Graduate Theological Union


A Rich History

The Center for Jewish Studies was founded in 1968, among the first of the GTU initiatives, with the appointment of David Winston as professor and director. At first CJS served the seminary community, but it soon acquired students of its own and began offering degree programs. In the next few decades the faculty included Daniel Matt, David Biale, Joshua Holo, and Dina Stein. Among the visiting faculty have been: Jo Milgrom, Joshua Levinson, Yair Zackovitsh, Marcia Falk, Rachel Biale, the late Rabbi Alan Lew, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, and Peter Stein.

Naomi Seidman

Ph.D. UC Berkeley, Center for Jewish Studies Director, and Koret Professor of Jewish Culture

She is author of A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish, and Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation.


Deena Aranoff

Deena Aranoff

Ph.D. Columbia University, Assistant Professor of Medieval Jewish Studies

Her interests include rabbinic literature, medieval patterns of Jewish thought, and the broader question of continuity and change in Jewish history.




CJS hosts renowned visiting professors and authors.


Shana Penn

Shana Penn

Visiting scholar

Shana Penn is the author of Solidarity's Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland (University of Michigan Press, 2005), Penn has organized CJS symposia on Polish Jewish history and on oral history as counter narrative in Jewish studies. She is currently completing a book on the revitalization of Jewish culture in Poland after Communism.



Steven Pearce

Visiting Scholar

Stephen Pearce, Senior Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, will be joining the faculty as Visiting Professor of Jewish Pastoral Care beginning Spring 2014. This opportunity is made possible through a generous grant from the Koret Foundation.
With a doctorate in Counseling Psychology in addition to thirty-six years of rabbinical service, Pearce provides crucial expertise in educating students in Jewish approaches to suffering and death, Jewish life cycles, and the use of Jewish sources in therapeutic settings. One of his duties will be to advise students in religious and community leadership.







Contact Information - Jewish Studies