The Jewish Theological Seminary Launches The Institute for Jewish Learning

A Two-Year Flagship Program, Context, Will Offer High-Level Adult Jewish Studies

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

August 12, 2010, New York, NY

Moshe MargolinThe Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the creation of The Institute for Jewish Learning. Its two-year flagship program, titled Context, is designed to reach Jews interested in high-level, engaging Jewish learning that represents the depth of wisdom and scholarship at JTS and in the world of Jewish studies. The Institute and its programs are concrete expressions of the vision of the new JTS that Chancellor Arnold Eisen unveiled at this year’s commencement exercises.

JTS justly enjoys an outstanding reputation for excellence in the transmission of Jewish learning to educational and religious leaders at various stages in their careers, as well as to lay audiences throughout the United States and Canada. Developing and implementing a broader array of adult learning opportunities has long been JTS’s intention; The Institute and Context now make that a reality.

Alisa BraunMoshe Margolin will direct The Institute for Jewish Learning and Context. Mr. Margolin comes to JTS after years of demonstrated excellence in the field of Adult Jewish Learning. He is joined by Dr. Alisa Braun as academic director. A diverse faculty of dedicated scholar-teachers from JTS and other prominent academic institutions is the cornerstone of the program.

Context is designed to be an intellectual journey in Jewish history and thought that will take place over four semesters, with a curriculum that explores the span of Jewish civilization. The first year focuses on Jewish texts and their interpretations by taking students through a semester devoted to the Bible and another concentrating on rabbinic texts. The second year examines Jewish communities and cultures with a semester on Jews in the medieval world and another that looks at Jews in the post-Enlightenment world. Context will provide sophisticated adult learners with a framework for understanding the Jewish past, refining their personal approach to the challenges of contemporary Jewish life, and a basis for developing an individual and informed outlook toward the Jewish future. In many instances, classes will be hosted by multicongregational collaboratives that transcend denominational boundaries.

Context will begin this fall—initially, in the New York metropolitan area, with expansion to additional locations in the future.

For more information about the dynamic Context adult Jewish learning program and The Institute for Jewish Learning, contact Moshe Margolin, senior director, The Institute for Jewish Learning, The Jewish Theological Seminary;; (212) 678-8020.