JTS Celebrates Graduates at 124th Commencement Ceremony

Press Contact: Beth Mayerowitz
Office: (212) 678-8055
Email: bemayerowitz@jtsa.edu
May 18, 2018, New York, NY

Yesterday, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) held its commencement ceremony at the historic International House. JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen delivered the 2018 Commencement address to the university’s graduating class of rabbinical, cantorial, and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree students. Honorary degrees were also presented to innovative leaders.

After graduating, JTS rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate students will go on to lead congregations at synagogues all over the world, as well as serve as leaders at Jewish communal organizations, in academia, and in other educational institutions.  Among the undergraduate class, graduates will pursue advanced degrees or have accepted offers at leading companies and organizations.

“JTS’s class of 2018 is full of talented, brilliant individuals who are poised to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Chancellor Eisen. “We are thrilled to recognize this extraordinary group of rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholars who continue to inspire us every day. Their passion, entrepreneurship, and spirituality reflect JTS’s commitment to developing the next generation of Jewish leaders.”

Graduates awarded degrees during this year’s Commencement included undergraduates who received bachelor’s degrees from List College and also earned simultaneous degrees from Columbia University or Barnard College. Master’s degree recipients who completed their studies at Gershon Kekst Graduate School and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education also received degrees. Cantors were invested by the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, and rabbis were ordained by The Rabbinical School. A number of students received multiple degrees from various JTS schools.

This year’s honorary degree recipients include Rabbi Rachel Cowan, acclaimed innovator in the field of Jewish spirituality and the Jewish healing movement; Tovah Feldshuh; illustrious actress and performer; Felice Gaer, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights; and Dr. Jonathan D. SarnaJoseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History.

Each of this year’s honorees has enhanced Jewish life in immeasurable ways. Rachel Cowan’s groundbreaking work in the Jewish healing movement provided spiritual resources and wisdom to channel Jewish wisdom toward meeting life’s challenges. Tovah Feldshuh’s contributions to the arts and Jewish life have simultaneously entertained audiences worldwide and probed the depths of the human condition. Felice Gaer’s work in the field of international human rights has changed the conversation about global justice. Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna’s academic achievements have erected a lasting monument in the field of Jewish studies.

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.