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Academic Advisory Board

Elizabeth Anthony, Director, Visiting Scholars Program, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Elizabeth Anthony’s research interests and publications focus on the postwar Jewish community of Vienna and the archival collections of the International Tracing Service (Arolsen Archives). Her book, The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust, was a finalist for the 2021 Ernst Fraenkel Prize. She also co-edited and contributed to Freilegungen: Spiegelungen der NS-Verfolgung und ihrer Konsequenzen, Jahrbuch des International Tracing Service. Anthony is the Director of Visiting Scholar Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

Debórah Dwork, Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity, Graduate Center – City University of New York
Debórah Dwork is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at the Graduate Center – City University of New York. A social historian of the Holocaust, her award-winning books include Children With A Star; Auschwitz; and Flight from the Reich. She is also a leading authority on university education in this field: she envisioned and actualized the first doctoral program specifically in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies. Dwork has received numerous academic honors, including the International Network of Genocide Scholars Lifetime Achievement Award.

John Efron, Koret Professor of Jewish History in the Department of History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley
John M. Efron is the Koret Professor of Jewish History in the Department of History and Director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Efron specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. His scholarship is focused on the ways that German Jewry has attempted to reinterpret and reinvent Jewish culture in the wake of its complex encounter with modernity. In particular, he has written on the German-Jewish engagement with medicine, anthropology, and antisemitism. His publications include Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (Yale, 1994), Jewish History and Jewish Memory: Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (University of New England Press, 1998), co-edited with Elisheva Carlebach and David Myers, Medicine and the German Jews: A History (Yale, 2001), The Jews: A History (Penguin, 2nd edition 2013), with Steven Weitzman and Matthias Lehmann, German Voices of the Jewish Sixties, co-edited with Michael Brenner (2014) and German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic (Princeton, 2016). Efron is an elected fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.

Sheer Ganor, Assistant Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Sheer Ganor is a historian of German-speaking Jewry and modern Germany. Her work focuses on the nexus of forced migration, memory and cultural identities. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled "In Scattered Formation: Displacement, Alignment and the German-Jewish Diaspora." This study traces the emergence of a transnational diasporic network of Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany and its annexed territories. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Sheer held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the German Historical Institute. She has published in the Journal of Contemporary History, the German Historical Institute Bulletin Supplement and others. Her research has been supported by a variety of institutions, including the Central European History Society and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

Atina Grossmann, Professor of Modern European and German History, and Women’s and Gender Studies, The Cooper Union, New York
Atina Grossmann has shed light on Jewish life in Germany in the immediate aftermath of World War II, bridging the divide between German history and Jewish studies. Her current research focuses on transnational Jewish refugee stories. Grossmann has held guest professorships at the Humboldt University Berlin and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, among others.

Robin Judd, Associate Professor of Jewish History, Ohio State University
Robin Judd teaches Modern Jewish history, German History, The Holocaust, and Women’s History. Her main research interests are Modern Jewish History as well as Gender History and Theory. Judd has published on ritual debates and their political dimension across Jewish and non-Jewish communities in Germany from 1843-1933. In her most recent project, she is examining postwar gender roles in light of post-war Europe’s political and economic reconstruction.

Daniel Jütte, Associate Professor of History, New York University
Daniel Jütte is a historian of early modern and modern Europe. He is an associate professor in the Department of History at New York University. His research interests lie in cultural history, urban history and material culture, history of knowledge and science, and Jewish history. He is currently working on a history of transparency from antiquity to modern times, titled Transparency: The Material History of an Idea. His award-winning The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400–1800 (Yale University Press, 2015; first German ed. 2011) offers a general history of secrecy in the early modern period, with particular attention to the role of secrecy and secret sciences in Jewish-Christian relations.

Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History, Columbia University
Rebecca Kobrin is the Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History at Columbia University where she is also the co-director of Columbia’s Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies. She works in the fields of immigration history, urban studies and Jewish History, specializing in modern Jewish migration.  Her book Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora: (Indiana University Press, 2010) was awarded the Jordan Schnitzer prize. She edited Chosen Capital: The Jewish Encounter with American Capitalism (Rutgers University Press, 2012), Salo Baron, The Past and the Future of Jewish Studies (Columbia University Press, 2022) and co-edited Purchasing Power: The Economics of Jewish History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). She helps run the Mapping Historical New York digital humanities program at Columbia. Her writing regularly appears in The Washington Post, CNN, and The Guardian. 

Paul Lerner, Professor of History, University of Southern California
Paul Lerner is a Historian of Modern Germany and Central Europe with particular interest in the history of the human sciences, Jewish history, gender, and the history and theory of consumer culture. He has written on the history of psychiatry, specifically on hysteria and trauma in political, cultural and economic context in the years around World War I in Germany, and he recently published a book on the reception and representation of department stores and modern forms of marketing and consumption in Germany and Central Europe. Entitled "The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880-1949," the book appeared with Cornell University Press in Spring 2015. It pays particular attention to the notion of the "Jewish department store" and the ways that various movements deployed images of Jews to critique excessive consumption or mass consumer society. Lerner is also part of a long-term project and working group on German Jewish popular culture and has co-edited a volume of essays entitled: "Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender and History." He is currently working on several projects concerning German-speaking émigrés from Nazi-controlled Europe, including a study of Austrian Jews and their impact on American consumer culture in the 1950s and beyond.

