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Faculty & Staff

Raphe PanitzRaphe Panitz

501 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0450


Raphe received his B.A. from NYU in 1972. While attending New York University, he also took courses in Hebrew Bible, the Ancient Near East, and Jewish History at the Teacher's Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. His dissertation topic was "Textual Exegesis and Other Kinds of Interpretation in Scripture.' While at Penn, Raphe taught elementary and second year modern Hebrew as well as Biblical Hebrew to graduate and undergraduate students.

After spending a few years teaching in academia, Raphe switched careers and joined the staff of United States Congressman Robert A. Roe as a Legislative Assistant. In that capacity, he advised the Congressman on legislation, met with lobbyists, wrote Statements for the Congressional Record, organized congressional hearings, and helped write legislation. After Mr. Roe retired in 1993, Raphe went back to school, earning a Master's in Library Science (MLS) from the University of Maryland in 1995. He then spent fifteen years working as a legal librarian for Washington law and business firms.

In 2012, Raphe and his family retired to Knoxville. Raphe is now the President of Congregation Heska Amuna, a large Conservative synagogue located in Knoxville. Apart from teaching at Penn, Raphe has also taught Hebrew and Judaica at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Raphe taught JS/REST 311, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible in the summer of 2014, and JS/381, Introduction to Judaism, in the summer of 2015. For the fall 2015 Semester and for the Spring 2016 semester, he will again be teaching JS/REST 311. His teaching interests include Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature, the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Literature, and Judaism.

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