Faculty & Scholars

Nancy Abramson

Nancy Abramson

Director of H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, Senior Lecturer of Hazzanut

Cantor Nancy Abramson is director of H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She trains future hazzanim in prayer, nusah (the sacred music of prayer), and religious leadership, and oversees their expanded development in Jewish education and teaching, pastoral care, and modern Israel. She is helping JTS shape cantorial arts and practices for the 21st century. 

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Ofra Backenroth

Ofra Backenroth

Associate Dean of The Davidson School and Assistant Professor of Jewish Education

Dr. Ofra Arieli Backenroth is the associate dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary and an assistant professor of Jewish education. She has taught Hebrew literature and modern dance in numerous schools in New York City and Israel. Her interests reflect an integration of the arts in Jewish education, Hebrew language, Hebrew and Israeli literature, and teaching Israel. Dr. Backenroth earned an MFA in dance education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in comparative literature and an education diploma from Tel Aviv University. In 2006, she participated in the Summer Institute for Israel Studies at Brandeis University and in Israel.

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Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies

Alan Cooper joined the faculty in 1997 as a professor of Bible, and has served as director of publications, chair of the Bible faculty, and, from 2007 to 2018, provost of JTS. In 1998, he was appointed professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary, becoming the first person to hold concurrent professorships at JTS and Union. Previously, Dr. Cooper was a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, where for six years he was director of its School of Graduate Studies. He also taught religious studies for ten years at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

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Eliezer B. Diamond

Eliezer B. Diamond

Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Eliezer Diamond is the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He teaches courses in rabbinic literature and introductory, intermediate, and advanced Talmud studies. Dr. Diamond is the author of a chapter on the rabbinic period in the Schocken Guide to Jewish Books, and entries in the Reader’s Guide to Judaism and The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. He is the author of Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Asceticism in Rabbinic Culture (Oxford University Press, 2003). The book provides a thorough reassessment of the role that asceticism plays in rabbinic Judaism, suggesting that asceticism is more pervasive than is generally thought. Dr. Diamond has written on prayer, asceticism, and issues of environmental law and ethics.

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Arnold M. Eisen

Arnold M. Eisen

Chancellor Emeritus; Professor of Jewish Thought

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on American Judaism, is chancellor emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary and professor of Jewish Thought. Dr. Eisen became chancellor in 2007 and stepped down in spring 2020 to return to teaching and scholarship as a full-time member of the JTS faculty. During his tenure as chancellor, he transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, professional, and lay leaders for North American Jewry, with a focus on graduating highly skilled, innovative leaders who bring Judaism alive in ways that speak authentically to Jews at a time of rapid and far-reaching change.

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Shira D. Epstein

Shira D. Epstein

Dean, William Davidson School, Assistant Professor of Jewish Education

Dr. Shira Epstein is dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education and an assistant professor of Jewish education. She joined the JTS faculty in 2004 and during her time here has taught courses to master’s and executive doctoral students and served as coordinator of the Pedagogy and Teaching Concentration. She has received multiple fellowships, grants, and awards in the field, and has published numerous articles and lectured widely about issues in Jewish education and gender equity.

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Eitan Fishbane

Eitan Fishbane

Associate Professor of Jewish Thought

Dr. Eitan P. Fishbane is associate professor of Jewish Thought at JTS, where he teaches courses in the literature and history of Jewish mysticism, from medieval Kabbalah to modern Hasidism. The author or editor of six books, the latest of which will be published by Oxford University Press, Dr. Fishbane has devoted his research and writing primarily to the development of Kabbalah in medieval Spain. Dr. Fishbane has been a member of the Seminary faculty since 2006, participating in governance through his service on the Rabbinical School Council, the faculty committees of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School and the Department of Community Engagement, the Faculty Executive Committee, and as advisor for BA and MA concentrators in Jewish Thought.

