JTS Scholar Receives Prestigious Appointment

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

March 13, 2006, New York, NY

Dr. Burton Visotzky, Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary, has been selected as the 2007 Richard and Susan Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He will hold the professorship next spring, when he is on sabbatical from JTS.

The Pontifical Gregorian University is a Roman Catholic university. In 2001, the Gregorian University celebrated its 450th anniversary and currently hosts students from a variety of cultures and vocations in the Roman Catholic Church. It has one of the largest theology departments in the world, with over 1600 student–priests, seminarians, religious, and laymen and women from over 130 countries. Among the Gregorian’s illustrious students are fourteen popes and twenty saints.

A professor of Midrash and rabbinic literature, Dr. Visotzky joined the JTS faculty upon his ordination as Rabbi in 1977. He has served as the Associate and Acting Dean of The Graduate School (1991–96), as the founding Rabbi of the egalitarian worship service of the JTS synagogue, and as the Director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies. Dr. Visotzky has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University, and a visiting fellow and life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, as well as a visiting faculty member at Princeton Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, and the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow. An Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he was a Visiting Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies at Princeton University in 2004.

Dr. Visotzky has authored eight books, including the popular Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text (1991), and many articles and reviews. He is currently completing A Delightful Compendium of Consolation: A Novel, set in eleventh–century North Africa. With Bill Moyers, he developed ten hours of television for PBS on the book of Genesis, serving as consultant and a featured on–screen participant. The series, "Genesis: A Living Conversation," premiered in October, 1996. Dr. Visotzky was also a consultant to Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks SKG for their 1998 film, Prince of Egypt.

Dr. Visotzky sits on the Board of Advisors of the Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School, the Steering Committee of the New Israel Fund Rabbinic Council, and served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of CancerCare. He is active in Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogue internationally, most recently in Cairo and Doha, Qatar.

Editors/Reporters: To schedule an interview with Dr. Visotzky, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the JTS Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.