Chancellor Eisen Announces He Will Step Down at End of Academic Year

CONTACT: Beth Mayerowitz,

September 19, 2019, New York, NY – The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on American Judaism, announced that he will leave his position at the end of the current academic year after 12 years of dynamic and forward-thinking leadership. Chancellor Eisen will return to teaching and scholarship as a full-time member of the JTS faculty.  In the spring, he will preside over the opening celebration of JTS’s reimagined campus, a project which he helped envision.

“We have accomplished a great deal together and I am grateful for the support of the entire JTS community,” said Chancellor Eisen. “We have significantly diversified the JTS student body and changed the way JTS trains future Jewish professional and lay leaders. We have maintained and enhanced the excellence of JTS’s distinguished faculty and continued our long tradition of world-class scholarship. We have expanded our ability to share far more widely the rich Jewish learning and exchange of ideas that define JTS. We have increased our partnerships with organizations both inside and outside of Conservative Judaism. And we have built our endowment, and transformed our campus, doubly ensuring the future strength and vitality of this institution and the kind of Judaism we serve and transmit.” 

As JTS begins its search for Chancellor Eisen’s successor, who will be the eighth person to fill this role in over 130 years, it has assembled a distinguished search committee comprised of board members, faculty, and Conservative Movement representatives. Longtime JTS board members Dan Beller and Mimi Alperin will chair the committee. JTS has also retained the services of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, whose principal, Shelly Storbeck, is one of the country’s leading search consultants in the field of higher education.

“Chancellor Eisen’s tenure has strengthened and renewed all that has made JTS a pre-eminent center for Jewish learning and scholarship, while bringing the kind of transformation needed to speak to and lead a rapidly changing Jewish world,” said Alan Levine, chair of the JTS Board of Trustees. “I am delighted that Chancellor Eisen will remain at JTS as a member of our faculty, continuing to share his knowledge and experience as a scholar and teacher within our community.” 

During his tenure, Chancellor Eisen led a number of innovative and successful initiatives, including

  • JTS’s 21st Century Campus Project, opening this year, which will transform the JTS environment to encourage community and innovation with a new residence hall, library, performing arts center, and atrium.
  • Expanding access to treasures from the JTS Library through digitization and a new state-of-the-art facility.
  • Enhancing the strength of the renowned faculty and advancing the quality of teaching.
  • Sharing JTS scholarship by creating the JTS Fellows program, new community courses, and a rich menu of online learning opportunities.
  • Developing JTS Torah Online, a collection of contemporary Jewish content used by thousands of people a year.
  • The creation of JTS’s Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts; the Center for Pastoral Education; the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue; and the Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice.
  • Programs to strengthen early childhood, experiential, adult, and Israel education.

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen served on the faculties of Stanford, Tel Aviv, and Columbia universities. He is also an award-winning writer and advocate for the Jewish community, whose many publications include Rethinking Modern Judaism, and most recently, Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow, a collection of personal essays.

For photos, video, and additional information about Chancellor Eisen’s leadership and legacy visit


About The Jewish Theological Seminary

JTS is a preeminent institution of Jewish higher education, training thoughtful, innovative leaders—rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholars—who strengthen our communities with a vision of Judaism that is deeply grounded in the Jewish past and thoroughly engaged with contemporary society. JTS also provides high-caliber lifelong learning and professional development to our alumni, adult learners, and Jewish communities throughout North America. Through its Library, JTS preserves and makes accessible to students and scholars throughout the world the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western Hemisphere.