Academic Council


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of one of the great founders of and contributors to our field, Dr. Naomi Wiener Cohen. AJHS is grateful to Jeffrey Gurock for sharing his recollections of our esteemed colleague. Please do take a moment to read his inspiring tribute as we mourn the loss of Dr. Cohen. 

Naomi W. Cohen (1927-2018)

In 2004, the American Jewish Historical Society awarded the Lee Max Friedman medal to Dr. Naomi W. Cohen, professor emerita of American Jewish history. This award was among the many academic prizes that she won during her long and illustrious career.  But it held special meaning for me since our Academic Council designated me to present the award to my “teacher, mentor, role model, colleague and ultimately friend” in absentia. Professor Cohen had by then moved to Israel where she continued to produce her quality works. She even had a microfilm machine in her apartment in Jerusalem.

In my remarks, I recounted an episode that took place at the outset of her long outstanding career. It was a scholarly distinction that she had long forgotten about-not surprising given her uncommon humility. But it is a moment in time worth noting today as we mourn her passing at age 90 on January 27, 2018.

In 1949, as part of an early effort on the part of the society to move towards professionalization -five years before the path breaking Peekskill Conference, an essay contest was initiated by the then publications committee that Dr. Jacob R. Marcus headed with the goal “to bring to light hitherto unpunished data of historical value as well as the interpretation of this material.” Seven essays were submitted. Given the state of affairs in the field, readers had to wade through amateurish works like “The Great Journey-The Story of Moses Alexander.” But there were two articles of unimpeachable scholarship, of enduring value, that made the contest worthwhile. Naomi W. Cohen piece entitled ‘The Reaction of Reform Judaism in America to Political Zionism” was recognized as an important scholarly contribution and her paper appeared almost immediately in Publications in 1951. At that very moment, this young scholar evidenced to her senior colleagues that better days lay ahead for a once benighted discipline (The other winner was Moses Rischin who wrote about Ab. Cahan.)

For the next six decades, Naomi W. Cohen would continue to add luster and gravitas to the study of American Jewish history even as she fought good battles to have her area of specialization accepted within the larger academic world. Although not outspoken about long-standing gender biases, she had that additional barrier to overcome. I had the privilege to have been among the cohort of men and women who studied with her at Columbia University in the early 1970s; the first time courses in our field were offered at that esteemed school. Through her presence, American Jewish history came of age. There she taught us not only how to craft meticulous scholarship but impressed on us that a scholar has always to be on the lookout for new topics to explore. For her, there was always a new book to write. And, for years to come she followed her own sage advice. In 2004, I noted the appearance of her “most recent book,” The Americanization of Zionism which came on the heels of her monumental study of Jacob Schiff. In the decade that followed she would produce an insightful book-length examination of 19th century American rabbinic sermons and a series of articles on Jewish-Christian relations in the United States. All told, her ultimate message that has stayed with us to this day is that we are never “free to desist” in our quest to advance our field.

Jeffrey Gurock, Yeshiva University



The Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society is an organization of scholars committed to the study of American Jewish history that seeks to support and maintain the highest standards of scholarship in the field. The Executive Committee of the Academic Council, which is the governing body of the organization, elects the members. Members of the Academic Council oversee the journal, American Jewish History, and serve on the committees that award the Society’s grants and awards to undergraduate, graduate students, and scholars.  In addition, they hold a biennial Scholars’ conference, and initiate programs, symposia and exhibitions concerned with American Jewish history.

If you are interested in joining the Academic Council or renewing your dues, please click here.

