Divinity School appoints new Dean of Students

Joshua Feigelson appointed Dean of Students in the Divinity School

Joshua FeigelsonJoshua Feigelson, a leading thinker, teacher, and leader on issues of purpose and meaning in American higher education, has joined the University of Chicago Divinity School as Dean of Students, effective September 18, 2017.

“I am thrilled to join the community of scholars and practitioners at the Divinity School,” said Feigelson.  “As both a rabbi and scholar, I deeply appreciate the diversity of the Divinity School’s degree programs. The work of the Divinity School is more urgent today than it has ever been, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help it do that work."

Prior to joining the Divinity School, Feigelson founded and served as Executive Director of Ask Big Questions, a social startup venture dedicated to improving civic learning and engagement through reflective conversations about questions that matter to all human beings. Under Feigelson’s leadership, the Ask Big Questions initiative helped over 300,000 people on 175 college campuses and in dozens of communities around the world to connect, understand, and trust one another, and won the inaugural Lippman-Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom. 

“We are honored to welcome Joshua Feigelson to Chicago and to the Divinity School,” said Dean Laurie Zoloth. “He will support our new programs in religion and public life, and train a new generation of students who are committed to both the academic study of religion and to its practices and traditions. His energy and enthusiasm is transformational.”

From 2005-2011, Feigelson served as Campus Rabbi at Northwestern University Hillel, where he was named one of the top 12 people to know on campus by the Daily Northwestern. While at Northwestern, Feigelson earned a PhD in Religious Studies; his academic interests include the intersection of American religion and higher education, with particular interest on the relationship between American Jewish life and American colleges and universities.

“My scholarship has focused on the relationship between American higher education and American religion, and my professional work has been about helping communities—academic, religious, and otherwise—connect between and across their boundaries,” Feigelson said. “As such, I am excited to work with this community of students, faculty, alumni and friends to build on its unique and rich heritage of learning, dialogue, and service.”

The author of several book chapters and journal articles, Feigelson has been a keynote presenter and lecturer at numerous conferences, served on faculty for programs of a range of foundations and institutes, and been a scholar-in-residence at synagogues throughout North America.


September 11, 2017