Professor Mordechai Rotenberg was born in Breslau, Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland.) His family fled to British Mandatory Palestine in 1939. Professor Rotenberg earned his BA in education and sociology from the School of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1960, and worked as a truant officer for Israel’s Ministry of Social Welfare.
He completed his MA in social work at the City University of New York in 1962, and was appointed Israel’s national inspector of youth at risk. He earned a PhD in social welfare and social psychology in the University of California, Berkley in 1969, and the following year he joined the faculty of the Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He became a full professor in 1980, and in 1986 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the City University of New York.
Professor Rotenberg developed a new approach to mental health and religion, and in 2005, he established the Rotenberg Institute of Jewish Psychology. He was awarded the 1991 Jerusalem Prize for his contribution to Jewish thought, and in 2009 he was awarded Israel’s highest accolade, the prestigious Israel Prize.
Among the many universities where Professor Rotenberg has lectured are: the University of Pennsylvania; the University of California, Berkley; the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; City University of New York; Yeshiva University, New York; and others.
Partial list of books:
- Damnation and Deviance: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Failure
- Rewriting the Self: Psychotherapy and Midrash
- The Yetzer: A Kabbalistic Psychology of Eroticism and Human Sexuality
- Hassidic Psychology: Making Space for Others
- Creativity and Sexuality: A Kabbalistic Experience
- Between Rationality and Irrationality: The Jewish Psychotherapeutic System
- Dialogue With Deviance
- Re-Biographing and Deviance: Psychotherapeutic Narrativism and the Midrash
- Over 100 papers.