Bhikkhu Bodhi

Bhikkhu Bodhi (born December 10, 1944), born Jeffrey Block, is an American Theravada Buddhist monk, ordained in Sri Lanka and currently teaching in the New York and New Jersey area. He was appointed the second president of the Buddhist Publication Society and has edited and authored several publications grounded in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

In 1944, Block was born in Brooklyn, New York, from Jewish parents. He grew up in Borough Park, where he attended elementary school P.S. 160.[2] In 1966, he obtained a B.A. in philosophy from Brooklyn College. In 1972, he obtained a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University.[3]

In 1967, while still a graduate student, Bodhi was ordained as a śrāmaṇera (novitiate) in the Vietnamese Mahayana order. In 1972, after graduation, Bodhi traveled to Sri Lanka where, under Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero,[5] he received sāmaṇera ordination in the Theravada school and, in 1973, he received full ordination as a Theravada bhikkhu or monk.[3]

In 1984, succeeding co-founder Nyanaponika Thera,[5] Bodhi was appointed English-language editor of the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS, Sri Lanka) and, in 1988, became its president.[1][3][6] In 2002, he retired from the society's editorship while still remaining its president.[1][6]

In 2000, at the United Nations' first official Vesak celebration, Bodhi gave the keynote address.[7]

In 2002, after retiring as editor of BPS, Bodhi returned to the United States. After living at Bodhi Monastery (Lafayette Township, New Jersey),[8] he now lives and teaches at Chuang Yen Monastery (Carmel, New York), and is the president of the Buddhist Association of the United States.[3][9]

Bhikkhu Bodhi is founder of the organization Buddhist Global Relief, which funds projects to fight hunger and to empower women across the world.[10]