JTS, The Novel

Amy Gottlieb first novel delves into the world of the Seminary in the 1950s, when ‘there was magic in the air.’

09/21/2016 - 14:05
Culture Editor

Amy Gottlieb’s debut novel, “The Beautiful Possible” (Harper), is one of the most Jewish of stories, if one considers novelist Rebecca Goldstein’s definition of a Jewish book as one in which Judaism matters on the page. In a style that feels natural, Gottlieb weaves Jewish wisdom, texts and storytelling into narrative and dialogue; many sentences have the cadences of prayer.

Gottlieb’s novel is a story of a past era at JTS, when Abraham Joshua Heschel was teaching there. Courtesy of Harper

JTS Plans Major Redesign Of Its Campus

Nearly $100 million land deal to pave way for new library, dorms.

02/02/2016 - 13:04

Making good on expansion plans announced last year, the Jewish Theological Seminary has completed a $96 million deal to sell a portion of its Morningside Heights campus and build a state-of-the-art library, performance center, residence hall and conference facilities.

“Bold investment” in future: The entrance to JTS’ Morningside Heights campus. Flickr via JTA

Three Decades Later, Conservative Women Rabbis Have Made An Impact

05/04/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I heard my voice crack with unexpected emotion last week when I participated in a panel discussion at a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the ordination of women as rabbis in the Conservative movement. It was a fine panel with Blu Greenberg, the force behind Orthodox feminism; Alisa Doctoroff, president of the board of UJA-Federation of New York; and Arnold Eisen, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, as moderator. Our topic was how the ordination of women by the seminary had impacted the Conservative movement and the larger American Jewish community.

Francine Klagsbrun

United Synagogue Selling Its N.Y. Real Estate

01/26/2015 - 19:00

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is selling its New York office.

The organization announced Wednesday that it signed a contract last month to sell its two-floor condo in Midtown Manhattan for $15.9 million. Proceeds from the sale of the Second Avenue property will go toward paying down its debt, renting new office space and establishing a foundation to fund ongoing programs, United Synagogue said.

Rabbi Steven Wernick said his organization will invest the proceeds of the sale. Courtesy of United Synagogue

NHL Commish Is JTS’ Iceman Cometh

Conservative seminary honors Gary Bettman, for whom hockey has always been king.

01/19/2015 - 19:00

In the late 1960s, Gary Bettman would finish classes at his Queens high school, take the subway to Madison Square Garden and whip out his student ID card to land a ticket for 50 cents to a New York Rangers game. He’d sit in the arena doing his homework until the game began and he could cheer on favorite players like Rod Gilbert and Eddie Giacomin.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, left, presenting Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings with the Stanley Cup. Andrew D. Bernstein

Muslim Bridge Builder Takes Post At JTS

Yasin Meral, assistant professor of history of religions at Ankara University, is the seminary's first visiting Muslim scholar.

10/27/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The Jewish Theological Seminary last week appointed its first Muslim visiting scholar. Yasin Meral, assistant professor of history of religions at Ankara University, will conduct post-doctoral research at JTS this year. Meral, whose Ph.D. dissertation was on “Islam and Muslims in the Writings of Maimonides,” has done post-doctoral work on end-times issues in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. The Jewish Week interviewed him by email. This is an edited transcript.

Yasin Meral, scholar from Turkey, brings rich history of ties with Jews to his work this year at JTS.

Eisen’s Case For Proactive Conversion

Staff Writer
08/19/2014 - 20:00

The chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America recently took his call for the Jewish community to proactively support non-Jews’ conversion to Judaism, which had largely been an internecine Jewish issue, to a national audience.

A River (Of Ethics) Runs Through It

03/03/2014 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America announced last week that is establishing a new academic program — a master’s degree in Jewish ethics. The program, to be headed by Alan Mittleman, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the school, will focus on such area as bioethics, business ethics and legal ethics. The Jewish Week interviewed Mittleman by e-mail. This is an edited version of the transcript.

JTS’ Alan Mittleman: “Many of the laws of the Torah have an overt ethical dimension.”

Changing Conservative Judaism

A movement looking to the future finds some rabbinical role models in its own synagogues.

03/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

We can complain about the shrinking of the Conservative movement. And we can take pride in Conservative successes of the past. But if what we have been doing until now is not sufficient for the future, what can we change?

Judith Hauptman

A L’Chaim To Conservative Judaism

JTS chancellor: ‘Complacency’ and ‘despair’ … ‘are forbidden;' ‘both are distractions from the task at hand.’

11/21/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I’ve spent the better part of my adult life as a scholar of American Judaism, with a special focus on figures at the center of Conservative Judaism, and I’ve spent most of those years enjoying the benefits of Conservative Jewish institutions, conversations and communities.

Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen
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