Dr. Carol Ochs has retired as Director of Graduate Studies at HUC-JIR/New York, as of July 1, 2009. Dr. Ochs instituted the formal practice and teaching of spiritual guidance at the New York campus of HUC-JIR several years before it became available at other Jewish seminaries. During her fifteen years as a valued member of the faculty, she met with more than two hundred rabbinic and cantorial students in weekly one-on-one sessions, assisting them in facing their spiritual questions and helping them resolve their religious doubts.
She introduced a course in Comparative Religion at HUC-JIR. Among the other courses she taught were Theology for Pastoral Care, Women and Spirituality, the Philosophy of Spinoza, and of course, Jewish Spiritual Guidance. For the past ten years, she also directed the College’s Doctor of Ministry program, which accepted and graduated ordained members of many faiths and from many countries.
Dr. Ochs is the author of eight books, including four—Women and Spirituality, Jewish Spiritual Guidance, Our Lives as Torah, and Reaching Godward—that are currently in print. She served on the editorial board of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, to which she also contributed three articles. She is the author of more than forty articles, most recently “Co-creating My Worldview” in the forthcoming Winter issue of the journal Cross Currents. She has lectured widely, given numerous sermons, and served as scholar-in-residence at various meetings and congregations.
Prior to joining HUC-JIR, she taught philosophy for twenty-five years at Simmons College in Boston, where she is professor emerita. She earned her Ph.D. at Brandeis University, where she studied with, among others, the renowned Rabbi Alexander