Rebecca T. Alpert

Faculty profile photo of Rebecca T. AlpertSenior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
649 Anderson Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122


Religion and Sport, Religion and Sexuality, American Judaism in the Twentieth Century


Rebecca T. Alpert is Professor of Religion at Temple University. Alpert was among the first women in America ordained as a rabbi, at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1976. She is the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, co-editor of Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition, Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism and Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball. At Temple University she teaches undergraduates about contemporary religion with a focus on Philadelphia, sexuality, sport, and race. She teaches graduate courses on religion and public life, sexuality, and higher education teaching. She is a recipient of a Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. She is a member of the rabbinic cabinet of Jewis h Voice for Peace, a commissioner on the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission, and is currently at work on a case study book about religion and sport.

Selected Publications


Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition (Columbia University Press, 1997) 1998 Lambda Literary Award and 1999Award for Scholarship from the Jewish Women’s Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology

Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball (Oxford University Press, 2011) Robert Peterson Award for Best Book in Negro League History, Jerry Malloy Conference 2011; 2012 SABR Baseball Research Award

Religion and Sports: An Introduction and Case Studies (Columbia University Press, May 2015)

Edited Volumes

Voices of the Religious Left: A Contemporary Sourcebook editor (Temple University Press, 2000)

Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation editor, with Sue Elwell and Shirley Idelson, (Rutgers University Press, 2001) 2002 Finalist for Lambda Literary Award and Laura Levitt, guest editors, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal 14:1 Jewish Feminists and Our Fathers (Spring 2009)

Trade Books

and J. Staub Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach (Reconstructionist Press, 1985, rev.ed. 2000)

A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z (contributing writer) ed. Mary Hunt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism (New Press, 2008)

Courses Taught

  • Religion 0976: Honors Religion in Philadelphia
  • Religion 1001: Religion and Society
  • Religion 2002/8810: Religion and Sexuality
  • Religion 3407: Jews, America and Sports (online)
  • Religion 8011: Religion and Public Life
  • Religion 8985: Teaching in Higher Education: Humanities