JTS

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.

10/28/2014
Staff Writer
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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
08/20/2014

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

03/04/2014
Staff Writer
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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.

03/04/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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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.’

11/22/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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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

Perfecting Their ‘Elevator Speeches’

04/30/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

As an aspiring rabbi, Ethan Witkovsky sees one of his goals as “helping people draw closer to their cultural and literary traditions” while making sense of their lives — and he’s ready to meet them in their homes or workplaces or even in local bars and parks to further that process.

Jessica Minnen, discussed her project with Rabbi Samuel Barth and Rabbi and Rabbi Judith Hauptman. Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Forging Their Own ‘New Connection’

Grad students in new JTS ed school program spend five months immersed in Israeli life.

Special To The Jewish Week
08/21/2012

Biking through the streets of downtown Jerusalem every day for several months, Eli Bass, 30, of Oak Park, Ill., noticed the frustrated line of bumper-to-bumper cars and buses lining the streets. In response, Bass worked at the Ma’aleh School of Film to create a five-minute documentary (available on YouTube) encouraging new, green methods of transportation in the millennia-old capitol.

Participants in Kesher Hadash grapple with complexities of Israeli culture. Courtesy JTS

Nurturing Rabbis To Pursue Activism

Rabbis for Human Rights launches summer social-justice fellowship for diverse group of seminarians.

07/24/2012
Staff Writer

Knocking on strangers’ doors is never easy. That’s especially true when the knocker, a young cantor, finds her Hebrew getting tangled up with her Spanish. Which in turn makes it harder to persuade public housing residents — already weary of theft in their hallways and police at their peepholes — to open up.

Elana Rosen-Brown, a Reform rabbinical student, is spending much of her summer knocking on doors in East Harlem,michael datikash

At Jerusalem Seminary, Hoping LGBT Shift Signals More Openness

Many hope landmark decision at Masorti-Conservative’s Schechter leads to more inclusion, less acrimony.

04/25/2012
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Mikie Goldstein, a gay rabbinical student at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary, is gratified that the Masorti movement — the Conservative movement’s Israeli branch — decided late last week to permit gays and lesbians to study toward ordination at the Schechter Rabbinical School in Jerusalem. 

Ian Chesir-Teran, a gay rabbinical student at HUC, welcomed the Schecter Rabbinical School's decision to accept gay students.

New Dialogue Leader Off To Bad Start

Vatican official charged with fostering Jewish-Catholic relations reignites tensions over Pope Pius XII canonization.

11/01/2011
Staff Writer

The Vatican’s new leader of dialogue with the Jewish community came to the United States for the first time in his new position last week to help open a new interfaith center.

But he ended up reopening a division between Catholics and most Jews.

JTS’ Librarian for Special Collections Jerry Schwarzbard, left, and Kurt Cardinal Koch look over the Prato Haggadah.
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