Philipp Nielsen, Professor of History, Sarah Lawrence College
Philipp Nielsen specializes in the intellectual, cultural, and political history of modern Europe, with particular emphasis on German and Jewish history. His research addresses the history of democracy and its relation to emotions, constitutional law, and architecture. His first monograph, Between Heimat and Hatred: Jews and the Right in Germany, 1871-1935 (Oxford University Press, 2019) traces the involvement of German Jews in nonliberal political projects from the founding of the German Empire to the Nuremberg Laws. He also also co-edited volumes on the connection between architecture, democracy and emotions, and emotional encounters in history. He is currently working on a manuscript on “democratic architecture” in postwar Germany, and on a short history of compromise.

Robert Rifkind
Robert Rifkind received his BA from Yale, his JD from Harvard Law School, and his DHL (hon.) from JTS. He is a retired partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and former assistant to the Solicitor General (US Department of Justice). Rifkind is also a trustee emeritus at Brandeis University, director emeritus (former chair) of the Charles H  Revson Foundation, honorary trustee (former chair) of the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, and Honorary President of the American Jewish Committee. He is a board member at the Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, and Jewish Theological Seminary. 

Marsha L. Rozenblit, Professor of Jewish History, University of Maryland
Marsha L. Rozenblit is a social historian of Jews in Central Europe.  She is the author of The Jews of Vienna, 1867–1914: Assimilation and Identity (1983) and Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria During World War I (2001).  In addition, she has co-edited Constructing Nationalities in East Central Europe (2005) and World War I and the Jews: Conflict and Transformation in Europe, the Middle East, and America  (2017). She has published 35 scholarly articles on such topics as Jewish religious reform in 19th-century Vienna, synagogue affiliation in 19th-century Baltimore, and Austrian Jewish women during World War I.  She is currently completing work on “Identifying as German: The Jews of Moravia, 1848–1938.” She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin and an advisor to the Shared History Project.

Miriam Rürup, Director, Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies
Miriam Ruerup is director of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies (MMZ) in Potsdam. Before moving to Potsdam in December 2020 she was director of the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg and worked as a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. Since 2020, Miriam Ruerup is also Head of the Academic Working Group of the Leo Baeck Institute in Germany (WAG). Between 2006 and 2010 she was a postdoctoral fellow/assistant professor at the history department of Göttingen University, working on her still ongoing research project, a history of statelessness in Europe after WWI and WWII and the interaction between the supranational discourse on how to deal with statelessness and the every-day experience of statelessness itself. In 2007 she published her doctorate on the history of German-Jewish Student Fraternities in Imperial and Weimar Germany (title: "Ehrensache" with Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen). Miriam studied history, sociology and cultural anthropology at the universities of Göttingen, Tel Aviv and Berlin. Formerly she worked for the Foundation "Topography of Terror" in Berlin, the Rosenzweig Center in Jerusalem, the Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig.

Lisa Silverman, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lisa Silverman specializes in modern German and Austrian Jewish cultural history, with a focus on visual culture, gender, and antisemitism. She is author of Becoming Austrians: Jews and Culture between the World Wars (Oxford, 2012) and co-author with Daniel H. Magilow of two editions of Holocaust Representations in History: an Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2015; 2019). In 2022 she will serve as the Michael Hauck Visiting Professor for Interdisciplinary Holocaust Research at the Fritz Bauer Institute for the History and Impact of the Holocaust at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is currently completing the manuscript for her next book: The Postwar Antisemite: Culture and Complicity after the Holocaust.

David J. Sorkin, Professor of Modern Jewish History, Yale University
David Sorkin’s work is situated at the intersection of Jewish history and European history since the 16th century. His first book, The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840 (1987), examined the formation of Jewish culture in the German states, which he came to understand as a “subculture.” Sorkin's latest book is Jewish Emancipation: A History Across Five Centuries (2019), in which he argues that the attainment of civil and political rights or equality is the principal event of modern Jewish history. He is currently at work on a study of the practice of Jewish politics since the sixteenth century.

Joshua Teplitsky, Associate Professor of History and Joseph Meyerhoff Chair in Modern Jewish History, University of Pennsylvania
Joshua Teplitsky focuses on Jewish life in the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire and Habsburg monarchy in the early modern period (16th–18th centuries) with an emphasis on the city of Prague. Specifically, he is interested in the interconnections between Jews of disparate locations, as well as the social, cultural, and intellectual exchanges between Jews and Christians. A secondary field of interest is the study of the book as medium of knowledge and material object. His first book, Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History's Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library (Yale University Press, 2019) was named the winner of the Salo Baron Prize of the AAJR for best first book in Jewish Studies in 2019, the 2020 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.

Kerry Wallach, Associate Professor of German Studies, Gettysburg College
Kerry Wallach’s academic work integrates multiple disciplines. Her research interests include 20th-century German literature, culture, film, and media; Weimar Republic; German-Jewish history; Yiddish literature in translation; Jewish American literature; women, gender, and sexuality studies; visual and consumer culture. For her dissertation, entitled Observable Type: Jewish Women and the Jewish Press in Weimar Germany, she was awarded the Women in German Dissertation Prize in 2012.

Jonathan Zatlin, Associate Professor of History, Boston University
Jonathan Zatlin has written widely on the history of German communism and the politics of German unification. His current research investigates the link between race and economy in modern European history, focusing on the experience of German Jews. By analyzing the lives of Jewish economists and entrepreneurs, usury trials, financial scandals, and violence against Jews, Zatlin traces the fortunes and misfortunes of Jews and their detractors in modern German history.