Tzvee Zahavy attended Yeshiva College and was graduated with a B.A. in mathematics as a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. He received a masters degree in Jewish History and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, where he studied for four years with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Zahavy studied with Jacob Neusner in the History of Judaism in late antiquity program of the religious studies department at Brown University. There he was recipient of a University Fellowship, a Tisch Fellowship, and Doctoral Dissertation grants from both the National and Memorial Foundations for Jewish Culture.
After receiving his Ph.D. from Brown University, Zahavy was appointed to the faculty of the University of Minnesota where he was promoted to full professor in 1988. He was director of the Dworsky Center for Jewish Studies, which he founded, served as chairman of his department for five years and was a member of the graduate faculty of the Center for Ancient Studies and the program in religious studies.
Zahavy was a visiting associate professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and Gumenick Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. He has also lectured at Macalester College, the University of Notre Dame, St. John's University, University of California at San Diego, Easton College, Trinity College, Spertus College, and Bar Ilan University. He has been a visiting scholar in the faculty of humanities at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and presented a paper at the World Congresses of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, 1985, 1989 and 1993. In 1991 he lectured to academics in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing, China.
Zahavy has been the recipient of several prestigious honors and grants. These include a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, a Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and an Award for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship, from Yeshiva University. He has received travel grants and grants-in-aid from the graduate school of the University of Minnesota and from its Office of International Programs.
He was the principal investigator, of an IBM sponsored grant for developing software to assist in teaching Hebrew, and Director of the Wexner Foundation Grant, "A Bridge to Scholarship".
His published books are The Traditions of Eleazar Ben Azariah,Scholars Press for Brown University Judaic Studies, The Mishnaic Law of Blessings and Prayers: Tractate Berakhot, Brown Judaic Studies, 1987, The Talmud of the Land of Israel: Tractate Berakhot, University of Chicago Press, 1989, Studies in Jewish Prayer, University Press of America, 1990, The Talmud of Babylonia: An American Translation: Tractate Hullin, 3 volumes, Brown Judaic Studies, 1992-4.
Zahavy has reviewed books for The Journal of Biblical Literature, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and The New Review of Books and Religion. He produced "Ancient Synagogues Explored," an educational video tape in 1984, and a video tape, "Interviews with Twin Cities Jewish Leaders" in 1985. He is primary author of three IBM computer software programs: Milim: Vocabulary Drill for Foreign Language Instruction, Milim for Windows, and VERBS, and is co-author of SENTENCES.
He has taught numerous courses in World Religions, Jewish history
and culture and advanced seminars in classical Hebrew texts. His popular
course at the University of Minnesota, "Introduction to Judaism"
has enrolled up to 400 students each year. Zahavy has lectured to various
community groups and has written numerous articles on Jewish subjects for
scholarly encyclopedias and for newspapers.