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David Fishman

David Fishman

Professor of Jewish History

David E. Fishman is a professor of Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in modern Jewish history. Dr. Fishman also serves as director of Project Judaica, JTS’s program in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which is based at Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow) and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy University (Kiev). Dr. Fishman travels frequently to Moscow and other parts of the FSU on behalf of Project Judaica. He directs its Jewish Archival Survey, which publishes guides to Jewish archival materials in the FSU. Recently he coedited a guide to Jewish collections in the previously top-secret Special Archive in Moscow. Dr. Fishman also writes for the Jewish Daily Forward on Jews and the current situation in Russia and Ukraine.

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Benjamin R. Gampel

Benjamin R. Gampel

Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History

Dr. Benjamin Gampel serves as the Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History at JTS. A specialist in medieval and early modern Jewries, Dr. Gampel recently published Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391–1392, which was granted the 2016 National Jewish Book Council’s Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship. This prizewinning volume treats the riots and forced conversions of 1391 in the Iberian peninsula and explores why monarchic authority failed to protect the Jews during these fate-filled months.

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Robert Harris

Robert Harris

Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages

Robert A. Harris is professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in biblical literature and commentary, particularly medieval Jewish biblical exegesis. Over the years, Dr. Harris has served JTS in a variety of roles, including assistant to the director of The JTS Library, professor-in-residence at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, and director of several musical theater productions. Dr. Harris is an expert in the history of medieval biblical exegesis. His dissertation was titled The Literary Hermeneutic of Rabbi Eliezer of Beaugency. In 2004 he published a book in the Brown Judaic Studies series, Discerning Parallelism: A Study in Northern French Medieval Jewish Biblical Exegesis. In addition, he has published many articles and reviews in both American and Israeli journals. 

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Barry Holtz

Barry Holtz

Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education

Barry W. Holtz is the Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. From 2008 to 2013 he served as dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of JTS. He leads courses in teaching classical texts, professional development for teachers, philosophy of Jewish education, and current issues confronting Jewish education. Dr. Holtz has written and edited numerous publications in the field of Jewish education. His Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, is widely used as a textbook for university and adult education courses.

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Amy  Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky

Dean, List College and Kekst Graduate School; Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor, Bible

Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky is dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies and the Gershon Kekst Graduate School, as well as the Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor of Bible. Previously, Dr. Kalmanofsky was associate vice chancellor, serving as an ambassador for JTS, teaching in communities across North America, building relationships with supporters, and sharing the impact of JTS on the Jewish world. As professor of Bible, she teaches courses on biblical literature, religion, and feminist interpretation of the Bible. In her writing and teaching, Dr. Kalmanofsky combines contemporary ideas and critical methods with traditional text study, teaching students to be careful, creative interpreters of Torah. 

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Richard Kalmin

Richard Kalmin

Theodore R. Racoosin Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Richard Kalmin is the Theodore R. Racoosin Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the interpretation of rabbinic stories, ancient Jewish history, and the development of rabbinic literature. His publications include the award-winning Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine, published in 2006 by Oxford University Press, and Sages, Stories, Authors, and Editors in Rabbinic Babylonia, considered a classic in its field. He has been a visiting professor at Hebrew Union College, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale University, and a faculty fellow at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. He is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of the research and writing of his most recent book, Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context, published in September 2014 by the University of California Press. Dr. Kalmin was elected to the American Academy of Jewish Research in 2015.

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Meredith Katz

Meredith Katz

Clinical Assistant Professor of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education

Meredith Katz is the clinical assistant professor of Jewish Education in the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the coordinator of the Online MA Program and teaches courses in Pedagogical Skills, Curriculum, and Staff Development and Supervision, and works extensively with The Davidson School’s distance learning students in the MA and Executive Doctoral programs. Dr. Katz completed her EdD in 2010 at Teachers College, where her dissertation, Mature Love Is Complicated: Israel Education as a Microcosm of Challenges to Educators in Liberal Jewish Day Schools, focused on curriculum development for Israel education in Jewish high schools. She holds an undergraduate degree in History, with honors in Education, from Stanford University, as well as an MA in modern European history from Columbia University. Dr. Katz continues her involvement in the field of Israel education through her participation in the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education’s (CASJE) Israel Education panel. Other research interests include conceptions of citizenship education in Jewish schools and teacher education. 

