A North America-based research team led by Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, brings the voice of North American Jewry to the project by evaluating the relevance of the materials to the specific challenges of North American Jewish identity. The North American team includes the following scholars:
Professor Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist of American Jewry, is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner. In 1992 he made aliyah, and taught for 14 years at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously, he taught at Queens College, with visiting appointments at Yale, Brandeis, and JTS.
With Arnold Eisen, he wrote, The Jew Within, and with Charles Liebman he wrote, Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences. His earlier books include American Modernity & Jewish Identity, and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? His current research interests focus on the emerging patterns of Jewish identity and community among Jews in their 20s and 30s.
He serves as Research Director of Synagogue 3000, Senior Counselor to the Chancellor at JTS, and Director of the Florence G. Heller / JCCA Research Center. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. In 2010, he received the Marshall Sklare Award of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and was cited as one of the Forward Fifty (for the second time). The book, Sacred Strategies, of which he is a co-author, won a National Jewish Book Award.
He is married to Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen, and they live in Jerusalem and New York. His daughter, Edeet, attends The Hebrew University School of Law, and his son Adam lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, dean of Hebrew College Rabbinical School. Prior to assuming this position, she served as an adjunct faculty member at the Rabbinical School and then as Dean of Students. She graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, and subsequently spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale, and Harvard. She has been a summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993. She is the co-editor of two volumes of women's writings on Passover, The Women's Seder Sourcebook and The Women's Passover Companion.
Professor Suzanne Last Stone is University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She has held the Gruss Visiting Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at both the Harvard and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools, and also has visited at Princeton, Columbia Law, Hebrew University Law, and Tel Aviv Law.
She is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University Law School and was a Danforth Fellow in 1974 in Jewish History and Classical Religions at Yale University. Before joining the Cardozo faculty, Stone clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then practiced litigation at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Professor Stone is the co-editor-in-chief of Diné Israel, a peer review journal of Jewish law, co-edited with Tel Aviv Law School. Professor Stone writes and lectures on the intersection of Jewish thought, legal theory, and the humanities. Her work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Arabic.
Dr. Jack Wertheimer is the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary. His area of specialization is modern Jewish history, with a particular focus on trends in the religious, educational, and organizational sectors of American Jewish life since World War II.
Dr. Wertheimer is the author or editor of more than a dozen volumes. His more recent publications include Family Matters: Jewish Education in an Age of Choice, about the interplay between families and Jewish education, and Imagining the American Jewish Community, consisting of essays on the ways in which Jews have conceived of Jewish communal life in the United States. Dr. Wertheimer has written a number of studies about the rapidly evolving field of Jewish education. His most recent edited volume, Learning and Community: Jewish Supplementary Schools in the 21st Century, published in June 2009, contains portraits of ten Jewish supplementary schools that work.
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. The Ratner Center preserves the records of the rabbis, synagogues, and organizations of the Conservative Movement and also promotes research on the history and contemporary state of Conservative Judaism.