Twersky Resigns As Center Director

Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy Isadore Twersky has resigned from his position as director of the Center for Jewish Studies.

The resignation is effective July 1, Twersky said last night. He declined to comment on the reasons for his resignation.

Jay M. Harris, Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities, said he "had no personal knowledge as to why" Twersky resigned.

Harris is a member of the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department.

Twersky's replacement as director will be selected by Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles. The person will likely come from the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department's Jewish studies specialists, a source said.


They include Harris, Safra Professor of Jewish History and Sephardic Civilization Bernard Septimus, Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages Peter B. Machinist '66, Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature Ruth R. Wisse and Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature James I. Kugel, sources said.

Twersky, a Maimonedes expert who teaches a popular Moral Reasoning core course on "Moderation and Extremism," has directed the center for 16 years. The center funds colloquia, lectures and research fellowships for graduate students and visiting scholars in Jewish studies.

One source within the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department said Twersky's central role in shaping the center makes his resignation seem all the more inexplicable.

"It's Twersky's baby," the source said. "He's been the backbone behind everything...why he would resign is beyond me."

The source said there is no reason to suspect a forced resignation. "It's hard to believe, there's any power struggle," said the source. "He's the boss--there's no one to feud with.