NATHAN KATZ, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at Florida International University, has been a seminal figure in the field of Indo-Judaic Studies. With his wife, Ellen Goldberg, he authored pivotal books and scholarly articles about the Jews of India; he is founding editor of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, and has been deeply engaged in Jewish – Hindu/Buddhist/Jain interreligious dialogues. He was selected as a delegate to the historic 1990 Tibetan-Jewish dialogue hosted by H. H. the Dalai Lama, and in turn hosted HH’s three visits to Miami.
In the academic world, Katz has written fifteen books and more than a hundred academic articles. He won numerous awards, including Fulbright grants and was a Finalist for the 2000 Jewish National Book Award. He was the Founding Chair of FIU’s Department of Religious Studies, the Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, the Kaufmann Professor of Global Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration, an affiliated faculty in the College of Medicine, Director of Jewish Studies, and founder and director emeritus of the innovative Program in the Study of Spirituality. He also served on the faculties of Naropa University, Williams College, and the University of South Florida, and is Academic Dean of Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies, a yeshiva in Surfside, Florida.
Katz’s books include a memoir, Spiritual Journey Home: Eastern Mysticism to the Western Wall (2009), Who Are the Jews of India? (2000), which was a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, The Last Jews of Cochin: Jewish Identity in Hindu India (with Ellen S. Goldberg, 1993), Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies: Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma (with Ellen S. Goldberg, 1988), and Buddhist Images of Human Perfection (1982).
He has studied, taught, researched and lived in South Asia for more than eight years and together with his wife led study tours throughout India and Sri Lanka.