Rabbi James Ponet

Rabbi James Ponet is the Howard M. Holtzmann Jewish Chaplain at Yale, where he has served as a religious leader since 1981. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale in Religious studies and his masters and doctoral degrees from Hebrew Union College, where he was ordained in 1973. Rabbi Ponet lived in Israel from 1974-1981, studying jewish thought at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and serving as a Fellow and teacher at both the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Pardes Institute. He returned from Israel in 1981 to become Yale’s Jewish Chaplain, a position he has held ever since.

Jim Ponet was honored with an all-day celebration at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life on March 2 of 2007 commemorating his 25th anniversary as Yale’s Jewish Chaplain. Peter Salovey, dean of Yale College introduced the daylong “Festival of Thought.” One talk by Anthony Kronman, the Sterling Professor of Law and former dean of Yale Law School concerned “Gratitude and Anti-Semitism” Robert Burt, the Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law at Yale Law school spoke on “Job, Jim and Me.”

Jim is a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School where he teaches a course on Job and Injustice. He also teaches a college seminar (not for credit) in Timothy Dwight on “The Family in the Jewish Tradition” with Dr. Ruth Westheimer.