Rabbinical School Administration

At JTS, the rabbis and scholars who administer and educate our students are themselves students of Torah, practitioners of mitzvot, and people of great compassion. In addition to the Rabbinical School Administration and the Rabbinical School Council, the staff and programs of the other branches of the Division of Religious Leadership are important resources for our rabbinical students throughout their time at JTS and beyond. The other DRL programs include:

Matthew Berkowitz

Matthew Berkowitz

Director of Israel Programs

Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz is based at The Schocken Institute in Jerusalem. In this capacity, he is responsible for the academic and experiential contours of the Israel program for both rabbinical and cantorial students; he works on recruitment of students for all of JTS’s five schools; and continues to work closely with friends of JTS toward engaging them more deeply in the institution’s mission.

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Stephanie Ruskay

Stephanie Ruskay

Associate Dean, The Rabbinical School

Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay has made her career in the Jewish social justice sector. Rabbi Ruskay has served in leadership positions at American Jewish World Service, Auburn Theological Seminary, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, and JOIN for Justice. She directs field education and entrepreneurial endeavors, and is focused on raising the scope and profile of social justice work and community organizing skills in the role of the contemporary rabbi.

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Jan Uhrbach

Jan Uhrbach

Acting Dean of the Rabbinical and Cantorial Schools

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach brings a passion for prayer to the JTS community. Through her work as founding director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, she develops and oversees programs and discussions, as well as prayer services on Shabbat and festivals, for the JTS community and the general public. 

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Rabbinical School Council

The Rabbinical School administration is supported by a team of academic and professional faculty members who supervise the program and provide spiritual guidance to our rabbinical students.

Eitan Fishbane, Associate Professor, Jewish Thought, JTS

Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, Dr. Eitan Fishbane has taught Jewish mysticism and spirituality at JTS since 2006. The author and editor of several books, including The Art of Mystical Narrative: A Poetics of the Zohar (Oxford University Press); As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford University Press); and The Sabbath Soul: Mystical Reflections on the Transformative Power of Holy Time (Jewish Lights Publishing), Professor Fishbane mentors rabbinical students in the art of integrating the scholarly study of Jewish texts with the passionate quest for spiritual meaning and inspiration. Among his many courses, Dr. Fishbane teaches the first year Rabbinical School Theology Seminar, in which he integrates exploration of the great texts and ideas of Jewish Theology with a religious cultivation of students’ own life of faith and theological reflection. 

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, Director, Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, JTS

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is the founding Director of the JTS’s Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, focusing on education for prayer and prayer leadership. An alumna of JTS (MA, ordination), Yale College, and Harvard Law School, Rabbi Uhrbach served as associate editor of the Conservative Movement’s Siddur Lev Shalem, and on the editorial committee for Machzor Lev Shalem. In addition to her work at JTS, she is also the founding rabbi of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons in Bridgehampton, New York, where she mentors JTS students. The rabbinate is Rabbi Uhrbach’s second career; previously she was a clerk to Federal District Judge Kimba M. Wood, and a partner in the New York law firm of Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP.