Houlihan Lawrence Names

Liz Nunan President

June 2020 -- Sivan-Tammuz 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 6

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The Jewish Theological Seminary Appoints Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz as the Institution’s Eighth Chancellor

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), one of the world’s preeminent centers of Jewish higher education and the intellectual and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism, has announced that it has selected Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz to be its eighth Chancellor. A renowned expert on Jewish American history with more than three decades of experience as a professor and institutional leader, Dr. Schwartz will be the first woman to lead as chancellor of JTS in the institution’s 134-year history.


Dr. Schwartz will assume her new role on July 1, 2020, as current JTS chancellor Arnold Eisen steps down for a year-long sabbatical before joining the ranks of the institution’s faculty full-time.


“It is my honor and privilege to assume the leadership of JTS at a moment that requires nimble action and creative solutions,” said Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz of The Jewish Theological Seminary. “For over a century, JTS has played an essential role in fueling the intellectual, religious, and communal vitality of Jewish life—through the leaders it graduates and the ideas, resources, and values it disseminates. My priority will be executing our academic vision in a post–Covid-19 world, and I look forward to leading JTS as it continues to evolve in meeting the needs of the next generation of Jewish scholars and leaders.”


Dr. Schwartz brings unparalleled qualifications to her new role. Most recently, she served as JTS’s provost, the first woman also in this position, and played an instrumental role in guiding the school’s transition to virtual learning amid the Covid-19 outbreak.


Prior to serving as provost, Dr. Schwartz was dean of List College, JTS’s undergraduate dual-degree program with Barnard and Columbia, for 25 years. As dean, Dr. Schwartz strengthened the college’s dual-degree programs and launched initiatives that built upon JTS’s tradition of social justice engagement, including the yearlong intensive Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship and JustCity, a high school summer program. She was among the first women on the faculty and was instrumental in the rise of gender studies at the institution.


For the past 10 years, Dr. Schwartz has also served as dean of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School, where she pioneered the creation of an MA program in Jewish ethics, a joint Jewish ethics MA/MPH with Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a new certificate program in ethics and social justice.


Throughout her tenure as dean and provost, Dr. Schwartz taught as a professor of American Jewish history. A longtime scholar and writer, Dr. Schwartz’s research, writing, and teaching focuses on modern Jewish life, Jewish American history, Jewish representation in American population culture, and Jewish gender studies. Her book, The Rabbi’s Wife, a penetrating examination of the role of rabbis’ wives in the development of American Jewry, won the National Jewish Book Award.


“We are thrilled to select our provost, Professor Shuly Rubin Schwartz, as the eighth chancellor of JTS,” said Alan Levine, Chair of the JTS Board of Trustees. “Dr. Schwartz’s academic stature is matched by her administrative achievements as dean of List College, dean of the Kekst Graduate School, and as provost. Dr. Schwartz has played a major role in creating the special academic community that is JTS, and we are confident that her vision and unique skills will ensure JTS’s continued stature as a leading ACADEMIC institution of the American Jewish world.”


“I am delighted and proud that Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz will succeed me as chancellor,” said Chancellor Arnold Eisen. “No one knows JTS better than Shuly, and no one loves JTS more. She brings to the task a historian’s keen awareness of the central role that JTS has played for over a century in Jewish scholarship, Conservative Judaism, and the Jewish world as a whole. She also brings a fierce determination to meet the challenges we face with confidence and courage. I look forward to her leadership with great anticipation and excitement.”