PHILIP WEXLER - Executive DirectoR

Philip Wexler is emeritus Professor of Sociology and Unterberg Chair in Jewish Social and Educational History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He previously served as Dean of the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester, NY (1989-2000), and as Director of the School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2002-2010). He has also been a Visiting Professor at Brandeis University (2010-2012) and at the University of Wuppertal, Germany (2012-2014). 

"In the summer of 2000 I took a two year sabbatical from my post at the University of Rochester to study Jewish texts in Jerusalem. As a classical sociologist I was particularly interested in the ways that my own discipline had been shaped by religious and spiritual influences, and could continue to be reshaped to meet new challenges in contemporary culture. Rather than return to Rochester, I stayed on at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, continuing my work in sociology as Director of the School of Education. In Jerusalem I also built strong relationships with leading academic scholars in the field of Jewish mysticism, studied Jewish spiritual teachings from their original texts in Hebrew and Yiddish, conducted ethnographic work among newly religious youth, and explored the vital role that spirituality continues to play in social life. As Executive Director at the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and Society I continue to advance the converging trajectories of scholarship, spirituality, and social transformation." 


Advisory Board

Professor Daniel Abrams, Director

Daniel Abrams, Professor of Kabbalah, the Department of Jewish Thought, Bar Ilan University, Israel.

William B. Parsons, Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University in Houston, Texas.


Lauren Erdreich, Lecturer and Tutor, Levinsky College of Education and the MOFET Institute, Israel.

Ada Rapoport-Albert, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London, UK.

Jonathan Garb, Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Moshe Idel, Emeritus Max Cooper Professor in Jewish Thought, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Rivkah Slonim, Education Director, Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life, Binghamton University, NY.

Dr. Naftali Loewenthal, Director

Naftali Loewenthal, Adjunct Lecturer in Jewish Spirituality, University College London, UK. 

Rachel Werczberger, Lecturer in Anthropology, Holon Institute of Technology, Israel.

Shaul Magid, Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Elliot R. Wolfson, Marsha and Jay Glazer Professor of Jewish Studies, the University of California, Santa Barbara.




Stephen Hazan Arnoff holds a doctorate in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation from the Jewish Theological Seminary as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He has served in senior leadership roles at the JCC Association, Shalem College, the 14th Street Y, the 92nd Street Y, and Zeek, and is currently Executive Director of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. 

Eli Rubin, Director and Research Coordinator


Eli Rubin has been a research writer and editor at Chabad.org since 2011, focusing on the social and intellectual history of Chabad Hasidism. Between 2005 and 2011 he studied Hasidic literature and Jewish Law at the Rabbinical College of America and at yeshivot in the UK, the US and Australia.