Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University. From 2000-2005 he served as Dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston. He was the first Rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, from 1977-1981, creating a new, vibrant and committed community. From 1981-2000, he served as the Rabbi of The Jewish Center in New York City, moving the congregation from 180 to over 600 members over the course of his tenure, and also served as Rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA from 2000-2005.
Dr. Schacter holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1973, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with the Abraham S. Goodhartz Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies. Dr. Schacter was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard from 1978-1980, Director of Yeshiva University’s Torah u-Madda Project from 1986-1997, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University from 1993-1999. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. He also presently serves as a member of the faculty of The Wexner Foundation.
Dr. Schacter is co-author of the award winning A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism published by Columbia University Press in 1996, author of The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways: Reflections on the Tish‘ah be-Av Kinot by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (2006) and over eighty articles and reviews in Hebrew and English. He is also the editor of Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung (1992), Jewish Tradition and The Nontraditional Jew (1992), and the award winning Judaism's Encounter with other Cultures: Rejection or Integration? (1997), and co-editor of The Complete Service for the Period of Bereavement (1995) and New Perspectives on Jewish-Christian Relations: In Honor of David Berger (Brill, 2012). He is the Founding Editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, a prestigious academic publication which has gained international acclaim.
Rabbi Schacter holds a number of prominent Jewish communal positions. He served as Founding President of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations (COJO) of the Upper West Side from 1994-2000, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Orthodox Union and is on the Editorial Boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, BDD (Bechal Derachecha Da’ehu) and Jewish Educational Leadership. He was awarded several fellowships and grants to further his scholarly research. In November, 2007, Rabbi Schacter was the Scholar-in-Residence at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Schacter is presently completing a new Hebrew edition of the autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden, an eighteenth century Jewish figure.