Landmark Collection of Torah Commentaries Offers New Insights

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

April 18, 2007, New York, NY

A landmark collection of commentaries on the weekly Torah portion by Dr. Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor Emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary, can be found in his newest publication, Canon Without Closure: Torah Commentaries (Aviv Press, 2007).

Thought-provoking yet easily accessible, Dr. Schorsch’s book offers a breadth of Jewish scholarship and inspirational personal insights that illuminate each commentary as he illustrates how the deep roots of Judaism present in each weekly reading are uniquely relevant to the realities of modern life.

A top scholar in the field of modern Jewish history and currently the Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Professor of Jewish History at JTS, Dr. Schorsch has written publications that include a two–volume collection of the articles and essays he wrote while Chancellor titled Polarities in Balance; The Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism, a highly acclaimed monograph outlining the seven fundamental tenets of the movement; and From Text to Context: The Turn to History in Modern Judaism.

Throughout his twenty years as Chancellor, Dr. Schorsch worked to convey his vision of Conservative Judaism as the most authentic contemporary expression of rabbinic Judaism. Under his leadership, JTS continued to inform and elevate the religious lives of Jews in the United States and abroad. The recipient of the 2003 National Foundation for Jewish Culture Award for Jewish Cultural Achievement in Historical Studies, Dr. Schorsch holds honorary degrees from Tufts University and Russian State University, the first Jewish scholar in that country's history to receive such an honor.

A spokesman on a range of national issues, Dr. Schorsch, working closely with Vice President Al Gore, helped create the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a coalition of religious and scientific leaders, which succeeded in using the moral influence wielded by religious leaders to effect change.

Dr. Schorsch was ordained by JTS, holds master's degrees from JTS and Columbia University, and was awarded a PhD in Jewish History from Columbia.

Editors/Reporters: To schedule an interview with Dr. Schorsch, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at