Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies

Since 1938, the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary has maintained an innovative interfaith and intergroup relations program that emphasizes conversation among diverse communities. The program's ability to unite voices from different academic, social, and religious communities has resulted in unique conferences and interfaith cooperation, and has brought the relevance of Judaism and other religions to prominence on a myriad of issues.

Upcoming Events

A panel discussion about the benefits and risks of assisted reproductive technologies.
"Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Their Risks: Jewish Ethics and the Mitzvah 'Be Fruitful and Multiply'" RSVP

Watch Our Recent Programs

A panel discussion about the aging process from a medical and spiritual perspective
"Aging in America: Second Career / Post-Career"

A panel discussion by noted experts in the economies of sustainability in the 21st century
"Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth"  

Lecture by the Honorable Stuart Rabner, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
"Memory on Trial: Evaluating Eyewitness Identification Evidence In The 21st Century"

Lecture by General Norton A. Schwartz, retired chief of staff of the US Air Force
"Shalom, Shalom, Yet There Is No Peace': Waging Peace and Making War"


Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky is the Louis Stein Director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute and the director of JTS's Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue. He serves as the Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at JTS, where he joined the faculty upon his ordination as rabbi in 1977. Rabbi Visotzky is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence throughout North America, Europe, and Israel.

Rabbi Leonard Sharzer, MD is the associate director for Bioethics of the Louis Finkelstein Institute. His current research is in the field of Bioethics, especially as it pertains to Jewish law.


Contact Information

For questions about the Louis Finkelstein Institute, please email Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky at buvisotzky@jtsa.edu or call (212) 678-8989.


Historical Faculty

Louis Finkelstein, august chancellor of JTS for many years, after whom the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies was named.