GTU Announces Rabbi Daniel Lehmann as President

Authored by: 
GTU Communications

GTU Announces Rabbi Daniel Lehmann as President

For Immediate Release
Contact: Doug Davidson,, 510-649-2423

Berkeley, CA, May 23, 2018 - The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) of Berkeley, California, is pleased to announce the selection of Rabbi Daniel L. Lehmann as the eighth president in the school’s fifty-six-year history. Rabbi Lehmann comes to the GTU from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, where he recently completed his tenure as president and professor of pluralism and Jewish education. Lehmann also served as board chair of the Boston Theological Institute, where he successfully led Hebrew College to become the first non-Christian institution to join that theological consortium.

Rabbi Lehmann brings to the GTU a profound passion for interreligious education, as well as extensive experience in program development, student recruitment, fundraising, and organizational management.  “I am excited to take on this new leadership challenge as president of the preeminent institution of interreligious higher education,” said Rabbi Lehmann. “The polarities that characterize our society and the religious tensions that continue to burst into hatred and violence require a powerful response from religious thinkers, leaders, and activists. As president I will seek to ensure that the GTU remains a significant thought leader in our nation and our world, demonstrating the ways religious and cultural traditions can learn from and enrich one another while retaining the unique narratives, ideas, and practices that root communities in their own fertile traditions.”

During his years as an academic and religious leader in Boston, Rabbi Lehmann raised tens of millions of dollars for operational and capital needs and worked closely with trustees to expand a philanthropic base of support. One of his signature accomplishments as president of Hebrew College was the establishment of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership, which was made possible by a generous seven-figure gift from a trustee. Lehmann's experience with recruitment, board development and collaboration, strategic planning, community relations, digital marketing, on-line expansion, and team-building position him well for the challenge of leading the GTU into the future.

GTU board chair Susan Cook Hoganson expressed enthusiasm for the selection: “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. While the GTU has long been a hub of interreligious scholarship and dialogue, the welcoming of Rabbi Lehmann as president will enable the GTU to live even more fully into its identity as an innovative center of multidisciplinary, multireligious scholarship.”

“We live in an era that needs, now more than ever, a vision of interreligious understanding and collaboration,” said President-elect Lehmann. “The GTU has an important role to play as an international leader of interreligious scholarship, education, and creativity. I am honored to contribute my skills and expertise to ensure that the GTU continues to grow and expand in fulfillment of its sacred mission.”

Rabbi Lehmann will begin his term as president of the Graduate Theological Union on August 1, 2018, succeeding Dr. Riess Potterveld, who is retiring after five years as president.

Baruch ha-ba, welcome to the GTU, Rabbi Daniel Lehmann!

About the Graduate Theological Union: The Graduate Theological Union is a unique interreligious consortium of more than twenty member schools, centers, and institutes, with a world-class library. Founded in 1962, the GTU is the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America, bringing together scholars of the world’s great religions and wisdom traditions to grow in knowledge, thrive in spirit, and unite in solutions.