collection was pre-arranged by the organization prior to donation.

The complete run of Sh'ma is available via our shared digital asset management and preservation system. Links to the digitized serial can be found in two parts. For 1970-2002, please see For 2002-2019, please see

While our collection is arranged archivally in its original order, Stanford's Berman Jewish Policy Archive offers the ability to search the Sh’ma Journal database by article title, author, or keywords. Cross referencing these two collections increases discoverability and makes the Sh’ma collection more accessible to all users.

Each entry in Stanford’s database contains a selection of keywords, or “topics”. A keyword search will typically yield a range of files within the scope of your chosen topic. For example: entering “kosher” into the search bar will retrieve any files containing “kosher” as a topic, as well as files containing shared keywords such as “food,” “Jewish law,” and “tradition”. The ability to cast a wider net allows for the discovery of more resources and can be particularly helpful when conducting preliminary research.

The Sh’ma Journal collection at AJHS allows the user to browse the journal’s complete run in chronological order. Each volume has been digitized as a single entity and can be accessed by issue number, rather than individual articles. Once the user has identified a relevant article through a keyword search in the Stanford database, they can then locate the complete publication in the AJHS collection and continue their research from there. Likewise, the user might identify an article or topic of interest within the AJHS collection and then utilize the Stanford database to locate related articles through a keyword search.

Click here to browse the Sh'ma Collection hosted by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive


  • 1970 - 2020

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Conditions Governing Use

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at For reference questions, please email:

Biographical / Historical


Sh'ma was founded in 1970 by Rabbi Eugene Borowitz as a publication to showcase topics and contributors from every sector of the Jewish community. Borowitz served as Publisher and Editor of Sh'ma for 23 years, and as Senior Editor from 1993 to 1997. Since 1998, Susan Berrin has served as Editor-in-Chief.

In 2009, the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah assumed responsibility for the publication, establishing the Sh’ma Institute and creating a board of directors for the journal. In 2015, Sh'ma partnered with the Forward and was rebranded as Sh'ma Now. The Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah ceased the Sh'ma publication in 2019.

Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz

Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz was a noted Reform rabbi, scholar, theologian, and philosopher. He was born on February 20, 1924 in Columbus, Ohio. and attended Ohio State University. After graduating from Ohio State University, he received his rabbinic ordination in 1948 from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and a Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree in 1952.He also received an Ed.D. in 1958 from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Rabbi Borowitz worked in St. Louis, MO, and Port Washington, NY, and served as a Navy Chaplain during the Korean War. From 1962 until his death on January 22, 2016, he was Sigmund Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought and, since 2004, Distinguished University Professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He was elected as the first Jewish president of the American Theological Society in 1981.

In 1996, Rabbi Borowitz received a medal from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for Jewish Cultural Achievement in scholarship.

In addition to his numerous other accomplishments, including founding and editing Sh'ma, Rabbi Borowitz was a prolific author. Among some of the most prominent titles of the 17 books he authored are Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew, which expressed his teachings on "covenant theology," and The Masks Jews Wear, which was awarded the National Book Award in 2004.


691 Megabytes

11 Linear Feet

Language of Materials