Reinharz, Jehuda

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REINHARZ, JEHUDA (1944– ), Israeli-American scholar. Born in Haifa, he emigrated to Germany in 1958 and the United States in 1961 (naturalized 1966). He was educated at Columbia University (B.S. 1967), Jewish Theological Seminary of America (B.R.E. 1967), Harvard University (M.A. 1968), and Brandeis University (Ph.D. 1972). Reinharz taught at Hebrew College, Brookline, Mass. (1969–70); Brandeis University; Hiatt Institute, Jerusalem (1970); the University of Michigan, where he was the first professor of Judaic studies (1972–82); and from 1982 at Brandeis, where he became the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History and was president of the university from 1994. He had fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Royal Historical Society (U.K.), and other organizations. He was a member of the Association for Jewish Studies, the Leo Baeck Institute, the World Union of Jewish Studies, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Institute for Polish Jewish Studies, and a number of other professional and scholarly bodies. He was also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Council of Yad Vashem, and the boards of the United Israel Appeal/Jewish Agency and the American Joint Distribution Committee as well as the Presidential Advisory Committee to the president of Israel.

Reinharz is a leading scholar of modern Jewish history as well as a leading public advocate for Israel. His The Jew in the Modern World (written with Paul R. Mendes Flohr) is a widely adopted college text, and his two-volume biography of Chaim Weizmann has won many awards. His appointment to the presidency of Brandeis, a private Jewish-sponsored university, after one of his predecessors tried to distance it from its Jewish roots, was widely heralded as a choice to return to its Jewish heritage, and Reinharz did not disappoint. As president of Brandeis, Reinharz presided over a great expansion of its programs and physical plant as well as a significant increase in its endowment. Under his leadership the university flourished, its student body improving and its faculty and course offerings growing in scope and depth. In 2005 he established the "nonpartisan" Crown Center for Middle East Studies, believing that existing academic centers are "infused with ideology" and "third-rate." Among Reinharz's books are Fatherland or Promised Land? The Dilemma of the German Jew (1975), Chaim Weizmann: The Making of a Zionist Leader (1985), Chaim Weizmann: The Making of a Statesman (1993), and Zionism and the Creation of a New Society (with Ben Halpern (1998; 20002), and a number of edited volumes, including volume 9 of The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann (1977), The Jew In the Modern World: A Documentary History (with Paul R. Mendes Flohr, 1980; 19952), The Jewish Response to German Culture: From the Enlightenment to World War ii (with Walter Schatzberg, 1985), and Essential Papers on Zionism (with Anita Shapira, 1996). He also published many journal articles and contributed to yearbooks and collections of essays.

[Drew Silver (2nd ed.)]