Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Z. Simkovich
Catholic Theological Union
Website URL
Early Judaism, Second Temple Judaism, women in Early Judaism, Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Christianity, Diaspora Judaism, Greco-Roman Empire, early Rabbinic Judaism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr. Malka Simkovich is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She earned a doctoral degree in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University. Malka’s dozens of articles have been published in such journals as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well on online forums such as, The Lehrhaus, and the Times of Israel. Her second book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016. Her upcoming book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Stories and Scriptures That Shaped Early Judaism, will be published by the Jewish Publication Society in September 2018. Malka is currently working on co-authoring a commentary to the book of Zechariah with Dr. Leslie Hoppe that will be published in Liturgical Press’ Wisdom Commentary Series.  In addition to presenting papers every year at a variety of academic conferences, Malka speaks regularly throughout the United States and Canada, and her most recent travels have taken her to Seattle, Minneapolis, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. A native of Philadelphia, Malka lives in Skokie, Illinois, with her husband Aaron and their four children.


Recent Publications

Zechariah,Wisdom Commentary series; co-authored with Leslie Hoppe, ed. Barbara Reid, under contract, expected 2019


“Bel and the Dragon: Introduction and Commentary,” in The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha, eds. Lawrence Wills and Jonathan Klawans, under contract with Oxford University Press, expected 2019


Review of Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, Christian Century, February 2018


Review of Irving Green, The Jews of Chicago, Chicago Jewish Historical Society Quarterly Journal, forthcoming 2018


Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism.Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, forthcoming, October 2018


Review of Michael Segal, Dreams, Riddles, and Visions: Textual, Contextual, and Intertextual Approaches to the Book of Daniel, in AJS Review, Spring 2018


“The Book of Judith and the History of Hanukkah,” Shema BeKolah: A Journal of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, December 2017


Review of “Chana: A Life in Prayer,’ by Rabbi Yehiel E. Poupko, JUF News, September 6, 2017


“A Family’s Witness of Faith (2 Maccabees 7),” The Bible Today, May/June 2017


Review of Richard Kalmin, Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Contexts, in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 12.1, 2017


The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017


“The Apocalyptic Visions of Abraham and Paul in Early Judaism and Christianity,” The Bible Today 54.4 (2016) 261–266


“Geography-Based Giving in the Jewish Tradition,” in Poverty and Wealth in the Sacred Texts of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, eds. Nathan R. Kollar and Muhammad Shafiq. New York: Palgrave, 2016


“The Book of Jonah,” entry in Encyclopedia of Biblical Reception (EBR), 2016


“Echoes of Universalist Testament Literature in Christian and Rabbinic Texts,” Harvard Theological Review, January 2016


“Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity,” in From Enoch to Montreal and Back: New Vistas on Early Judaism and Christianity. Papers from the Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar, Montreal, 20–24 May 2014, eds. Lorenzo DiTommaso and Gerbern S. Oegema. London: T&T Clark, 2015.


“Let All Life Be in Common: Jewish Universalism from the Hebrew Bible Through the Second Temple Period,” Doctoral Dissertation, July 2015


“The Book of Haggai,” entry in Encyclopedia of Biblical Reception (EBR), 2014


Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” Journal for the Study of Judaism, 42.3 (2011) 293–310


“Doors, Windows, and Boundaries in the Elijah-Elisha Stories,” Harvard University Masters Thesis, May 2006












Online Essays


“Helena , the Jewish Queen of Adiabene.” June 10th, 2018


“In Every Generation They Rise Up Against Us To Destroy Us:” How We Keep Getting Chanukah Wrong.” December 14th, 2017

“In Every Generation They Rise Up Against Us to Destroy Us”: How We Keep Getting Hanukkah Wrong


“Rebecca in Early Jewish and Rabbinic Literature.” November 15th, 2017


“A Love Letter to the Woman of Valor.” November 9th, 2017. The Lehrhaus


“A Response to Ethan Tucker’s Interview with Dr. Alan Brill on Gender Equality and Prayer in Judaism.” Kavvanah. September 11, 2017


“Modest Living: Why Treating Appearance as a Religious Category Needs to go Out of Style.” The Times of Israel. June 27, 2017


“The Christian Monks Who Saved Jewish History.” The Lehrhaus. May 11, 2017.


“The Decalogue in Rabbinic Literature.”  Modern Torah Leadership. February 16, 2017.


“Heteronomy and Hierarchy: Are Partnership Minyanim Orthodox? A CTML Symposium.” Modern Torah Leadership. September 26, 2016.



“Wrestling With God: Leonard Cohen’s You Want it Darker.” The Lehrhaus. November 13, 2016.


“The Origins of Jewish Universalism: What it is, and Why it Matters.” The Lehrhaus. October 6, 2016.


“The Tale of Susanna: A Story About Daniel.” The Torah.Com. September 1, 2016.


“Working Hard for the Money: Breaking the Taboo of How We Pay Female Orthodox Educators.” The Times of Israel. August 17, 2016.


“Queen Berenice: A Woman of Contrasts.”


“Intimacy on the Sabbath: Was it Always a Mitzvah?”


“The Haggadah: A New Telling of the Exodus Story.”


“Uncovering the Truth About Chanukah.”


“The Making of Adam: Understanding the Midrash in Light of Plato and the Pseudepigrapha.”


“Abraham as the Great (Un)Circumciser: A Surprising Midrashic Portrait of Abraham.”


“Sefer Tuviah–The Book of Tobit.”


“The Portrayal of Abraham in the Testament of Abraham.”


“Why Jews Fast.” Co-authored with Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber.


“Jewish Attitudes Towards the Land of Israel During the Time of the Second Temple.”


“The Faith of the Martyred Mother and Her Seven Sons.”



Media Coverage ;
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Public History, Religion