On My Mind: Arnie Eisen

About Arnold Eisen

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. Since his appointment in 2007, he has increased JTS’s impact on the communities it serves by transforming the education of religious leadership for Conservative Judaism; articulating a new vision for JTS; guiding the formulation of a strategic plan to implement that vision; and developing innovative programs in synagogue arts and practices, adult education, pastoral care, Jewish thought, interreligious dialogue, and the arts. His initiatives include new curricula for, and synergy among, all of JTS’s five schools; the Institute for Jewish Learning at JTS (and its flagship program Context); the interfaith Center for Pastoral Education at JTS; and the Tikvah Institute for Jewish Thought. By 2011, his Mitzvah Initiative will involve some 75 congregations in a process of reflection upon “commandment, commandedness, and the Commander.”

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen served in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University, the Department of Jewish Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and the Department of Religion at Columbia University. He earned a PhD in the History of Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, a BPhil in the Sociology of Religion at Oxford University, and a BA in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania. An award-winning writer and advocate for the Jewish community, the chancellor’s many publications include Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community and Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America, a personal essay. He is a lifelong member of the Conservative Movement, and married to Dr. Adriane Leveen, a scholar of Hebrew Bible. The couple has two children, Shulie and Nathaniel. Visit the Office of the Chancellor to learn more, and for links to Chancellor Eisen’s other work.