"Only in a university can be found the range and diversity of disciplines and intellectual strengths that are necessary components of contemporary Judaica - history, political science, economics, sociology, philology, languages and literatures."
Salo Wittmayer Baron (1895-1989)
LittD 1964 (hon.)
With the appointment of Salo Baron in 1929 as the Nathan L. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Institutions, Columbia became the first university to provide a true academic milieu for Jewish studies. It was one in which Baron could realize his long-held ambition to cross departmental lines to integrate all of the disciplines that explore and interpret history and culture, revolutionizing the study of Jewish history and its influence on the western world. Later practitioners of Jewish scholarship (many of them Baron's own students) gained access to other prestigious universities promoting his scientific as well as theological interpretations of Jewish history and connecting that history to contemporary concerns.