Julia Watts Belser


Associate Professor


Department of Theology
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+1 202-687-5356

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Professor Julia Watts Belser works in Jewish Studies, with a focus in Talmud, rabbinic literature, and Jewish ethics. Her research brings ancient texts into conversation with disability studies, queer theory, feminist thought, and environmental ethics. Her work focuses on classical Jewish responses to drought and disaster, portrayals of sexual violence in rabbinic responses to enslavement and empire, as well as gender, disability, and the dissident body in late antiquity.

An ordained rabbi, Professor Belser also writes queer feminist Jewish theology and brings disability culture into conversation with Jewish tradition. Before joining the Theology Department at Georgetown, Professor Belser held a research fellowship in Women’s Studies and Religion at Harvard Divinity School and taught in the Religious Studies Department at Missouri State University. She holds leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion and has served on the board of the Society for Jewish Ethics, as well as Nehirim, a national community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews and allies.


  • Ph.D. (2008) UC Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union, Joint Program in Jewish Studies
  • M.A. (2007) Academy for Jewish Religion California, Rabbinic Studies and Rabbinic Ordination
  • M.Div. (2003) Graduate Theological Union, Starr King School, Religion and Society
  • B.A. (1999) Cornell University, College Scholar in Religion and Social Change