A Time to Build
We must seize this moment and the immense possibilities it holds for the transformation of American Judaism.
Our new campus is designed to support inspired teaching and world-class scholarship. To encourage discussion and innovation. And to deepen our sense of community and our experience of Jewish life. It will let us open our doors wide, welcoming in a diversity of people and ideas, and sharing our learning with the Jewish community and the wider world.
We are building a residence hall centered on community. It will feature inviting common spaces where students from diverse backgrounds can together experience Shabbat and the daily rhythms of Jewish life. Where they can learn, not only from the vital teachings of the classroom, but from the vitality of personal relationships. Where they can explore what it means to live Jewishly—and how to do it in the 21st century.
The 21st Century Campus is designed by the award-winning team of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, whose projects include the acclaimed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the future Obama Presidential Center. The studio focuses on cultural and academic institutions, including universities, libraries, and museums. Williams and Tsien understand deeply how buildings can facilitate the work and mission of those within. They see architecture as “an act of profound optimism”—a spirit that reflects our own optimism about the Jewish future and the role that JTS will play in enriching it.
Our new auditorium is designed to nourish the Jewish spirit. It will be home to a wide-ranging mix of performance and music—from the beauty of traditional cantorial music to contemporary theatre and dance pieces probing the meaning of ancient Jewish texts. It will host compelling conversations with political leaders, activists, religious figures, and scholars. And it will make these events accessible to all, thanks to an assistive listening system and the capacity for high-quality video streaming.
The new JTS Library will be a welcoming, state-of-the-art home for one of the greatest collections of Judaica in the world. It will combine spaces for study and research with areas for teaching and collaboration. Its exhibit spaces and adjacent presentation room will allow more people than ever to examine its rare treasures. By breathing life into the Jewish past, the Library will inspire our students to imagine a dynamic Jewish future.
To educate dynamic Jewish leaders, we need an equally dynamic campus. That’s why the center of our new facility will be a light-filled atrium serving as the gateway to every part of JTS. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will all stream through this bright crossroads, designed for impromptu exchanges and informal meetings. The atrium will bring together diverse people and ideas, and reflect the open, inclusive face of JTS in the 21st century.
The Residence Hall
The Auditorium/ Performance Space
Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor
This project constitutes an investment in the future of JTS, in the kind of Judaism that sustains us, and in the entire North American Jewish community.”
The 21st Century Campus reflects our commitment to educating and inspiring future Jewish leaders—so they may inspire our communities with a vision of Torah that speaks powerfully to contemporary Jews.
Students moved into our new residence hall in fall 2019, and our atrium has opened. All elements of the campus will be fully completed this summer.
From its design through its construction, the new campus reflects our highest values: Torah living and learning, respect and dignity for all people, community, accessibility, and environmental sustainability.