Nancy Abramson, Samuel Barth, and Sarah Tauber Join the JTS Community

David Hoffman Becomes an Assistant Professor

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

June 13, 2011, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is pleased to announce three recent appointments: Cantor Nancy Abramson as director of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, Rabbi Samuel Barth as senior lecturer of Liturgy and Worship, and Dr. Sarah Tauber as assistant professor of Jewish Education. Rabbi David Hoffman, PhD, currently a scholar-in-residence in JTS’s Development Department, will become an assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics.

“We at JTS are honored to have Cantor Abramson, Rabbi Barth, and Dr. Tauber join our community, and we welcome Dr. Hoffman’s promotion,” said Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS. “All four of these individuals will bring immense learning, experience, talent, ideas, and skill to their new tasks, and we, in turn, will be immeasurably enriched by their presence.”

Nancy Abramson comes to JTS from New York City's Park Avenue Synagogue, where she was cantor for 14 years. Previously, she was cantor for five years at Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and cantor for 12 years at West End Synagogue in Manhattan. She is a graduate of the dual-degree program of JTS's Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies and Columbia University, from which she earned a BA in Music and a BHL in Jewish History, and received her cantorial education at JTS. She earned a master's degree in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Cantor Abramson is senior vice president of the Cantors Assembly, the first woman to hold any office in that organization. She is on the board of the Zamir Choral Foundation and is a member of the Women Cantors Network. She has also taught at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, where she coordinated the tefillah and bar/bat mitzvah programs. Cantor Abramson has performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall and sung with the Rinat Choir in Israel.

Samuel Barth has served since 2006 as rabbi at Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he led the congregation through a rebuilding after a fire. He has also served at congregations in Austin, Texas, and Brooklyn, New York. Born in Israel and raised in England, Rabbi Barth studied mathematical physics and philosophy as an undergraduate before receiving his ordination from the Leo Baeck College in London in 1984. He also studied at traditional yeshivot in Jerusalem. He moved to New York in 1986, where he pursued doctoral studies in Liturgy at JTS. From 1988 to 1991, he was the assistant dean of The Rabbinical School, where he was responsible for revising the internship program. He was then appointed as dean and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the Academy for Jewish Religion. Rabbi Barth has worked as a consultant in synagogue growth as part of the Synagogue 2000 Project and for congregations of all affiliations, and has served as rabbinic consultant to JACS, the organization that supports Jews in their recovery from addictions. He has also been a senior teacher in the rabbinical program of ALEPH, the movement for Jewish Renewal. His core interest is the interface between the evolving text of the siddur and the multifaceted “beyond the text” nature of liturgical experience.

Dr. Sarah Tauber is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley, and she received her EdD from JTS in 2010. She has also studied Jewish history in Paris, France, at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She has more than two decades of experience teaching in a variety of secondary school settings in the Jewish and general educational worlds, both in the United States and in Europe, where she was the education director of a liberal synagogue in Geneva, Switzerland. Most recently, she has taught Judaic studies, history, and tefillah at the Upper School of the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester in White Plains, New York. At JTS, she looks forward to integrating her scholarly research on rabbis and teaching with her practical experience in the field of Jewish education.

Rabbi David Hoffman teaches Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS and serves as scholar-in-residence of the Development Department. He was ordained by JTS, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Rabbi Hoffman received his PhD in Talmud at JTS, where he wrote on notions of honor in rabbinic culture during the period of the High Roman Empire. He has studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yeshiva Ha-Mivtar, and he received a BA in Political Theory from Columbia University and a BA in Talmud from JTS. Rabbi Hoffman has taught widely in communities across North America and in institutions such as the 92nd St Y, Drisha, the Me’ah Program and Graduate Institute, the Skirball Center at Temple Emanu-El, and Limmud-England. He served for many years as the director of the Eisenfeld-Duker Beit Midrash and as religious and academic adviser to the Mekhinah program of The Rabbinical School of JTS. He is particularly committed to continuing rabbinic education and is a core faculty member of the Rabbinic Training Institute and the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative. As a lay leader, he is active in Hazon and has served on the Executive Committee of the New York Ride.

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