JTS Expands Program in Midrash

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

September 19, 2008, New York, NY

The Program in Midrash of The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) has become the Program in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation. The announcement was made by Dr. Stephen Garfinkel, dean of The Graduate School.

This change, approved by the Board of Regents of the State of New York, entitles JTS to offer MA, DHL and PhD degrees in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation to qualified students interested in learning about rabbinic traditions, narrative, and scriptural exegesis from the second century through the medieval period.

Midrashic and exegetical texts such as Genesis Rabbah, Pirke Rabbi Eliezer, Midrash VaYosha, and the commentaries of Rabbi Eliezer of Beaugency, among others, are studied from both cultural and literary perspectives, and placed within the historical contexts of the Greco-Roman, Christian, and Muslim civilizations. The addition of a concentration in Scriptural Interpretation opens the program to broader issues of interpretation, medieval modes of biblical exegesis, and reemphasizes the comparative religions approach.

Texts are studied in the original languages and students are prepared to teach and do research within the broader academy. The Graduate School is non-sectarian and welcomes applications from all qualified students.

The Graduate School is the largest academic program of advanced Judaic studies in North America, with fifteen departments and programs ranging from Jewish Art and Visual Culture to Ancient Judaism to Modern Jewish Studies. The world-renowned faculty pursue independent research as well as collaborative work with each other and with students. The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, recognized as the greatest Jewish library in the western hemisphere, offers incomparable opportunities for research and discovery.

Further information regarding the Program in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation is available by contacting Dr. Burton Visotzky, program director, at (212) 678-8989. Information about other programs in The Graduate School may be obtained by contacting Dr. Maud Kozodoy, assistant dean, at (212) 678-8808, or by visiting The Graduate School website at www.jtsa.edu/graduate.