Leadership

Executive Officers

 

 

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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Keath Blatt

Keath Blatt

General Counsel

Keath Blatt is the general counsel of JTS. In this capacity, he is responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the institution and its affiliates in the United States and Israel. Previously, Keath was the in-house counsel for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its charitable foundation. He managed a wide array of legal issues for both organizations and regularly interfaced with various government agencies. Additionally, he worked with private attorneys, government officials, and legal advocates on select legislative and policy initiatives at the state and federal level. He has spoken at legal advocacy conferences in the United States, Israel, and Europe.

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Elise  Dowell

Elise Dowell

Vice Chancellor for Communications and External Affairs

As JTS’s vice chancellor for communications and external affairs, Elise Dowell guides the institution’s strategic communications, oversees external relations and enrollment management, and serves as an ambassador for JTS to the public. She advises the chancellor and senior administration on all communications-related matters as well as on policy and institutional strategy. Elise joined JTS in 2002 and during her tenure, has implemented a major rebranding initiative, enhanced JTS’s digital presence, upgraded the recruitment marketing program, and professionalized the communications operation throughout the organization. 

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Bonnie Epstein

Bonnie Epstein

Vice Chancellor and Chief Development Officer

As vice chancellor and chief development officer, Bonnie Epstein leads the team in cultivating and soliciting major gifts and is responsible for all operating areas of development, including regional fund-raising, special events, grants, Torah Fund, planned giving, alumni affairs, and direct mail. Vice Chancellor Epstein believes that JTS’s donors are our steadfast partners in building the future of American Judaism. She loves the passion, vision, and many talents that they lend to JTS as lay leaders and philanthropists; she also enjoys collaborating with them to support our students and nurture the JTS community.

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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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Clare Peeters

Clare Peeters

Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

As vice chancellor for administration and finance, Clare Peeters leads the business functions of JTS and oversees the areas of human resources, finance, facilities management, information technology, and legal affairs. She advises the chancellor on strategic and business-related initiatives, aligning operational and financial structures and processes with the institution’s priorities and the realization of its mission. 

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Gordon Tucker

Gordon Tucker

Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement

As vice chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement, Rabbi Gordon Tucker focuses on enhancing Jewish life at JTS, enriching our study of Judaism with the joy and deep understanding that only lived experience can provide. A leading scholar and interpreter of Conservative Judaism, he also articulates the enduring power of JTS’s compelling approach to Jewish law and Jewish life, while strengthening JTS’s religious leadership through partnerships with organizations in the Conservative Movement and beyond.

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Chair, Board of Trustees

Alan Levine

Alan Levine

Chair, Board of Trustees

Alan Levine is senior counsel and former head of the international law firm of Cooley LLP and a leading trial lawyer in the United States. He joined the JTS Board in 1998 and assumed the role of vice chair in 2009. Mr. Levine has a long and distinguished career of leadership and involvement in the Jewish community in addition to his service at JTS. 

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Board of Trustees

JTS Trustees

See a full listing of JTS’s distinguished trustees.

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Deans of JTS Schools

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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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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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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Administration

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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Julia  Andelman

Julia Andelman

Director of Community Engagement

As JTS’s director of community engagement, Rabbi Julia Andelman oversees adult learning programs across North America, digital learning, continuing rabbinic education, millennial engagement, and Prozdor. Since joining JTS in 2013, she has initiated livestreaming of JTS’s public lectures, created a video studio for digital learning programs, developed high-level curricula for congregations and other settings, and increased continuing rabbinic education tenfold.

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Amy S.  Feinfeld

Amy S. Feinfeld

Registrar and Director of Financial Aid

In her job as registar and director of financial aid, Amy Feinfeld plays a dual role at JTS. As registrar, Amy oversees the office that serves as the “front door” for student access to course registration, obtaining transcripts, and handling all other administrative requirements. As director of financial aid, she guides students through the financial aid process and helps them obtain all the sources of aid for which they are eligible. 

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Sara  Horowitz

Sara Horowitz

Dean of Student Life

As dean of student life, Sara Horowitz oversees extracurricular and cocurricular programming for JTS students. In addition to creating programs to build community, she provides a friendly ear and informal guidance to students. Sara has worked in student services at JTS since 1992, when she began as a housing associate. Previously, she worked in the Orientation Office at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. 

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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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Bradley Moot

Bradley Moot

Director of Residence Life

As the director of Residence Life, Bradley Moot works closely with the student staff in the JTS residence halls. His goal is to encourage students to take on the responsibility of advocating for themselves. Brad discovered his love for student development in 1996 at SUNY Alfred where he was a resident director.

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Melissa  Present

Melissa Present

Chief Enrollment Officer

As chief enrollment officer, Missy Present oversees JTS’s enrollment strategy, leading the admissions department in the recruitment of students, management of prospective student events, and relationships with key partners. She advises the senior administration on all enrollment-related matters. During her tenure as director of enrollment management, Missy increased new student enrollment, expanded institutional partnerships, enhanced recruitment marketing, and implemented a new technology solution that manages the full spectrum of the JTS admissions process. Under her leadership, the enrollment operation was awarded a commendation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

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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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Diana  Torres-Petrilli

Diana Torres-Petrilli

Chief Human Resources Officer

Diana Torres-Petrilli, chief human resources officer, joined JTS in September 2003. Diana oversees the day-to-day operations and planning for the human resources function. Since joining JTS, Diana has restructured the overall administration of the Human Resources Department to meet the growing/changing needs of the organization.

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Vice Chancellors Emeriti

Marc Gary

Marc Gary

Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus

Marc Gary served as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer of JTS from May 2012 to August 2020 and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees. As executive vice chancellor, Mr. Gary was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the institution and supervised all non-academic functions. He served as a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and  participated in the establishment of strategy and overall direction for JTS.

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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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