Rabbi Daniel Lehmann selected as 8th president of Graduate Theological Union

Photography for Hebrew College web site and publications.

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On May 23, the Graduate Theological Union, or GTU, announced that Rabbi Daniel Lehmann will be its eighth president.

Based in Berkeley, the GTU is a coalition of religious schools and programs. Lehmann will succeed Riess Potterveld, who has been president for five years, as the first rabbi to be GTU’s president, according to GTU spokesperson Doug Davidson.

“GTU is at the forefront of the type of inter-religious scholarship and leadership that the world desperately needs,” Lehmann said in an email. “I am incredibly excited to help nurture, enhance, and support the creative scholarship, innovative leadership and inclusive community building that makes GTU so special.”

Lehmann plans to collaborate with the GTU community of scholars to expand its influence, engagement and digital footprint as a way to expand educational resources internationally.

Leading the presidential search was Board of Trustees member William D. Glenn, who chaired a 14-person committee, according to the GTU website. Those on the committee came from a range of backgrounds, including GTU doctoral students, trustees and alumni.

“Rabbi Daniel Lehmann is unquestionably the right person to lead the Graduate Theological Union in its interreligious engagement of the critical issues of our time,” said Board of Trustees chair Susan Cook Hoganson in a press release.

Potterveld is scheduled to retire June 30, and Lehmann will begin his term Aug. 1, according to a press release.

Lehmann has been president of Hebrew College for the past 10 years, and he recently chaired the Boston Theological Institute Board of Trustees. His studies focus on religious and philosophical pluralism, rabbinic texts, Jewish educational leadership and modern Jewish thought.

In recent months, Zaytuna College and the Institute of Buddhist Studies have been working to join the GTU coalition. Lehmann said he is excited to continue this work.

“Zaytuna College and the Institute of Buddhist Studies are very important and innovative educational institutions that contribute significantly to our inter-religious mission,” Lehmann said in an email. “Though I have not even begun my new role at GTU, I am excited to get to know Zaytuna and the Institute of Buddhist Studies as I become more familiar with the member schools, centers, and other affiliates of the GTU.”

Contact Margaret Black and Mariam Zagub at [email protected].