Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

At the Hop

It should stop surprising me when I do a blog piece on a Sha Na Na band member and discover that he on to do something very much different than recreating 1950s doo wop music. I must remind myself that the members of the band had formed at and were attending Columbia University.

Alan Cooper was one of the original 12-member band and sang bass. He is featured in the Woodstock film when Sha Na Na continues their 30-minute set with a rousing  performance of  “At the Hop.”

He remembers that there was no water to drink, “…but plenty of champagne. The guys in Ten Years After had a camper and lots of food,
which they were happy to share with Cooper and his gang.”

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

1971 Exodus

He would remain with the band until 1971, a time span that put him on both The Tonight Show and The Merv Griffin Show — no small feat.

He left the band (Jon “Bowser” Bauman replace him) and was graduated from Columbia with a BA in religious studies in 1971 and would go on for additional degrees, a Masters in Philosophy  from Yale University in 1974 a doctorate in Biblical Studies at Yale as well.

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

Dr Cooper

He served on the faculties of McMaster University and Hebrew Union College. In 1997, he was appointed to a position at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS).

In 1998, he was appointed Professor of Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York, becoming the first person to hold a joint professorship at both Union and JTS.

Alan Cooper is the provost of JTS and also serves as the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies at JTS.

From a South Coast Today article by David Briggs: “The experience of the divine, to know what God wants for the world, what God wants for me, is important to me,” he says.

Quite a path!

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper