Published: May 9, 2022

Elias SacksTo the Program in Jewish Studies Community:

I hope that this email finds you healthy and safe. As the 2021-2022 academic year comes to a close, I’m writing to share the news that, in January 2023, I'll be leaving the University of Colorado Boulder to become the Director of the Jewish Publication Society. As some of you may know, JPS is the nation’s oldest non-profit focused on promoting accessible scholarship on the Jewish tradition: JPS is responsible for the English translation of the Hebrew Bible used in most academic and Jewish communal contexts, as well as for publications ranging from translations of classical Jewish sources to anthologies for use in academic and non-academic settings to books on ancient, medieval, and modern Jewish life. As Director, I’ll be charged with working with JPS’s Board of Trustees, as well as with the academic and non-academic communities JPS serves, to craft the organization’s vision and agenda, and with spearheading the programmatic work involved in actualizing that vision and agenda. This will largely be a remote position, so my family and I will continue to make Denver our home (even as I travel more frequently to the east coast and elsewhere).

As excited as I am about this new role, this news is also bittersweet for me: I've loved the work I’ve been able to pursue and the community I've been able to help create here. However, the JPS position is one that will invite me to pursue, on a national and international stage, the work that I’ve treasured most during my time as Director of Jewish Studies: the work of building bridges between scholars and the broader public, of facilitating the emergence of new and diverse scholarly voices, and of creating partnerships with individuals, communities, and organizations across the US (and beyond). I won’t begin my new position until January 2023, so I’ll be at CU throughout the summer and fall to work with my colleagues to facilitate a smooth transition — and even beyond January, I’ll be staying in Denver, so I’ll remain a resource for the program and the community.  

We’ll share more information in the fall about who will succeed me as Director. In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude: to CU’s students, whose intellectual excitement, courage, and commitment amid unprecedented challenges have been nothing short of inspirational; to my faculty and staff colleagues in Boulder, whose passion, vision, wisdom, and integrity exemplify what a vibrant intellectual community can and should look like; and to all of you, within Colorado and beyond, whose love of learning, and belief in the value of higher education, are models for what our society needs, now more than ever. I’m so very honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve this community, and I’m looking forward to new opportunities to work, learn, and grow together.

With gratitude and admiration,

Elias Sacks
Director, Program in Jewish Studies
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
University of Colorado Boulder