Shuly Rubin Schwartz – Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary

Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Irving Lehrman Research Professor of American Jewish History, a groundbreaking scholar of American Jewish history, and a visionary institutional leader, is the eighth chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the first woman to serve in this role since JTS was founded in 1886.

Chancellor Schwartz is devoted to building on JTS’s unique strengths as a Jewish institution of higher learning that trains future leaders through deep study—with both head and heart—of Jewish texts, ideas, and history. In JTS’s thriving community, students develop the creative ability to imbue others with the intellectual, cultural, and religious sustenance that our tradition offers, and they enrich every community of which they are a part.

Previously, Dr. Schwartz played a central role in shaping and strengthening JTS’s academic programs, while teaching and mentoring countless students. From 1993 to 2018, she served as dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, JTS’s undergraduate dual-degree program with Columbia University and Barnard College. In 2010, she was also named dean of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School. In 2018, she assumed the provostship, while continuing as dean of the Kekst School.

Chancellor Schwartz was one of the first women on the JTS faculty and played an instrumental role in introducing Jewish gender studies into the curriculum. As a scholar, she brings to light previously overlooked contributions of women to Jewish life and culture over the centuries and continually expands our understanding of American Judaism. Among her publications is the award-winning book, The Rabbi’s Wife, a penetrating examination of the role of rabbis’ wives in the development of American Jewish life.

GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND AWARDS

National Jewish Book Award in the category of Modern Jewish Thought, 2006, for The Rabbi’s Wife

PUBLICATIONS

  • The Rabbi’s Wife: The Rebbetzin in American Jewish Life. New York: New York University Press, 2006.
  • The Emergence of Jewish Scholarship in America: The Publication of the Jewish Encyclopedia. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union Press, 1991.
  • “They Married What They Wanted to Be? Rebbetzins and their Unconventional Paths to Power,” in Gender and Religious Leadership: Women Rabbis, Pastors, and Ministers, ed. Hartmut Bomhoff, Denise Eger, Kathy Ehrensperger, and Walter Homolka (New York: Lexington Books, 2019).
  • “What Has Made the Jewish American Family Jewish? American? A Family?” in The New Jewish Family, ed. Len Sharzer and Burton Visotzky (New York: Louis Finkelstein Institute and JTS Press, 2018).
  • “From Kremenets to New York: My Personal Journey as a Historian,” in Conversations with Colleagues; On Becoming an American Jewish Historian, ed. Jeffrey S. Gurock (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2018).
  • “‘No Child’s Play’: Educating Jewish Women Jewishly,” in Sisterhood: A Centennial History of Women of Reform Judaism, ed. Carole B. Balin, Dana Herman, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Gary P. Zola. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2013.
  • “Henrietta Szold: The Making of an Icon,” in New Essays in American Jewish History: Commemorating the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Founding of the American Jewish Archives, ed. Pamela S. Nadell, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Lance J. Sussman, 455–66. Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 2010.
  • “Rebecca Aronson Brickner (1894–1988), Benderly Boy?” in The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education 1910–1965, edited by Carol K. Ingall, 63–74. Waltham: Brandeis University Press, 2010.
  • “The Three Pillars of Ramah: Then and Now,” in Ramah at 60: Impact and Innovation, 93–104. New York: National Ramah Commission, 2010.
  • “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Hebraist: The Life and Dreams of Aron Shimon Shpall,” in “From Rebbetzin to Rabbi: The Journal of Paula Ackerman,” American Jewish Archives 59 (2007): 99–206.

LECTURES

  • Fake News and the Rise of Antisemitism
  • “Everyone Shall Sit in Safety Under His Own Vine and Fig Tree”? Jews and American Politics
  • American Jewry and Israel—An Ever-Shifting Relationship
  • Goodbye, Columbus, Hello Christopher: The Evolution of American Jewry
  • Merchants, Mah-jongg, and Menorahs: The History of Jews on Long Island
  • We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Feminism and American Judaism
  • Beyond Fiddler: How Jews Became Part of Mainstream America
  • Havdalah at the Lake: Jewish Camping and the Cultivation of American Jewish Identity
  • Baskin-Robbins Has 31 Flavors—How About American Judaism?
  • From Hank Greenberg to Heeb: The Evolution of American Jewish Culture
  • From Jewess Jeans to Juicy JAPs: Clothing and Jewish Stereotypes
  • From the Pews to the Pew Study: How Our Past Can/Can’t Inform Our Future as American Jews
  • They Married What They Wanted to Be: Rebbetzins in American Jewish Life
RESEARCH

Chancellor Schwartz focuses her research, writing, and teaching on American Jewish life, history, and culture, as well as Jewish gender studies. She is the author of numerous articles on modern Judaism and Jewish life, including groundbreaking research into the founding of the Camp Ramah movement.

All media inquiries may be directed to the JTS Communications Department at publicity@jtsa.edu or (212) 678-8055.