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

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) 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.

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.