JTS Appoints Two New Faculty Members

Dr. Shira Billet joins JTS as new assistant professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics, and Dr. Yael Landman joins as new assistant professor of Bible

New JTS Faculty Members

April 6, 2022 — New York, NY The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), one of the world’s preeminent centers of Jewish higher education, today announced two new faculty appointments. With these new hires, JTS will continue to offer an outstanding education in the texts, history, and ideas of the Jewish people to tomorrow’s leaders and the wider public. Dr. Shira Billet will join the faculty as assistant professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics, and Dr. Yael Landman will join as assistant professor of Bible.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Shira Billet and Dr. Yael Landman are joining us in this pivotal moment for JTS, as the institution continues to demonstrate its commitment to providing deep Jewish learning that is both intellectually challenging and spiritually nourishing, learning that is both anchored in tradition and in dialogue with contemporary concerns,” said JTS Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz.

In her role as assistant professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics, Dr. Shira Billet will draw upon her extensive knowledge of Jewish thought, philosophical ethics, and classical Jewish sources to teach JTS students and to coordinate academic programming at the Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice. Dr. Billet joins the JTS faculty after completing a postdoctoral associateship in Jewish philosophy at Yale University where, in addition to her research and writing on nineteenth-century German Jewish philosophy, she taught courses in philosophy and Jewish thought. Her doctoral work at Princeton University focused on the ethical and Jewish thought of Hermann Cohen in his intellectual and historical contexts. Dr. Billet has taught courses in Jewish thought, feminist ethics, theology, and philosophy at Fordham University, JTS, Princeton University, and Yale University.

“I am excited to work with the incredible students and world-class scholars at JTS in the classroom, in the library, and at the Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice,” said Dr. Shira Billet, incoming JTS assistant professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics. “In my scholarship in modern Jewish thought, I focus on the relationship between moral philosophy as an intellectual enterprise and as a public and political endeavor. I am thrilled to join an institution that integrates rigorous scholarship and excellence in teaching with a commitment to strengthening community and bringing Jewish Studies scholarship into conversation with the most pressing questions we face in today’s public square.” 

As a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and assistant professor of Bible, Dr. Yael Landman’s teaching will center on methods of Jewish biblical interpretation from antiquity to the present and on ancient Near Eastern contexts to the Bible. Dr. Landman joins us from her most recent roles as lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and acquisitions editor at Gorgias Press. Her research focuses on the intersection of law and literature, and connections between legal writing and legal practice in biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts. She received her PhD from Yeshiva University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In February 2022, Dr. Landman published her first book with Brown Judaic Studies entitled Legal Writing, Legal Practice: The Biblical Bailment Law and Divine Justice.

“JTS boasts a storied legacy of groundbreaking scholarship in Biblical Studies. I am honored to join the faculty as assistant professor of Bible and proud to be part of the institution as it embarks on its next chapter. I look forward to teaching the diverse and impressive students of JTS and serving its broader communities,” said Dr. Yael Landman, incoming JTS assistant professor of Bible.

Both professors will assume their new roles on July 1, 2022.