BURTON L. VISOTZKY serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he joined the faculty upon his ordination in 1977. Dr. Visotzky is the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS, charged with programs on public policy. He also serves as director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue of JTS. Dr. Visotzky was associate and acting dean of The Graduate School, and founding rabbi of the egalitarian worship service at JTS's Women's League Seminary Synagogue.
Dr. Visotzky holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Harvard University, and JTS. He has been visiting faculty at Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton universities, and at the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow. He also served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
With Bill Moyers, Dr. Visotzky developed 10 hours of television for PBS. Their collaboration, Genesis: A Living Conversation, premiered in 1996. He also consulted with Jeffrey Katzenberg and DreamWorks for the company's 1998 film, Prince of Egypt.
Dr. Visotzky's articles and reviews are published in America, Europe, and Israel. He is the author of 10 books and more than 100 articles and reviews. His volumes include: Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text (1991) and The Genesis of Ethics (1996). Dr. Visotzky's historical novel, A Delightful Compendium of Consolation, was published in 2008. His tenth book, Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder from the Rabbis of the Talmud, came out in spring 2011.
Dr. Visotzky serves on the boards of Fordham Law's Stein Center for Law and Ethics, Kent Affordable Housing, and the Journal for InterReligious Dialogue; on the editorial board of "On Torah" (Odyssey Networks and Huffington Post); and on J-Street's National Advisory Council. He also sits on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Church Relations. Rabbi Visotzky is a national co-chair of Rabbis for Obama 2012, and has served on the board and executive committee of CancerCare.
Dr. Visotzky is involved in interreligious engagement internationally, in capitals such as Washington; Warsaw; Rome; Cairo; Doha, Qatar (where he was in the first group of Jews invited to interfaith dialogue by the Emir); and Madrid, Spain (where he was in the first group of Jews invited by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia). In May 2012, Dr. Visotzky was invited to Muskat, Oman, as part of the first U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium. He is the winner of the 2012 Goldziher Prize, awarded biennially by Merrimack College for work in Jewish-Muslim relations. Dr. Visotzky is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Visotzky is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. His study groups and books have been hailed on radio, television, and in print. He is married to attorney Sandra Edelman. They make their home in New York City and Kent, Connecticut. .