Prof. Jack Wertheimer

Dr. Jack Wertheimer is the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Wertheimer is the author or editor of more than a dozen volumes, including A People Divided: Judaism in Contemporary America (Basic Books), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994 for the best study on contemporary Jewish life. Most recently, Dr. Wertheimer has written a number of studies about the rapidly evolving field of Jewish education: His latest book is an edited volume titled, The New Jewish Leaders: Reshaping the American Jewish Landscape. From 1997 to 2007, Dr. Wertheimer served as provost, the chief academic officer of JTS. He also served as the founding director of the Joseph and Miriam Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism from 1987 to 2008.

Publications by Prof. Jack Wertheimer

The Future of Jewish Education

Important new trends and major challenges have reshaped the field of Jewish education over the past two decades. An overarching development has been families’ insistence on choice as they try to find the schools and programs offering the best fit for each of their children. These expressions of consumerism have required Jewish educational institutions to tailor their programs to the needs of individual students and their parents.  Read More »

The Fragmentation of American Jewry and Its Leadership

In recent decades the national leadership structure of the American Jewish community has moved from a fairly integrated state to one characterized by fragmentation. It is hard to discern whether truly powerful national Jewish organizations still exist, let alone whether these set a communal agenda. Several leaders of American Jewry are effective heads of their organizations. However, they rarely rise above their own sphere to influence the discourse on broader issues affecting Jewish life.  Read More »