Study Tour Scholars

Rabbi Burt Visotzky serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary. As the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS, he is also charged with programs on public policy. Dr. Visotzky also directs the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at JTS. He is the author of eleven books and more than 120 articles and reviews. Hs most recent book is Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism As We Know It (St. Martin’s Press 2016). 

Professor Visotzky has served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (where he met Pope Benedict in 2007). He recently served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he met Pope Francis.

Rabbi Visotzky participates in interreligious engagement internationally, most recently, in Marrakech, Morocco. He was the winner of the 2012 Goldziher Prize, awarded biennially by Merrimack College for work in Jewish-Muslim relations. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust. He is a member of the Roundtable of Religious and Faith Based Organization Leaders advising World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Professor Visotzky also serves on the Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect the UN Secretary General.

Professor Visotzky is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. He has been named to "The Forward 50" and repeatedly to the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of "The 50 Most Influential Jews in America."


Dr. Lee I. Levine, Professor Emeritus at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a historian of ancient Judaism and has directed several archaeological digs, including Caesarea and the excavation of the Hurvat Amudim Synagogue. 

Prof. Levine’s areas of research include Judaism and Hellenism, Jews under Roman Rule, the origins and development of the synagogue, and Jewish art in antiquity. He is the author of numerous volumes including The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years, (2nd Ed Yale 2005) and Jerusalem: Portrait of the City in the Second Temple Period (538 B.C.E.-70 C.E.), and Visual Judaism in Late Antiquity: Historical Contexts of Jewish Art, (Yale 2012). Dr. Levine's current project, a joint effort with his son, Dr. David Levine, is a comprehensive and updated history of the Jews of Palestine from 70 to 640 CE,

Prof. Levine has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel, and has also served as visiting professor at JTS, Harvard, and Yale Universities. He received his BHL, MHL and rabbinic ordination from JTS.