The Constitution of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism
- The purpose of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism (henceforth, the APJ) is, first and foremost, to promote scholarship in the philosophy of Judaism. A secondary aim is to encourage philosophers who have yet to do work in the philosophy of Judaism, to turn their attention to such work.
- We define ‘philosophy of Judaism’ broadly, to include:
A) Philosophical engagement with the key texts of the Jewish faith, both biblical and rabbinic.
B) Philosophical engagement with questions that are raised by tenets of the Jewish faith.
C) Philosophical engagement with key concepts of Jewish peoplehood, such as communal identity over time.
D) Philosophical engagement with classical texts of Jewish philosophy and with philosophers of Judaism, i.e. with texts and philosophers that dealt with any of the issues raised above.
- The APJ has no political or religious agenda.
- Membership to the APJ will not be restricted to people on grounds of faith, gender, race, or communal affiliation.
- A member of the APJ will be any person who has paid his or her subscription for the current year and joined the APJ’s website as a follower or contributing author. The membership subscription shall be determined by the Executive Council, subject to approval at the annual meeting.
- The APJ will have an Executive Council with three members, each of whom will occupy their position for terms of two years, and may not occupy the same position for more than two consecutive terms. The three positions are Chair, Program Director, and Liaison Officer.
- The Executive Council will work as a team. Their titles and implicit job descriptions are somewhat nominal, as no decision of substance can be taken without the agreement of a majority of the council. Notwithstanding that, the Chair will have responsibility for the finances of the association, the Program Director will have responsibility for organizing monthly symposia and other regular activities on the APJ’s website, and the Liaison Officer will be responsible for recruiting new members, devising ways of adding value to their annual membership, and for communicating with them on behalf of the Association.
- The Executive Council will not have to meet, unless they chose to; decisions shall be taken and discussions conducted utilizing group e-mails.
- When terms of office for these three positions come to an end, successors shall be elected at the Association’s annual meeting or via electronic ballot. Nominations must be received by the Executive Council a full month in advance of the scheduled vote.
- If a member of the Executive Council resigns before his or her term is completed, a call will be made for the member’s replacement via the Association’s website, and an electronic ballot election will be held within one (1) month of the member’s resignation (unless the annual meeting is within said time period, in which case the vote will take place at the annual meeting).
- The Executive Council shall appoint, for each year, a President of the Association. The office of the President is purely honorary. The President shall give a presidential address to the annual meeting. The President shall be someone who has done world-class work in the field of philosophy of Judaism, or shall be a Jewish philosopher of outstanding repute in other areas of philosophy, who shall be invited to dedicate the presidential address to his or her first significant work in the philosophy of Judaism.
- The annual meeting shall be an opportunity for members (and non-members) to meet and discuss their work in person. At the annual meeting, the President will deliver his or her presidential address, and up to two other philosophers will be invited to deliver papers. Philosophers in the early stages of their careers will be given preference as respondents to these talks.
- The papers and responses will be published in a special section of the association’s website, under the title, Proceedings of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism.
- The Association shall run a website as a place where scholars interested in the rigorous application of philosophy to any aspect of Judaism (or to philosophy of Judaism as defined in section 1) can come together to discuss philosophical issues and thereby contribute to one another’s work.
- The website shall also host monthly symposia, under the direction of the Program Director.
- The website shall also be the home of the Proceedings of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism, an online journal, published in pdf format each year as a record of the papers delivered at the annual meeting.
- The Executive Council shall share responsibility for the smooth running of the website. They can delegate some of this responsibility to people outside of the Executive Council, at their discretion.
Use of Income
- The APJ’s income (via membership fees, donations, and monetization of the website) shall be applied solely to its objectives, as defined in this constitution. None of the APJ’s income shall be used to profit any of its members. Money may only be given to members or Executive Councilors as compensation for expenses incurred in service of the Association. Receipts for these expenses must be submitted to the Executive Council before reimbursements can be issued.
- Anybody who stands to receive money in virtue of a decision of the Executive Council is refused a vote on the issue.
- Some of the APJ’s income will be put aside each year for an essay prize aimed at encouraging new work in the field of philosophy of Judaism. The winning essay will be published, under a special heading, on the Association’s website. The Executive Council shall appoint an independent panel to adjudicate this competition.
- Any remaining funds belonging to the APJ, on the dissolution of the APJ, shall be given to a charitable institution, preferably with aims that are similar to the aims of the APJ.
Change of Constitution
- Suggested changes to this constitution must be submitted to the Executive Council a full month before the annual meeting, and it must have, by this time, three supporters.
- Suggested changes to this constitution received in time by the Executive Council will be adopted if and only if two-thirds of the members present at the annual meeting are found to be in agreement.