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David C. Kraemer

David C. Kraemer

Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

David Kraemer has been part of the JTS community since 1977, when he enrolled at The Graduate School after completing his undergraduate degree at Brandeis University. He began teaching as a graduate student in 1980, receiving his PhD in 1984. Dr. Kraemer’s focus as a professor was on the literary analysis of rabbinic literature, rabbinic ritual, and the social and religious history of Jews in late antiquity. He accepted the position of Librarian in 2004, in which he has played a crucial role in forging policy and expanding the impact of The Library’s world-renowned collections and programs. 

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Jeffrey  Kress

Jeffrey Kress

Provost and Dr. Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education

Dr. Kress’s interests include social, emotional, and spiritual development and education. He has written about experiential Jewish education, particularly as it takes place in formal settings. He has also conducted research and professional development on inclusion of learners with disabilities in camp settings. His book Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools (Academic Studies Press, 2012) won a National Jewish Book Award. His latest book is Nurturing Students’ Character: Everyday Teaching Activities for Social and Emotional Learning (Routledge Press, 2020), written with Dr. Maurice Elias. He has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters and regularly presents at academic and professional-development conferences. Dr. Kress has  served as the chair of the Network for Research in Jewish Education and was a Dr. Jonathan Woocher Fellow of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.   

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Marjorie Lehman

Marjorie Lehman

Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Marjorie Lehman is professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Area Coordinator of Rabbinic Literatures and Cultures. She teaches a wide range of courses in Rabbinics, including courses on gender in Talmudic literature, aggadah, halakhah, the history of the Jewish book, and pedagogy. Her scholarly journey reflects a commitment to balancing the historical and intellectual aspects of Jewish texts while also focusing on the ways they speak to and help us to understand our place in the contemporary moment.

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Barbara  Mann

Barbara Mann

Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature

Barbara Mann is professor of cultural studies and Hebrew Literature and the Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Her areas of expertise include Israeli and Jewish literature, cultural studies, modern poetry, critical theory and urban studies, literary modernism, and the fine arts.

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Jonathan  Milgram

Jonathan Milgram

Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Milgram is associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

He holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and the other in Talmud from JTS. He earned his master’s degree in Talmud and his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University, and his doctorate in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. 

Dr. Milgram has been visiting assistant professor at Hunter College and has lectured in New York City at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, as well as at other universities in this country and abroad.

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Alan Mittleman

Alan Mittleman

Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Jewish Philosophy

Alan Mittleman’s teaching focuses on the intersection between Jewish thought and Western philosophy in the fields of ethics, political theory, and metaphysics.

His many articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in such journals as Harvard Theological ReviewModern JudaismJewish Political Studies Review, Journal of Religion, and First Things. He is a contributor to the Cambridge Companion to American Judaism. Dr. Mittleman’s current project is a study of the conceptual relations among holiness, goodness, and violence. He hopes thereby to better understand the connections and ruptures between religion and ethics.   

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Edna  Nahshon

Edna Nahshon

Professor of Jewish Theater and Drama

Dr. Edna Nahshon is professor of Theater and Drama at The Jewish Theological Seminary. In 2013 she served as producer and dramaturg of JTS’s milestone production Bratslav-Beethoven-Bratslav, directed by Yossi Yizraely. She is currently the curator and catalog contributing editor of “From the Bowery to Broadway: New York’s Yiddish Theater,” a landmark exhibition scheduled to open in February 2016 at the Museum of the City of New York. Dr. Nahshon’s specialty is the intersection of Jewishness, theater, and performance. She is the editor of (and a contributor to) the volumes Jewish Theatre: A Global View (Brill Academic Publishers, 2009) and Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context (Brill Academic Publishers, 2012). In 2003, she was guest editor of a special issue of American Jewish History (91:1) devoted to the theme of “Jews and Performance,” which included her essay “The Pulpit and the Stage: Rabbi Joseph Silverman and the Actors’ Church Alliance.” Dr. Nahshon’s forthcoming book is titled Countering Shylock: Jewish Responses to The Merchant of Venice (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

