JTS Celebrates Inauguration of Chancellor Schwartz

Schwartz’s inauguration marked the culmination of Opening Season at JTS, which featured a series of events exploring the intellectual, artistic, and religious breadth of Jewish life

Program featured remarks from Chancellor Schwartz, US Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (via video), NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, among others

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), one of the world’s preeminent centers of Jewish higher education, today celebrated the inauguration of Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz, an event delayed by two years because of COVID-19.

Since assuming the role of chancellor in July 2020, Dr. Schwartz has provided vital leadership for JTS at a crucial moment for the institution. Her formal inauguration marks the culmination of an Opening Season of events that invited visitors to its reimagined campus, designed by famed Obama Library architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

“At a time of immense possibility for the Jewish world, my priority as chancellor is ensuring that JTS meets the needs of the moment, while looking toward the future. My goal is to offer a nuanced educational approach that prepares future leaders to share Judaism’s riches and inspires them to effect needed change. In addition, I want to expand our program offerings to the wider community by developing flexible learning opportunities both in-house and online. I see JTS as a vibrant hub for teaching, learning, and dialogue that models public discourse across ideological and religious spectra,” said Chancellor Schwartz.

Watch a video of Chancellor Schwartz’s address.

Download and read Chancellor Schwartz’s address.

“Chancellor Schwartz has proven that no one is better able to steer JTS throughout the seismic shifts we have seen impact every institution of higher learning over the past two years. This is a pivotal moment for JTS, as her leadership coincided with the opening of our reimagined campus. We are fortunate to have Chancellor Schwartz at the helm and know that her deep leadership experience, expansive academic background, and broad communal perspective will continue to propel us forward,” said Alan Levine, chair of the JTS Board of Trustees.

As an expert on American Jewish history, Chancellor Schwartz brings more than three decades of experience as a professor and institutional leader to the role. Most recently, Schwartz served as provost of JTS, including during the first months of COVID-19 when her leadership was critical in enabling JTS to adapt effectively. Dr. Schwartz also served as dean of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School.

Prior to those roles, Dr. Schwartz was dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies—JTS’s undergraduate dual-degree program with Barnard and Columbia—for 25 years. As dean, Dr. Schwartz strengthened the college’s programs and launched initiatives that built upon JTS’s tradition of social justice engagement. She was among the first women on the faculty and was instrumental in the addition of Jewish gender studies to the curriculum.

You can read more about Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz’s background here.