Burton Visotzky

Rabbi Dr. Burton Visotzky

Address3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Professor, Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish Theological Seminary of America

BURTON L. VISOTZKY serves as the Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he joined the faculty upon his ordination as rabbi in 1977. He has served as a dean of The Graduate School, as the founding rabbi of the egalitarian worship service of the Seminary Synagogue, and as the director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS.

Dr. Visotzky has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and a life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, as well as a visiting faculty member at, among others, Union Theological Seminary, Princeton University, and the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow. Rabbi Visotzky served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome during the spring of 2007.

With Bill Moyers, Visotzky developed ten hours of television for PBS on the book of Genesis, serving as consultant and a featured on-screen participant. The series, Genesis: A Living Conversation, premiered in October, 1996. He was also a consultant to Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks for their 1998 film, Prince of Egypt.

Dr. Visotzky’s articles and reviews have been published in America, Europe, and Israel. He is the author of nine books and one hundred articles and reviews. Visotzky’s popular volumes include: Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text (1991), The Genesis of Ethics: How the Tormented Family of Genesis leads us to Moral Development (1996), The Road to Redemption: Lessons from Exodus on Leadership and Community (1998), and From Mesopotamia to Modernity: Ten Introductions to Jewish History and Literature (1999). In addition to these popular works and his scholarly monographs, Visotzky’s novel, A Delightful Compendium of Consolation, which is set in eleventh-century North Africa, was published in spring 2008.

Visotzky sits on Fordham Law School’s Stein Center for Law and Ethics board of advisers, the New Israel Fund Rabbinic Council’s steering committee, the American Jewish World Service’s education committee and is a co-chair of its rabbinic council, and on J-Street’s board of advisers. He served on the board of trustees and executive committee of CancerCare.

He is active in Jewish–Christian–Muslim dialogue internationally, in capitals such as Washington, Warsaw, Rome, Cairo, Doha, Qatar (where he was in the first group of Jews invited to dialogue by the Emir), and Madrid (where he was in the first group of Jews invited by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia).

Rabbi Visotzky is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. His study groups and books have been hailed on radio, television, and in print. He has two adult children and is married to an attorney, Sandra Edelman. They make their home in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.

Dr. Visotzky’s page at JTS Speakers Bureau

The following books by Dr. Visotzky are available for purchase:

A Delightful Compendium of Consolation: A Fabulous Tale of Romance, Adventure & Faith in the Medieval Mediterranean

Reading the Book: Making The Bible a Timeless Text

The Genesis of Ethics

From Mesopotomia to Modernity: Ten Introductions to Jewish History and Literature

The Road to Redemption: Lessons From Exodus

The Midrash on Proverbs

Fathers of the World: Essays on Rabbinic and Patristic Literatures

Golden Bells and Pomegranates: Studies in Midrash Leviticus Rabbah

Areas of Interest

Logos Almanac of the Christian World

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