Abba Hillel Silver Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies
Dr. Haas received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1970 after which he attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, receiving ordination as a Reform rabbi in 1974. He served as an active U.S. Army chaplain for three years, remaining in the Army National Guard chaplain corp. for another 19 years. Upon completion of active duty, Rabbi Haas enrolled in the graduate program in religion at Brown University, earning a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies in 1980. He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1980, where he taught courses in Judaism, Jewish ethics, the Holocaust, Western religion, and the Middle East Conflict.
Dr. Haas moved to Case Western Reserve University in 2000 and was appointed chair of the Department or Religious Studies in 2003. He also served as a visiting professor at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Haas has published several books and articles dealing with moral discourse and with Jewish and Christian thought after the Holocaust and has lectured in the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Israel. His most recent book is on human rights in Judaism.
Dr. Haas stepped down as chair of the Department of Religious Studies in the summer of 2015 and fully retired in the summer of 2016. He is currently doing part-time volunteer work for the pastoral care department of South Pointe Hospital, as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and as a discussion leader for Books@Work for which he has lead short story discussion groups in the VA and the veterans pod in Cuyahoga County jail.