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Saul Philip Wachs, Ph.D.

Rosaline B. Feinstein Professor of Education and Liturgy; Coordinator, Programs in Jewish Education

Division: Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, Adult Jewish Learning
Program: Jewish Education (Graduate), Jewish Education (Undergraduate), Gratz Scholars Program


Saul Philip Wachs is the Rosaline B. Feinstein Professor of Education and Liturgy and Chair of the Education Department at Gratz College. Dr. Wachs is also the Director of the Ed.D. program.

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Wachs holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, Jewish education and Jewish music from Gratz College, Temple University, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Ohio State University. He has also pursued graduate work at Bank Street College, Teachers College Columbia University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1989, The Jewish Theological Seminary awarded Dr. Wachs the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy, Honoris Causa.

From 1948 to 1970, Dr. Wachs acted a teacher and /or educational Director at synagogues in Philadelphia, Mount Vernon, N.Y., Bloomfield, New Jersey, New York City and Columbus, Ohio. At the last of these, he acted as Director of Education at Congregation Tifereth Israel, the pilot school of the Melton Research Center of the Jewish theological Seminary. Dr. Wachs also served as Director of Music at Congregation Tifereth Israel and Congregation B’nai Zion of Bloomfield, New Jersey. His service to Camp Ramah spanned twenty-five years, during which time he served as counselor, Division Head, Educational Director and Music Director.

In 1972, after two years of adjunct service at the Jewish Theological Seminary,
Dr. Wachs was appointed as Director of Education at the Philip W. Lown Graduate Center of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. In 1975, Dr. Wachs was appointed as Academic Dean at Gratz College, where he continues to teach and to direct the graduate program in Jewish education. Since 1980, Dr. Wachs has served as National Field Consultant to the Department of Education of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Dr. Wachs has taught or lectured at The Academy of Jewish Religion, The American University, Baltimore Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, Florida International University, George Washington University-Washington College of Jewish Studies, Hebrew College, Hebrew Union College, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Jewish Theological Seminary, La Salle University McAlester College, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, The Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, The Segal College of Jewish Studies (Cleveland), Tel Aviv University, The University of Judaism, The University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University.

Author of over seventy publications, Dr. Wachs has lectured in almost 400 communities on five continents. He is a recipient of the Keter Shem Tov Award of the United Synagogue and the Jewish Educators Assembly-Behrman House award for Lifetime Achievement.

In 2006, Dr. Wachs was awarded the "Tribute to Excellence" of the Alumni Association of the List College and the Graduate school of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Dr. Wachs served as Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Akiba Hebrew Academy of Merion, Pa. from 1994 to 2000. He is also an honorary trustee of the school. He has served on the Ethics Advisory committee of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia and as Chair of the Adult Education Committee of Congregation Beth Hillel-Beth El of Wynnewood, Pa. He is a past president of the Association of Institutions of Higher Learning for Jewish Education and a member of the Association for Jewish Studies, The Association of Jewish Communal Professionals, The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, The Coalition for Advancement in Jewish Education,

Dr. Wachs was married to the late Dr. Barbara Eidelman Wachs. He is now married to Diane Ruth Cover, a clinical social worker, artist and calligrapher. They share thirteen grandchildren. His hobby is chess and he has held several regional and national titles. He is a Life Master of the United States Chess Federation.

Search GoogleScholar for publications by Dr. Wachs.