Dr. Jeffrey S. Kress Appointed New Provost at JTS

April 19, 2021, New York, NY

After a nationwide search, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is proud to announce Dr. Jeffrey S. Kress as its new provost.

Dr. Kress is currently the Dr. Bernard Heller Chair in Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has been on faculty since 2000. He has taught classes such as Social and Emotional Learning in Jewish Education and Empirical Research Methods to students, as well as conducted valuable academic research through the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education in the field of social, emotional, and spiritual development in education.

Dr. Kress earned his BA from University of Pennsylvania, and his MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. He presents regularly at academic and professional-development conferences and has published numerous journal articles. He has also authored several books, including Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools, which received a National Jewish Book Award, and his most recent book Nurturing Students’ Character: Everyday Teaching Activities for Social and Emotional Learning, written with Dr. Maurice Elias. Dr. Kress served on the leadership team for the Fellowship in Educating for Applied Jewish Wisdom, as the chair of the Network for Research in Jewish Education, and a Dr. Jonathan Woocher Fellow at Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

“Having served on the faculty with Dr. Kress and then as JTS’s provost for two years, I can say with the utmost confidence that our faculty, students, and academic programs will be in wonderful hands under Dr. Kress’s direction,“ said Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz. “With Dr. Kress’s outstanding teaching, research, and administrative experience; keen appreciation for faculty concerns; and wise judgment, JTS will be well positioned to spearhead the growth of the academic enterprise in the coming years. I am eager to work with him in this new capacity.”

“Teaching, learning, and scholarship at JTS sit at the intersection of academic expertise, professional development, and personal growth. All of this takes place within a community of Jewish learning and living. It is an honor to be able to be in a position to help this work continue to grow and flourish,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kress.

Dr. Stephen Garfinkel, acting provost, will retire when Dr. Kress assumes the role on July 1, 2021.  


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