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Dr. Moshe Sokol Appointed Dean of Touro University Graduate School of Jewish Studies

Dean Moshe Sokol

(Courtesy of Touro University) Dr. Moshe Sokol was appointed as the new dean of the Touro University Graduate School of Jewish Studies (GSJS), Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish recently announced. Dr. Sokol is the founding dean of Touro’s Lander College for Men (LCM), which he led for the last 25 years.

“Dr. Sokol is a world class scholar, thinker and teacher and a skilled administrator who built the Lander College for Men from the ground up, establishing its stellar reputation and turning out more than 1,000 successful alumni who are contributing to their professions, society and the community at large. I know GSJS students and faculty will benefit greatly from his many talents and skills and his leadership,” said Dr. Kadish.

In his new role as GSJS dean, Dr. Sokol will be responsible for management of all aspects of Touro’s Masters and Ph.D. programs in Jewish Studies, including student and faculty recruitment, academic standards and policies, thesis and dissertation guidance, teaching graduate seminars, planning academic conferences and developing new curricula.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to devote more of my time to a field I love, Jewish Studies, to research and scholarship, and to helping prepare a new generation of young scholars who, with their deep knowledge of Jewish history and thought, will enrich Jewish life and education here and abroad,” said Dr. Sokol.

As dean of GSJS, Dr. Sokol hopes to build upon the extraordinary accomplishments of his predecessor, Dr. Michael Shmidman, who is retiring as of June 2024. He will continue the school’s enduring focus on rigorous and high quality scholarship, while working to expand access to Touro’s offerings through distance learning, especially in the field of Jewish education.

Sokol also seeks to partner with other Touro schools, including the graduate schools of social work and business, to prepare graduates for administrative and leadership positions in Jewish communal service and educational administration.

“I cannot think of a more qualified successor to assume the role of Dean at the Touro Graduate School of Jewish Studies,” said Dr. Shmidman, who will continue to serve as dean emeritus, Victor J. Selmanowitz Professor of Jewish History and editor of Touro University Press. “Dr. Moshe Sokol is a distinguished scholar, with an illustrious administrative career. While at Lander, he taught for decades at GSJS and even played a key role in its founding. I have had the opportunity to see up close his superb teaching, sterling character, genuine integrity and personal warmth. It will be an honor to transfer leadership of GSJS to Dr. Sokol’s talented hands.”

Dr. Sokol earned his Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat ITRI in Israel. He is the author or editor of six scholarly volumes and over two dozen articles in leading international journals of Jewish Studies.

A search for a new dean for Lander College for Men has been launched and Dr. Sokol will remain the dean of LCM until his successor is appointed.