Monday, October 04, 2004

Mordecai Gafni At Oxford

More on rabbi Mordecai Gafni.

I got an email from Dr. Norman Solomon, a retired professor in Oxford's Oriental Studies department, in reply to my questions:

Dear Luke:

Re Gafni's claims:
1) teaching graduate seminars on mysticism at Oxford University in England

Gafni has spoken on mysticism at my seminar, at my invitation. It could be misleading to describe this as "teaching graduate seminars", since this might be taken to imply that he is or has been a member of staff here, which is incorrect.

2) a fellow at the Oriental Institute of Oxford University

Gafni is not and never has been a fellow at the Oriental Institute (in fact there is no such category).

3) an Oxford-trained scholar

He has worked towards a D.Phil (we have no degree of Ph.D.) under my supervision, but has not not submitted.

4) he also holds a Ph.D. from Oxford

He does not hold a Ph.D. from Oxford. Should it be confirmed that he has made such a spurious claim it would be regarded here as an extremely serious breach of discipline.


Oxford professor Joanna Weinberg emails me back: "Gafni taught a seminar which was not part of the university curriculum - he simply used the premises of the Oriental Institute. He is not a fellow at the Oriental Institute - we don't have fellows.
He is writing his Ph. D at Oxford under the supervision of Rabbi Norman Solomon. As far as I know, he has not yet received his doctorate."

PS 2008 Update: Marc Gafni has received his PhD from Oxford.