Current Members of the Academic Council

*** indicates Emeritus

Abrams, Jeanne
Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society

Aizenberg, Edna
Marymount Manhattan College

Alexander, Michael
University of California at Riverside

Almagor, Laura
Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies

Alpert, Rebecca
Temple University

Ariel, Yaakov
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ashton, Dianne
Rowan University

Bauman, Mark
Southern Jewish Historical Society

Bayor, Ronald
Georgia Institute of Technology

Belkind, Nili
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Bender, Courtney
Columbia University

Berlinger, Gabrielle
University of North Carolina

Bernstein, Judah
New York University

Bordelon, Janet
Kehillah Jewish High School

Borenstein, Miriam
Wayne State University

Borish, Linda J
Western Michigan University

***Brandes, Joseph
William Paterson University

Breitzer, Susan
National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Brinkmann, Tobias
Penn State University

Brodsky, Adriana
St. Mary's College of MD

Brumberg, Stephan
City University of New York- Brooklyn College

Carenen, Caitlin
Eastern Conneticut University

Casteel, Sarah
Carleton University

Cohen, Judah
Indiana University

Cohen, Michael
Tulane University

***Cohen, Naomi
Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Cooperman, Jessica
Muhlenberg College

Corwin Berman, Lila
Temple University

Davis, Marni
Georgia State University

Davis, Rebeca
University of Delaware

Diner, Hasia
New York University

Dollinger, Marc
San Francisco State University

Ebel, Jonathan
University of Illinois

Eichler-Levine, Jodi
Lehigh University

Eisenberg, Ellen
Willamette University

Eleff, Zev
Hebrew Theological College

Endelman, Judith
Benson Ford Research Center

Feld, Marjorie
Babson College

Fermaglich, Kirsten
Michigan State University

Fox, Sandra
New York University

Franz, Kathleen
Smithsonian Institution

Furman, Joshua
University of Maryland

Gallas, Elisabeth
Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture

Garland, Libby
Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Gereboff, Joel
Arizona State University

Ginsberg, Alan
Columbia University

Glaser, Jennifer
University of Cincinnati

Goldman, Karla
University of Michigan

Goldstein, Eric
Emory University

Gordan, Rachel
Brandeis University

***Goren, Arthur
Columbia University

Granick, Jaclyn
Oxford University

Graver, Elizabeth
Boston College

Greenberg, Cheryl
Trinity College

Greene, Daniel
The Newberry Library

Greene, Hannah
New York University

Grinberg, Ronnie
Northwestern University

Gudefin, Geraldine
Brandeis University

Gurock, Jeffrey
Yeshiva University

Halpern, Sara
Ohio State University

Herman, Dana
American Jewish Archives

***Hershkowitz, Leo
Queens College

Hieke, Anton

Hoberman, Michael
Fitchburg State University

Igra, Anna
Carleton College

Imhoff, Sarah
Indiana University

Jünger, David
Free University Berlin

Kahn, Ava
University of California Berkeley

Kartowski Aiach, Milena
University of Aix-Marseille

Katz, Emily
University of California Irvine

Katzman Yungman, Mira
Open University of Israel

Kelman, Ari
Stanford University

Kiron, Arthur
University of Pennsylvania

Klapper, Melissa
Rowan University

Kobrin, Rebecca
Columbia University

Koffman, David
York University of Canada

Kohn, Shira
Barnard College

Kosstrin, Hannah
The Ohio State University

Krah, Markus
University of Potsdam

Kranson, Rachel
University of Pittsburgh

Krasner, Jonathan
Brandeis University

Kraut, Alan
American University

Kurz, Nathaniel, Birkbeck College
Univ. of London

Kwall, Roberta
DePaul University

Lambert, Joshua
Yiddish Book Center

Lederhendler, Eli
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Lefebvre, Niki
Boston University

Leibman, Laura
Reed College

Mays, Devi
University of Michigan

McGinity, Keren
Brandeis University

Mehta, Samira, Albright College

Mendelsohn, Adam
College of Charleston

Merwin, Ted
Dickinson College

Michels, Anthony
The University of Wisconsin at Madison

Mintz, Adam

Mirvis, Stanley
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Moore, Deborah Dash
University of Michigan

