Statement of Community Principles

For more than a hundred years, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) has called Morningside Heights home. It’s a neighborhood known for being a diverse and dynamic center of culture, education, and civic leadership. We take pride in a longstanding partnership with the community and look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come as we reimagine our campus to serve the growing and evolving needs of students, faculty, the Jewish community, and the larger world beyond.

Access and Sharing Space

JTS is building a state-of-the-art library to provide access to approximately 400,000  volumes in our historic collection, including one of the largest collections of Hebrew manuscripts and rare books. Our renovation will allow us to make those resources available to a wider range of people, including local schools and members of the Morningside Heights community who want to experience this rich and unique cultural heritage.

Arts and Culture Exchange

JTS frequently hosts public lectures and events with prominent personalities who bring contemporary issues into dialogue with Jewish texts, values, traditions, and themes. We have brought to our campus Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, famous authors, religious scholars, renowned organizational leaders, and accomplished musicians. We have welcomed the community to join us in dialogue with them and look forward to future exchanges being enhanced by our renovation, which includes the construction of a dynamic new auditorium / performing arts space as well as technologically equipped conference facilities that will grow our capacity, increase the vibrancy of community life, draw visitors, and strengthen our campus as a hub of public academic discussions, musical performances,  and programs on critical social issues facing us as citizens of New York City, the United States and the world.

Community Engagement / Partnership

JTS students have a long record of volunteering their time, resources, and skills to local neighborhood organizations. Last fall, our students hosted and ran a campaign to register voters in Morningside Heights. This spring, JTS organized the Standing Uptown for Justice and Religious Tolerance rally and march, which brought together the major faith-based institutions of Morningside Heights and Harlem in a powerful demonstration of religious commitment to social justice. Members of the JTS community are also involved in service work with Project Sunshine at Harlem Hospital, Broadway Community Soup Kitchen, the New Jewish Home, Jewish Home LifeCare, Ansche Chesed homeless shelter, and several others.

The new 21st Century Campus will enhance life on the JTS campus and beyond. We look forward to sharing these benefits with the community at large with beautiful new spaces, additional engagement in arts and cultural exchange, and partnerships with local institutions.  

It is important to note that JTS has taken great efforts to make decisions on building height, design materials, energy efficiency technologies, and disability accessibility that are consistent with or exceed neighborhood standards.

During our renovation process, JTS has prioritized keeping the Morningside Heights community informed of our plans and ongoing work, and our doors are always open for your thoughts. 

We look forward to continuing to work with all community stakeholders as we move forward with this project.  

Thank you.