Boston University School of Law

Neil S. Hecht

Professor of Law Emeritus
Director, Institute of Jewish Law
B.A. and Rabbinical degree, Yeshiva University
J.D., Yale Law School
J.S.D., Columbia University School of Law

Interests: Jewish law; evidence; property

After almost 50 years as a Professor of Law and 30 years as Founding Director of its Institute of Jewish Law, Neil Hecht retired and assumed Emeritus status. Over the years he wrote and edited a variety of treatises, monographs and teaching materials, totaling 36 volumes. Among these works areJewish Jurisprudence; Selected Topics in Jewish Law;Controversy and Dialogue in Halakhik Sources;Jewish Law in Context; The Jewish Law Annual; Windows onto Jewish Legal Culture; and An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law (Oxford University Press).

From 1985 to 1986, Professor Hecht was the Visiting Gruss Professor of Talmudic Civil Law at New York University School of Law. He has also served as co-director of the Joint Project in Jewish Legal Bioethics, a collaborative initiative of the Institute of Jewish Law and Boston University’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health. His many professional and public service activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, as chair of the Jewish Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (which he helped found in 1992) and as a member of the American Law Institute.

Professor Hecht has also researched and published in the areas of evidence and property. HisLong-Term Lease Planning and Draftingwas selected as a sourcebook for real estate transaction seminars by the American Law Institute/American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Education. He was honored by the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University, which has displayed a plaque next to its Greek Metrological Relief in recognition of his published solution, based upon Jewish law, to the long-standing riddle surrounding the statue. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Silver Shingle Award for distinguished service to the School of Law, and in 2008 he won the Michael Melton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Yeshiva University awarded him its Centennial Rabbinic Award in 1986 and its Bernard Revel Memorial Award in 1981. Upon his retirement, the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published a festschrift in his honor (The Jewish Law Annual, Volume 19) honoring him as “A Man of Vision And Action.”