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Biographical/Historical Information

Ismar Schorsch was born in Hannover, Germany in 1935, the son of Hannover’s rabbi Emil Schorsch (1899 – 1982). The family immigrated to the U.S. in 1940. Throughout his academic and rabbinic career, Ismar Schorsch exemplified the ideals of “Wissenschaft des Judentums”, the 19th-century German movement of the academic study of Judaism. From 1986 until his retirement in 2006, Schorsch served as Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City. He also was the driving force behind the creation of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem; and he presided over the creation of Project Judaica, a Jewish studies program with the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. For 18 years, Schorsch was President of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, moving it from its first home on 73rd Street and establishing the partnership with the Center for Jewish History.

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Ismar Schorsch, Leo Baeck Institute, F 4025.