Ezra Tzfadya, M.A.


Ezra Tzfadya is a lecturer and research associate at the University of Bamberg's Oriental Studies Institute, Chair for Jewish Studies. He is writing his doctoral dissertation in Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg under the supervision of Prof. George Tamer titled "The Theocratic Idea and Modernity in Judaism and Shiite Islam: Sovereign Guardianship, Autonomy and the Law."

Through Bamberg's Center for Inter-religious Studies  (ZIS), Ezra has conceived and will be convening a major international conference this April together with Florida International University in Miami titled  "The Shia-Jewish Encounter: Texts, Contexts and Contemporary Implications." He was also responsible for the conception and management of the summer 2018 Bavarian Orient Colloquium with the theme " Jews, Judaism and Near Eastern Context." Ezra is a recipient of a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) doctoral fellowship, as well as a Fulbright. Ezra holds an M.A. from Princeton University in Religion, and a B.A. in Arabic and German from Dartmouth College. He is a North Miami Beach, Florida native.

Academic Employment

  • Otto Friedrich University, Bamberg. Institute for Oriental Studies
  • Lecturer and Research Associate (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter)
  • Chair for Jewish Studies (Supervisor: Prof. Susanne Talabardon)
  • M.A. program in Cultural Studies of the Middle East (Bavarian Excellence Initiative)


July 2015-Present

Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Ph.D. Candidate, Islamic Studies (ABD)

DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Doctoral Fellow (2015-17)

Dissertation Title: “The Theocratic Idea and Modernity in Judaism and Shiite-Islam. Sovereign Guardianship, Autonomy, and The Law.”

Professor George Tamer. Chair for Islamic Studies. (Main Advisor)


September 2009- October 2013

M.A.  Princeton University Religion 


July 2007- May 2008

Fulbright Fellowship

Freie Universität zu Berlin: Islamic Studies


September 2003- August 2007

B.A. Dartmouth College. Arabic Language and Literature,  German Studies (Majors).

Jewish Studies (Minor).


  • English  (Native)
  • German (Near-Native)
  • Hebrew (High Advanced)
  • Arabic   (High Advanced)
  • Persian (High Advanced)
  • French  (High Intermediate, Advanced Academic Reading)
  • Aramaic (Advanced Reading-Talmud)
  • Turkish (Low Intermediate)


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles / Peer Reviewed Book Chapters


Talabardon S. & Tzfadya E. “The Concept of Faith in Judaism”  in Key Concepts in Interreligious Discourses: Faith. Tamer, G. ed. Boston/Berlin. De Gruyter: Forthcoming 2019


“Modern Shiite and Jewish Existence Philosophy in Dialogue: The Problem of Autonomy” (forthcoming) in Hajatpour R. ed. Tradition and Innovation- Avicenna and Mulla Sadra in Dialogue. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter. Forthcoming 2019.


“Rethinking Leo Strauss’ Critique of Modernity in Light of Rav Kook and Khomeini .” in Philosophy and Law: Jewish and Islamic Thought between the Poles of Theocracy and Theology. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter, Forthcoming 2019


 “Living the Truth of a Free Europe: Community, Philosophy, and Responsibility in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig and Walter Benjamin.” in The Rosenzweig Jahrbuch 3: The Idea of Europe. “ ed. Braser, M. Freiburg/München: Alber, 2008


Edited Publication


Tzfadya, Ezra. ed. Jews, Judaism and Near-East Context:  Intercultural Productivity, Political Tensions  and the Presence of Absence. Ergon Press.  (In Preparation)


Academic Book Translation


 Tamer, George. Islamic Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Leo Strauss’s Interpretation of Alfarabi, Avicenna und Averroes. An updated English Translation of Islamische Philosophie und die Krise der Moderne: Das Verhältnis von Leo Strauss zu Alfarabi..  Avicenna und Averroes. Trns. Tzfadya, E  New York: SUNY. Forthcoming 2019.

Focus on Teaching and Research

  • Jewish and Islamic Political Thought
  • Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion
  • Political Theology
  • Middle East Politics and Constitutionalism