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Jason  Rogoff

Jason Rogoff

Academic Director of Israel Programs, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Jason Rogoff is the academic director of Israel Programs and assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS’s Jerusalem campus, located at the Schocken Institute. An integral part of JTS’s presence in Israel, he is responsible for the overall quality of the academic program for rabbinical and cantorial students, coordination and planning of programs with partner institutions, and Israel student recruitment. 

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David G.  Roskies

David G. Roskies

Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture and Professor of Jewish Literature

David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture and a professor of Jewish literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Since 2013, he has also served as the Naomi Prawer Kadar Visiting Professor of Yiddish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Roskies was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. Dr. Roskies is a cultural historian of Eastern European Jewry. A prolific author, editor, and scholar, he has published nine books and received numerous awards. In 1981, Dr. Roskies cofounded with Dr. Alan Mintz Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, and served for seventeen years as editor in chief of the New Yiddish Library series, published by Yale University Press.

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Ismar  Schorsch

Ismar Schorsch

Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish History and Chancellor Emeritus

Ismar Schorsch is chancellor emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Professor of Jewish History. Since retiring as chancellor in 2006, Dr. Schorsch has returned to his first love: the life of the mind and serious scholarship. He is currently at work on a biography of Moritz Steinschneider and more generally on the interdisciplinary nature of Oriental studies in the 19th century. His last book, Canon Without Closure (March 2007, Aviv Press), is a wide-ranging collection of Torah commentaries written during his tenure as chancellor. In 2004, he published a two-volume collection of the articles and essays he wrote while chancellor titled Polarities in Balance; and in 1995, he published The Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism, a highly acclaimed monograph outlining the seven fundamental tenets of the Movement. 

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Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Chancellor and Irving Lehrman Research Professor of American Jewish History

Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Irving Lehrman Research Professor of American Jewish History, a groundbreaking scholar of American Jewish history, and a visionary institutional leader, is the eighth chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the first woman to serve in this role since JTS was founded in 1886.

Chancellor Schwartz is devoted to building on JTS’s unique strengths as a Jewish institution of higher learning that trains future leaders through deep study—with both head and heart—of Jewish texts, ideas, and history. In JTS’s thriving community, students develop the creative ability to imbue others with the intellectual, cultural, and religious sustenance that our tradition offers, and they enrich every community of which they are a part.

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Marcus Mordecai Schwartz

Marcus Mordecai Schwartz

Director, Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker Beit Midrash; Assistant Professor, Talmud and Rabbinics

Rabbi Marcus Mordecai Schwartz currently serves as director of the Beit Midrash at JTS. In that role, he also heads the Nishma summer program. In addition, Rabbi Schwartz is an assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS.

He is a past recipient of the prestigious Professor Saul Lieberman and Dr. Judith Berlin Lieberman Graduate Fellowships in Talmudic Studies. He is also an alumnus of the University of Nebraska.

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Stefanie B. Siegmund

Stefanie B. Siegmund

Women's League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies

Dr. Stefanie B. Siegmund—the first person to hold the Women’s League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies at JTS—is associate professor of History and director of the Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies program at JTS. She also serves as the area coordinator for the program in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Studies. She specializes in the history of the Jewish family and the Jews of the early modern Italian states, her current research focusing on the subject of conversion of Jews to Catholicism in 16th-century Italy. Her work engages questions concerning gender and its role in creating Jewish custom, culture, and law, as well as the history and status of Jewish women. Dr. Siegmund was a professor in the Department of History and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for 10 years prior to her appointment at JTS. Earlier, she was the Samuel Melton Legislative Professor in Jewish Studies and an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida. 

