JTS Announces Five New Personnel Appointments
Press Contact: Beth Mayerowitz
Office: (212) 678-8055
June 4, 2018
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is delighted to announce five new personnel appointments that together will strengthen the depth and breadth of our faculty expertise, expand our ability to provide sophisticated scholarly work, and increase the diversity of offerings to our students and the larger community.
Dr. Sarah Wolf, an accomplished scholar, will join the faculty as assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics. Dr. Arielle Levites will become the fourth Golda Och Postdoctoral fellow. Professor Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, a sociologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a faculty fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University, will be the next Ginor Visiting Professor of Israel Studies. In addition to these faculty additions, current faculty members will now serve in named positions: Dr. Barbara Mann will be named the Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature and Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky will be named the Blanche and Romie Shapiro Associate Professor of Bible. (Note: Dr. Kalmanofsky was later also named the new dean of List College. See press release.)
“These extraordinary, talented scholars have already made such an impressive impact in their respective fields of study. We look forward to learning from them, benefiting from their expertise, and supporting their work” said Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and Provost.
“We are overjoyed that these scholars have chosen to make JTS their home. We anticipate that the students, faculty, and entire community will benefit from their expertise,” said Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen.
Dr. Sarah Wolf received her PhD from Northwestern University, where she studied practices of textual interpretation in ancient and medieval Jewish culture. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “The Rabbinic Legal Imagination: Scholasticism and Narrativity in the Babylonian Talmud,” reveals the narrative features of scholastic approaches to law in late antique Jewish literature. Ms. Wolf received her BA in Literature from Yale University and has studied Rabbinics at several institutions, including the Drisha Institute and Mechon Hadar. She is currently a David Hartman Center Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She will join the faculty as an assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics.
As a Golda Och Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Arielle Levites will continue to study contemporary Jewish life, with a focus on how religious education shapes our emotional and political selves. Throughout her accomplished career, Dr. Levites has served as a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, a visiting assistant professor at Hebrew College in the Shoolman Graduate School, a research consultant at the Jewish Education Project, and an affiliated scholar at Brandeis University’s Mandel Center. She holds a BA from Brown University in Religious Studies, a MSEd in Religious Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from NYU in Education and Jewish Studies.
The Golda Och Postdoctoral Fellowship, established in 2013 by the family of the late Golda Och (z’l), perpetuates the memory of JTS alumna Golda Och and commemorates Och’s professional and volunteer service to the Jewish community.
In her role as the Ginor Visiting Professor of Israel Studies, Professor Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to JTS. Professor Vinitzky-Seroussi is currently a sociologist at the Hebrew University and a faculty fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. Her major academic interest revolves around issues of collective memory and commemoration, specifically the ways in which societies cope with their difficult pasts. From 2012-2016, she served as dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University, becoming the first woman to hold that position. Professor Vinitzky-Seroussi begins her position at JTS in spring 2019.
The Ginor Chair in Israel Studies was established in 1997 by the late Professor Zvia Ginor (z’l) and her children.
In addition to these new appointments, two current faculty members are being appointed to named positions:
• Dr. Barbara Mann will become the Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature.
• Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky will become the Blanche and Romie Shapiro Associate Professor of Bible, in addition to her current role as associate vice chancellor. (Note: Dr. Kalmanofsky was later also named the new dean of List College. See press release.)
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.