Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pill is a senior lecturer at Emory Law School, and senior fellow and associate director of law and Judaism at Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, where his work focuses on Jewish and Islamic law, religious liberty and U.S. law for clergy and religious organizations.
“Lots of rabbis have a legal mind because the Torah is a very legalistic tradition,” he said. “Being able to appreciate the ways in which the Jewish community interacts with American law is unique and enriching to both traditions, and it allows me to gain better insight into each using the other.”
Drawing on his background as an attorney, rabbi and academic, Pill routinely lectures and consults on a wide range of issues pertaining to Judaism, the place of religion in American law, strategic risk and problem-solving, and Jewish-Muslim relations in the United States and abroad.
“Having an American law background creates new opportunities for interfaith work, as a community representative with Muslim communities,” he said. “We often have American law and policy in common, and that can provide inroads toward a common purpose because religious communities often have similar policy goals.”
Since moving to Atlanta seven years ago, Pill has been involved in a number of Jewish communal projects aimed at creating increased opportunities for Jewish engagement, including Chaya Mushka Children’s House elementary and middle school and the New Toco Shul, where he served as a member of the founding rabbinic board.
More recently, Pill serves as a director of Congregation Kol Yisrael Atlanta, a new synagogue that joins Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions under one roof while promoting deep engagement with other-focused Jewish learning, prayer and character development.
Additionally, this fall Rabbi Pill will begin serving as rosh yeshivah of the College Beit Midrash of Atlanta, a new part-time yeshivah for Atlanta university students interested in continuing high-level Torah study in concert with their academic and career pursuits. Shlomo lives in Toco Hills with his wife, Tzivie, and three daughters, Arial, Minnie and Delphine.