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Brian Smollett

Brian Smollett

Dean, Academic Affairs; Associate Dean, Graduate Studies; Assistant Prof. of Modern Jewish Thought

Before coming to JTS as a teacher and administrator, Dr. Smollett taught both Jewish and European history at Binghamton University, Queens College, and Hunter College, where he served as associate director of the Jewish Studies program. At JTS, he served for six years as assistant and then associate dean of List College, where he advised students in the dual-degree programs with Columbia and Barnard, and managed academic policy.

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Benjamin D. Sommer

Benjamin D. Sommer

Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages

Benjamin D. Sommer joined The Jewish Theological Seminary faculty as professor of Bible in July 2008. Previously, he served as director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University, where he had taught since 1994. Dr. Sommer has been a fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Tikvah Center for Jewish Law and Civilization at the New York University School of Law, and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He has served as a visiting faculty member in the Department of Bible of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Yad Hanadiv/Berakha Foundation.

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Boaz  Tarsi

Boaz Tarsi

Associate Professor of Music

Boaz Tarsi is an associate professor of music at The Jewish Theological Seminary. His main research area is the theory of Ashkenazi liturgical music and its role within the liturgical experience as a whole. As a secondary area of academic pursuit, he works on issues in music of the modern era, particularly the composer Arnold Schoenberg. He has published a long line of articles on these subjects in leading scholarly journals, and presented papers and lectures at academic conferences and institutions worldwide. He earned his doctorate at Cornell University.

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Abigail Uhrman

Abigail Uhrman

Assistant Professor of Jewish Education

Abigail Uhrman completed her PhD in 2013 at New York University, where her dissertation, Alike and Different: Parenting a Child with Special Needs in the Jewish Community, focused on parents’ experiences in Jewish day schools and educational decision-making for their children with disabilities. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in history and minor in education studies in 2001.  

Outside of her academic interests, Dr. Uhrman has considerable experience working in teaching, administrative, and consulting capacities in the Jewish community. Her work in the field deeply informs her research and teaching practice.

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Burton L.  Visotzky

Burton L. Visotzky

Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies

Burton L. Visotzky joined the faculty upon his ordination as rabbi in 1977. Visotzky was a dean of Gershon Kekst Graduate School and founding rabbi of the egalitarian worship service of the Seminary Synagogue. He now serves as the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS, charged with programs on public policy. Rabbi Visotzky also directs the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at JTS. He has been visiting faculty at Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton Universities; the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow; and served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (where he met Pope Benedict in 2007). He recently served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he met Pope Francis.

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Jack Wertheimer

Jack Wertheimer

Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History

Dr. Jack Wertheimer is the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary. His area of specialization is modern Jewish history, with a focus on trends in the religious, educational, and organizational sectors of American Jewish life since World War II. Dr. Wertheimer is the author or editor of more than a dozen volumes, including Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany (Oxford University Press, 1987); The American Synagogue: A Sanctuary Transformed (Cambridge University Press, 1987); The Uses of Tradition: Jewish Continuity in the Modern Era (JTS/Harvard, 1992); and The Modern Jewish Experience: A Readers Guide (NYU Press). His book, A People Divided: Judaism in Contemporary America (Basic Books, 1993), which won a National Jewish Book Award for best study on contemporary Jewish life. A People Divided was reissued by the University Press of New England in September 1997. Dr. Wertheimer’s 2018 book, The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today (Princeton), won a National Jewish Book Award for the best book in American Jewish Studies.

