JTS names graduate school for former board chair

JTS names graduate school for former board chair

The Jewish Theological Seminary has announced that its graduate school will be named the Gershon Kekst Graduate School in honor of its longtime leader, advisor, and supporter.

“I am truly delighted that the graduate school at JTS — site and source of the teaching and scholarship that has powered Jewish commitment, innovation, and community for many tens of thousands of Jews in North America and beyond — will henceforth bear the name Gershon Kekst Graduate School,” Professor Arnold M. Eisen, JTS’s chancellor, said. “Gershon is one of the most extraordinary human beings that many of us have been privileged to know. He cares about the Jewish people, about Conservative Judaism, and about JTS far more than words can say. Naming the graduate school in his honor is our way of expressing gratitude for who he is and what he has meant to JTS and the Jewish community.”

Mr. Kekst is founder and chairman emeritus of Kekst and Company Inc., a leading strategic communications firm. He has been a member of the JTS board since 1989, serving as chair from 1991 to 2009, and is now its chair emeritus. During his tenure as chair, he was instrumental in shaping the direction of JTS and ensuring the quality of education and training of its students. His 18-year tenure is the longest continuous service in that role since Louis Marshall, the foremost Jewish communal leader of the early 20th century.

The Gershon Kekst Graduate School provides extensive Jewish studies graduate program in North America, offering course work in nine areas of specialization, including Jewish ethics, Jewish professional leadership, and Bible. More information is at www.jtsa.edu.