Morad, Moshe

Morantz-Sanchez, Regina
University of Michigan

Muraoka, Mina
he National Defense Academy of Japan

Nadell, Pamela
American University

Nakhimovsky, Alice
Colgate University

Navarro-Rosenblatt, Valeria
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Newman, Roberta
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Pianko, Noam
University of Washington

Pitock, Toni
University of Delaware, Dept of History

Podair, Jerald
Lawrence University

Prell, Riv-Ellen
University of Minnesota

Rabin, Shari
College of Charleston

Rac, Katalin
University of Florida

Raider, Mark
University of Cincinnati

Ran, Amalia
University of Tel Aviv

Raphael, Marc L
College of William and Mary

Ribak, Gil
University of Arizona

***Rischin, Moses
San Francisco State University

Robinson, Ira
Concordia University

Rock-Singer, Cara
Columbia University

Rogoff, Leonard
Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina

Rom, Michael
Yale University

Rosen, Gladys

Rosenbaum, Judith
Jewish Women's Archive

Rossen, Rebecca
University of Texas at Austin

Rothstein, Rachel
The Weber School

Rubinstein, Rachel
Hampshire College

Sarna, Jonathan
Brandeis University

Schenderlein, Anne
German Historical Institute, Washington DC

Schwadron, Hannah
Florida State University

Schwartz, Shuly
Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies

Schwartz, Stephanie
Museum of Jewish Montreal and Concordia University

Segev, Zohar
Haifa University

Sharick, Amanda
Hadassah Brandeis Institute

Shaul Bar Nissim, Hanna
Brandeis University 

Shevitz, Amy Hill
Arizona State University

Sigalow, Emily
Brandeis University

Smith, Sara
New York University

Sorin, Gerald
State University of New York at New Paltz

Soyer, Daniel
Fordham University

Stahl, Ronit
Washington University in St. Louis

Steir-Livny, Liat
Sapir Academic College & The Open University

Stempler, Amy
College of Staten Island, CUNY

Stolzenberg, Nomi
USC Gould School of Law

Strauss, Lauren
American University

Surowitz-Israel, Hilit
Rutgers University

Sussman, Lance
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel

Tabak, Robert
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Tenenbaum, Shelly
Clark University

Tevis, Britt
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thulin, Mirjam
Leibniz Institute of European History

Train, Kelly Amanda
Ryerson University

Umansky, Ellen
Fairfield University

von der Krone, Kerstin
German Historical Institute

Warshawsky, Matthew
University of Portland

Weiner, Hollace Ava

Weinfeld, David
University of Toronto

Weiss, Amy
College of Saint Elizabeth

Wenger, Beth
University of Pennsylvania

Wertheimer, Jack
The Jewish Theological Seminary

Whitfield, Stephen
Brandeis University

Wilhelm, Cornelia
Abteilung fur Judische Geschichte und Kultur, Institut fur Neuere Geschichte

Williams, Matt
Stanford University

Wohl, Lillian
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Yarfitz, Mir
Wake Forest University

Zola, Gary
American Jewish Archives

The following have served as Chair of the Academic Council

Louis Ruchames*, 1973-1976
University of Massachusetts at Boston

Lawrence H. Fuchs, 1976-1979
Brandeis University

Melvin I. Urofsky, 1979-1983
Virginia Commonwealth University

Henry L. Feingold, 1983-1988
Baruch College of the CUNY

John C. Livingston*, 1988-1992
University of Denver

Jonathan D. Sarna, 1992-1995
Brandeis University

Jeffrey S. Gurock, 1995-2000
Yeshiva University

Pamela S. Nadell, 2000-2003
American University

Deborah D. Moore, 2003-2006
University of Michigan

Hasia Diner, 2006-2008
New York University

Jeffrey S. Gurock, interim 2008-2010
Yeshiva University

Beth Wenger, 2010-2013
University of Pennsylvania

Riv-Ellen Prell, 2013-2016
University of Minnesota