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Sarah Wolf

Sarah Wolf

Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Sarah Wolf’s research focuses on legal textual cultures in rabbinic Judaism. Her dissertation, The Rabbinic Legal Imagination: Narrativity and Scholasticism in the Babylonian Talmud, traced the development of literary elements in the Talmud’s legal passages in the context of the rise of the rabbinic academy. Her current book project examines the construction of emotions as legal categories in rabbinic literature. Dr. Wolf received her PhD from Northwestern University and her BA in Literature from Yale University. She is also a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

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Faculty Emeriti

Joseph  Brodie

Joseph Brodie

Vice President Emeritus, Instructor of Professional Skills and Bible

Rabbi Brodie began as an undergraduate at JTS in 1956 and retired from the administration in 2006. In 1975, Rabbi Brodie founded JTS’s Office of Student Life, which flourished under his direction. Student Life is a Hillel-like office whose functions include counseling students, programming extracurricular student activities, and overseeing the Va’ad Gemilut Hasadim. The Va’ad, a cocurricular community outreach organization founded by Rabbi Brodie in the mid-1980s, is his proudest accomplishment in the realm of student affairs.

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Burton I. Cohen

Burton I. Cohen

Associate Professor Emeritus

Burton Cohen is associate professor emeritus of Jewish Education and former chair of the Department of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Ordained by JTS in 1957, Dr. Cohen earned master’s and doctoral degrees in Philosophy of Education from the University of Chicago. In his teaching, research, and writing, Dr. Cohen’s areas of interest include informal settings for Jewish education, the preparation of teachers and principals for Jewish schools, teaching rabbinic literature to adults, and the use of computers in Jewish learning and educational research. 

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Aryeh  Davidson

Aryeh Davidson

Assistant Professor Emeritus of Jewish Education

Aryeh Davidson is assistant professor emeritus of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Davidson, a member of the JTS faculty since 1983, is the founder and former dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, established in 1996. Dr. Davidson has extensive practical experience in both Jewish and general education, as a classroom teacher and administrator, in both formal and informal educational settings. Dr. Davidson’s research interests include teacher preparation, leadership development, and program evaluation. For the past several years he has focused on a series of empirical studies that explore the identity development of Jewish professionals. His publications include The Test Resource Guide (1981), Seminary Rabbinical Students: Who Attended and Why (1997), and Making a Difference: Jewish Identity and Education (1995).

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Israel  Francus

Israel Francus

Judge Abraham Lieberman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Talmudic Exegesis

Israel Francus is Judge Abraham Lieberman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Talmudic Exegesis of The Jewish Theological Seminary. A native of Poland, Dr. Francus received a bachelor’s degree in 1956 and a master’s degree in 1958 from Columbia University. He also received a bachelor’s degree in 1956, a master’s degree in 1962, and rabbinic ordination from JTS, in addition to receiving a doctorate from Hebrew University in 1962. Dr. Francus has been an active member of the JTS community for more than forty years, and he was one of the first two graduates of JTS’s Joint Program with Columbia University.

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Shamma Friedman

Shamma Friedman

Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Talmud and Rabbinics

Dr. Shamma Friedman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Friedman has been associated with JTS since he entered The Rabbinical School as a student in 1958. He was appointed to the JTS faculty in 1964. After ordination, he pursued a PhD at JTS and was one of two students who comprised the first graduating class to this degree, working under the tutelage of Professor Haim Zalman Dimitrovsky. Dr. Friedman has served the institution in a variety of roles, including professor, acting librarian, editor of Hebrew publications, and director of the Schocken Institute. During the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Friedman was the dean and director of JTS’s Jerusalem campus, now known as the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies.

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Stephen A. Geller

Stephen A. Geller

Irma Cameron Milstein Professor Emeritus in Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages

Stephen A. Geller is the Irma Cameron Milstein Chair Emeritus of Bible at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Geller teaches courses in biblical literature, with special emphasis on the Book of Psalms, biblical poetry, and the prophets. Dr. Geller has published numerous books and articles on biblical language, poetry, literature, and religion. His dissertation, “Parallelism in Early Biblical Poetry,” was published in 1979. His most recent book is Sacred Enigmas: Literary Religion in the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Geller’s article “Wisdom, Nature, and Piety in Some Biblical Psalms” appeared in Riches Hidden in Secret Places: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Memory of Thorkild Jacobsen (edited by I. Tzvi Abusch). He is currently completing a commentary on the Book of Psalms for the Hermeneia series of commentaries.

