Wigoder, Geoffrey

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WIGODER, GEOFFREY (1922–1999), editor. Born in Leeds, England, Wigoder was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Oxford, Jews' College, London, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. In 1949 he settled in Jerusalem. He was director of Israeli radio's Overseas Broadcasts, founder-director of the Oral History department and Jewish Film Archives in the Hebrew University's Institute of Contemporary Jewry, historical adviser to the Diaspora Museum (Beth Hatefutsoth) in Tel Aviv, and founder-director of the Steven Spielberg Film Center at the Hebrew University. In 1991 he was visiting professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester. Wigoder succeeded Cecil Roth as editor in chief of the Encyclopaedia Judaica in 1970 (having previously been deputy editor in chief) and edited its year books from 1981 and the cd-rom edition. He is author of Abraham ben Hayya's Meditation of the Sad Soul, The Story of the Synagogue, Jewish-Christian Relations after World War ii, and Jewish Culture. He edited many reference works, including The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Dictionary of Jewish Biography, Encyclopedia of Judaism, The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (with R.J.Z. Werblowsky), New Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel, Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible, Jewish Art and Civilization, and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust.

Wigoder was one of the pioneers in the field of interfaith relations and Jewish-Christian dialogue. He served as the Israeli representative of the International Jewish Committee for Inter-Religious Consultations for over 20 years, becoming its chairman late in life.