JTS Names Dr. Alan Cooper as New Provost

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

March 20, 2007, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary today announced that Dr. Alan Cooper, a professor of Bible at JTS, will assume the post of Provost on July 1, 2007. Dr. Cooper will succeed Dr. Jack Wertheimer, who has served as Provost for the past ten years.

JTS Chancellor-elect Arnold Eisen warmly praised Dr. Cooper on his world-class scholarship, passion, and vision. "I am excited by the opportunity to work with Professor Alan Cooper, whose scholarship on Bible I have long read and admired. In his position as chief academic officer, I am confident that Alan Cooper’s administrative experience, coupled with his deep commitment to academic excellence, will benefit the entire JTS community."

The Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of Publications at JTS since 1997, Dr. Cooper is chair of the Bible Department and a member of the Faculty Executive Committee. In 1998, he was appointed Professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary, becoming the first person to hold professorships at both JTS and Union. He previously was a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where for six years he was director of its School of Graduate Studies, and also taught religious studies for ten years at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies at Columbia University. He went on to do his graduate work at Yale University, earning a master of philosophy degree and doctorate in religious studies. His doctoral dissertation was on the linguistic structure of biblical poetry. He also spent a year in Jerusalem as a Hebrew University Postdoctoral Fellow.

His publications include a monograph on Canaanite divine names that appear in the Hebrew Bible and many articles on biblical poetics and the history of interpretation. Recent articles include "The Message of Lamentations" in the Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society and "Biblical Studies and Jewish Studies" in the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies. His current works-in-progress include a commentary on Psalms 31–60 for the Jewish Publication Society, a series of articles on the literary history of the Pentateuch, and a monograph on traditional interpretation of Leviticus 12 (a portion of which has appeared in the Harvard Theological Review). For the work on Leviticus, he was awarded a Lilly Endowment Faculty Fellowship in 2003–04.

Editors/Reporters: For further information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Cooper, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the 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.

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