Michael Berenbaum, PhD

Michael Berenbaum 9/29/14

Michael Berenbaum, PhD

Director of Sigi Ziering Institute Professor of Jewish Studies


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Queens College, B.A. (Philosophy) 1967
Jewish Theological Seminary, 1967
Hebrew University, 1966
Boston University, (Philosophy) 1969
Florida State University, Ph.D. 1975
(Humanities: Religion and Culture), 1975
Dennison University, Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) (2000)
Nazareth College, Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) (1995)
Rabbinic Ordination 


Michael Berenbaum is the Director of the Sigi Zieirng Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust and a Professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University. The author and editor of 20 books, he was also the Executive Editor of the Second Edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica. He was Project Director overseeing the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the first Director of its Research Institute and later served as President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which took the testimony of 52,000 Holocaust survivor in 32 languages and 57 countries. His work in flim has won Emmy Awards and Academy Awards. 




Dr. Berenbaum is the author and editor of eighteen books, scores of scholarly articles and hundreds of journalistic pieces. He won the Simon Rockower Memorial Award of the American Jewish Press Association three times in three different categories during a two-year period. 

He is also the Executive Editor of the New Encyclopaedia Judaica.  The 22 volume, sixteen million word second edition transformed and improved the now classic 1972 work.  The EJ was recently awarded the Dartmouth Medal by the American Library Association for the outstanding reference work of 2006.
Some of his books:

  • Report to the President, President's Commission on the Holocaust (1979).
  • After Tragedy and Triumph: Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience (1990).
  • The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust (1993 & 2006.)
  • The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesel (Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1979. Reprinted as Elie Wiesel: God, The Holocaust, and the Children of Israel (1994).
  • Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp (1994).
  • A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors (2003).
  • Witness to the Holocaust (1997).
  • Co-Editor with J. Shawn Landres, After the Passion is Gone: American Religious Consequences (2004.).
  • Editor, Murder Most Merciful: Essays on the Ethical Conundrum Occasioned by Sigi Ziering’s The Judgment of Herbert Bierhoff (2005).
  • Not Your Fathers Antisemitism (2008)


Additional Professional Accomplishments

Additional Content

In film, his work as Co-Producer of One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissman Klein Story was recognized with an Academy Award, an Emmy Award and the Cable Ace Award. He was the historical consultant on The Shoah Foundation's Documentary, The Last Days, which won an Academy Award for the best feature length documentary of 1998.  In 2001, Berenbaum was a historical consultant or chief historical consultant for

  • HBO's Conspiracy, recently nominated for 10 Emmy awards,
  • NBC's Uprising
  • The History Channel's The Holocaust: The Untold Story, which won the CINE Golden Eagle Award and a Silver Medal at the US International Film and Video Festival.

He was the executive producer, writer and historian for a film entitled Desperate Hours on Turkey and the Holocaust, which was broadcast on PBS. Among his more recent films are About Face, Swimming in Auschwitz, and Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust as well as Blessed Be the Match, the story of Hannah Senesch.

He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Stephen Spielberg’s The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which entailed taking 50,000 testimonies from 32 countries in 57 languages.