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Michael B. Greenbaum

Michael B. Greenbaum

Vice Chancellor Emeritus

Rabbi Michael B. Greenbaum is vice chancellor emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he served, in a career spanning 40 years, as an administrator and member of the faculty. For a quarter-century as JTS vice chancellor and chief operating officer, Rabbi Greenbaum oversaw many significant milestones and accomplishments. Among them, he directed the construction of Kripke Tower and the complex that houses The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary; provided active counsel to the Ramah camping movement; served on the search committees for two chancellors; and represented JTS on numerous boards, including those of Masorti Olami, The Jewish Museum, the Association of Theological Schools, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and MERCAZ, as well as the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly. 

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Judith Hauptman

Judith Hauptman

E. Billi Ivry Professor Emerita of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture

Judith Hauptman is the E. Billi Ivry Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Hauptman’s scholarly research focuses on two areas. The first is unraveling the mystery of how the Talmud came into being—i.e., how the many strands of rabbinic teachings coalesced into one coherent document. Her work may be classified as synoptic studies—a specialized area of Talmudic research in which related texts are examined for their implications about the history of the texts themselves and of Jewish law. Her first book in this area is titled Development of the Talmudic Sugya: Relationship Between Tannaitic and Amoraic Sources (University Press of America, 1987). Her most recent book, Rereading the Mishnah: A New Approach to Ancient Jewish Texts (Mohr Siebeck, 2005), examines the relationship of the Mishnah and the Tosefta, two early rabbinic works. 

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Walter Herzberg

Walter Herzberg

Assistant Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Bible and Its Interpretation and Professional Pastoral Skills

Dr. Walter Herzberg, assistant professor emeritus of Hebrew Bible and Its Interpretation and Professional Pastoral Skills at The Jewish Theological Seminary, has devoted the bulk of his career to working directly with students in the United States and Israel. He teaches introductory and advanced courses in Bible and traditional biblical commentary in The Rabbinical School, H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of JTS, and guides students in the classroom and online in the reading of the Bible, using a methodological approach and integrating modern literary close reading techniques with the study of traditional Jewish commentary.

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Carol K.  Ingall

Carol K. Ingall

Dr. Bernard Heller Professor Emerita of Jewish Education

Dr. Carol K. Ingall is the Dr. Bernard Heller Professor Emerita of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Her areas of expertise are curriculum and instruction, moral education, and the history of American Jewish education, affording her ample opportunities to teach and explore what constitutes effective Jewish education. Dr. Ingall’s publications include: Moral Education in Middle Schools (Ablex, 1997); Transmission and Transformation: A Jewish Perspective on Moral Education (Melton Research Center, 1999), winner of the National Jewish Book Award in education; Down the Up Staircase: Tales of Teaching in Jewish Day Schools (JTS Press, 2006); and The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education, 1910–1965 (Brandeis University Press, 2010). 

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Nitza  Krohn

Nitza Krohn

Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language Instruction

Nitza Krohn, an assistant professor of Hebrew Language Instruction, has been at The Jewish Theological Seminary since 1987. She has an EdD in applied linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Krohn has written extensively on Hebrew language pedagogy and methodology. Her book Reading Academic Hebrew: An Advanced Learner’s Handbook, published by Brill in 2011, articulates the grammatical and semantic knowledge that native Hebrew readers bring to the task of reading complex academic prose. Dr. Krohn has been a frequent presenter on topics related to the teaching of Hebrew at the annual meetings of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH). She has also presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Applied Linguistics. She chairs the Pedagogy Committee of NAPH and is on the editorial board of its publication, Hebrew Higher Education.

