Jeffrey Kress

Provost and Dr. Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education; Interim Dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education

Phone: (212) 678-8920


Office Hours: By Appointment


Jeffrey S. Kress is the Provost of JTS and the Dr. Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education. Dr. Kress’s interests include social, emotional, and spiritual development and education. He has written about experiential Jewish education, particularly as it takes place in formal settings. He has also conducted research and professional development on inclusion of learners with disabilities in camp settings. His book Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools (Academic Studies Press, 2012) won a National Jewish Book Award. His latest book is Nurturing Students’ Character: Everyday Teaching Activities for Social and Emotional Learning (Routledge Press, 2020), written with Dr. Maurice Elias. He has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters and regularly presents at academic and professional-development conferences. Dr. Kress has  served as the chair of the Network for Research in Jewish Education and was a Dr. Jonathan Woocher Fellow of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

Prior to coming to JTS, Dr. Kress worked as a program-development specialist and school-based trainer for the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving program of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Community Mental Health Center. He completed an internship in clinical/community psychology there after receiving his doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University.

BA, University of Pennsylvania; MS and PhD, Rutgers University



Dr. Kress’s research focuses are in religious and spiritual development; education for Jewish identity and values; experiential Jewish education; implementation and sustainability of educational innovations; social and emotional learning and character education; and program evaluation.