Clal Faculty: Rabbi Owen Gottllieb

June 4, 2015

As of the Fall of 2014, Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, Ph.D. was appointed as Assistant Professor at the School of Interactive Games and Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Gottlieb is the Founder and Director of ConverJent(Founded 2010)which nurtures, develops, and spreads Jewish Games for Learning. ConverJent is a resident organization at Clal in Manhattan and has been awarded a PresenTense NYC Fellowship.

Gottlieb is also the founder and lead researcher of the Initiative in Religion, Culture, and Policy at the RIT MAGIC Center.

In 2012, ConverJent received a Signature Grant from the Covenant Foundation to fund the design and development of a digital mobile game/simulation for teaching Jewish history. That project, Jewish Time Jump: New York has been nominated for “Most Innovative” game of 2013 by the Games for Change Festival.

Rabbi Gottlieb received his Ph.D. from New York University where he was a Jim Joseph Fellow. His doctorate is in Education and Jewish Studies specializing in Digital Media and Games for Learning. His dissertation research is in mobile gaming for cultural transmission and increasing subject matter interest (specifically, in modern Jewish history).Gottlieb is a HASTAC Scholar.

Rabbi Dr. Gottlieb has presented at conferences and seminars including the Network for Research in Jewish Education, Games + Learning +Society Conference, Religion in the Digital Age, NYU’s Center for Religion and Media, Judaism 2030, and Rabbis Without Borders.

With an eclectic background prior to the rabbinate, Rabbi Dr. Gottlieb has worked in project management of Internet software for companies including Disney and screen and teleplay writing for Paramount and Universal. He has taught dance in Israel, used Israel teen soap operas to teach Hebrew to American teens, and served for many years as a liaison for film directors at Telluride Film Festival.

Rabbi Dr. Gottlieb holds an AB from Dartmouth College, and MA from USC Cinema-Television. He received an MAHL and rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR, New York. He is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Writers Guild of America, West, and the International Game Developers Association. He blogs at mysticalcreative and his main page is owengottlieb.

Selected publications and press (see also ConverJent’s newsfeed):

The Jewish Week Cover Story: Touch-Screen Time Travel In The Park: Groundbreaking mobile GPS game brings New York Jewish history to the iPad generation

Huffington Post Article and Video: Torah Games? Bringing Torah to Life Through Game Design by Joshua Stanton

Covenant Foundation Signature Grant Award Announcement for ConverJent


Sh’ma Article: Video Games, Game Design, and 21st-Century Jewish Education

Moving Beyond the Limited Reach of Current "Social Media" Approaches: Why Jewish Digital Communities Require Rich and Remixable Narrative Content

You Can’t Wrap Herring in an iPad: Digitization of Sacred Jewish Books, the Stripping of Embodied Ritual, and Implications for Jewish Education