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Anne  Lapidus Lerner

Anne Lapidus Lerner

Assistant Professor Emerita of Jewish Literature

A member of the JTS faculty since 1969, Dr. Lerner was the first woman to serve as a JTS vice chancellor, and thus was one of the highest-ranking women in American Jewish institutional life. She had previously served as dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, and as associate dean of the now Gershon Kekst Graduate School. In 2014 she inaugurated the Paula E. Hyman Mentoring Program to provide mentors for emerging scholars in the fields of Jewish and gender studies. The Program is supported by Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Association for Jewish Studies and its Women’s Caucus.

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David Marcus

David Marcus

Professor Emeritus of Bible and Masorah

David Marcus is professor emeritus of Bible and Masorah at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in Bible and ancient languages, including Babylonian Aramaic and biblical Hebrew. His area of expertise is the Bible and the ancient Near East. Dr. Marcus’s book Jephthah and His Vow challenges the widespread opinion that Jephthah put his daughter to death, and his book From Balaam to Jonah explores the use of satire in the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Marcus is part of a team involved in the production of a new critical Hebrew Bible being produced by the German Bible Society. He was the editor for the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and is the Masorah editor for the entire series.

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Mayer  Rabinowitz

Mayer Rabinowitz

Associate Professor Emeritus of Talmud and Rabbinics

Mayer E. Rabinowitz is associate professor emeritus of Talmud and rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He served as JTS’s librarian from 1987 to 2002; under his leadership, the reputation and accessibility of The Library grew to new heights. Rabbi Rabinowitz is the chairman of the Joint Bet Din of the Conservative Movement, which deals with matters of marriage and divorce as well as arbitration and mediation. He served as both secretary and research consultant to the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly; he was a committee member for 25 years, until 2006. Over the years, he served as director of the Saul Lieberman Institute of Talmudic Research, dean of The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary, associate dean of The Graduate School, and dean of students at The Seminary College of Jewish Studies / Teachers Institute (now List College of The Jewish Theological Seminary).

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Joel Roth

Joel Roth

Louis Finkelstein Professor of Talmud and Jewish Law

Joel Roth is Louis Finkelstein Professor of Talmud and Jewish Law at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Roth also serves as Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. The yeshiva, founded and maintained by United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, is under the academic auspices of JTS. In addition to his teaching post, Rabbi Roth has held four key administrative positions at JTS, serving as dean of students of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies (then called Seminary College), director of the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education, and associate dean and dean of The Rabbinical School.

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Raymond  Scheindlin

Raymond Scheindlin

Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature

Dr. Scheindlin specializes in medieval Hebrew poetry, with a special interest in Spain and other regions of Arabic culture. He is also active as a literary translator of medieval and other Hebrew texts. His books on medieval Hebrew poetry are Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (1986); The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul (1991); The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage (2007), and Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol (2016). He has published a verse translation, with introduction and notes, of the book of Job (1998). As an Arabist, he published Form and Structure in the Poetry of al-Mu’tamid Ibn Abbad (1975) and 501 Arabic Verbs (2007; second ed., 2017) and was coeditor of a volume of the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature titled The Literature of Al-Andalus (2000). Other translations of his include a Yiddish novella by Mendele Mocher Seforim, and Ismar Elbogen’s monumental history of Jewish liturgy. He has also written A Short History of the Jewish People (1998).

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Menahem  Schmelzer

Menahem Schmelzer

Albert B. And Bernice Cohen Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature and Jewish Bibliography

Menahem Schmelzer is Albert B. And Bernice Cohen Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature and Jewish Bibliography at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He has been a full-time member of the JTS faculty since 1961 and served as librarian from 1964 to 1987. Dr. Schmelzer’s articles include “On Hebrew Wedding Poems in Medieval Ashkenaz” (Essays on Hebrew Literature in Honor of Avraham Holtz, 2003), “How Was the High Priest Kept Awake on the Night of Yom Ha-Kippurim?” (Saul Lieberman, edited by M. Lubetski, 2002), and “The Contribution of the Genizah to the Study of Liturgy and Poetry” (Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1997–2001).

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