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Research Fellow

Rabbi Gordon Tucker is a Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is also Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously he was the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY (a Conservative synagogue) from 1994 to 2018. He received an A.B. from Harvard College, Ph.D. from Princeton University, and Rabbinic Ordination from Jewish Theological Seminary.

He was Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1979 to 1994, and has been on the adjunct faculty many times since. From 1984 to 1992 he was the Dean of the Rabbinical School, overseeing the rabbinic training of hundreds of rabbis. He was a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards from 1982 to 2007.

In 1979-80, he was a White House Fellow, and served as assistant and chief speechwriter to U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti. He is the author of scores of articles on Jewish theology and law, and published Heavenly Torah, a translation of and commentary on Abraham Joshua Heschel’s three-volume work on rabbinic theology. An anthology of his writings was published in 2014, under the title Torah for its Intended Purpose. Most recently, his new commentary on Pirkei Avot was published by The Rabbinical Assembly in 2018.

He is a member of the International Council of the New Israel Fund, a past Chairman of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel, and a past member of the Board of Directors of UJA-Federation of New York.

He is married to Amy Cohn, and has three children and six grandchildren.

Gordon Tucker


Feb 28, 2022

Erin Leib Smokler spoke with Gordon Tucker about his essay from her new book that wrestles with the implications of the pandemic.

Jul 15, 2021

Gordon Tucker explores how walls appear between us and the divine through Rabbinic and Hasidic texts, and the soulful music and lyrics of Leonard Cohen

Jul 9, 2021

Gordon Tucker explores Heschel's intimate relationship with prophecy and how it transformed over the course of his life in innovative ways.

Nov 30, 2020

Why would a word that denotes a location in space have been used in Rabbinic Hebrew to mean God?

Sep 14, 2020

Hartman Senior Fellow Rabbi Gordon Tucker has joined JTS as Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement.

Sep 10, 2020

Explore this ancient Rosh Hashana piyyut (liturgical poem) that contains just 32 words beginning with: Hayom Harat Olam, the day of creation of the world.

Jul 23, 2020

Gordon Tucker explores the final passage in this iconic and challenging prayer on the Days of Awe.

Jul 15, 2020

Gordon Tucker explores the veritable trove of interpretation of one small liturgical text.

Jun 3, 2020

Explaining the good faith behind the Conservative movements use of technology

May 20, 2020

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