Michael Berenbaum

Professor
Lecturer in Jewish Community Leadership
mberenbaum [at] aju.edu
(310) 440-1576
Photo of Michael Berenbaum
Education

PhD, Florida State University
B.A., Philosophy, Queens College
Jewish Theological Seminary
Hebrew University
Boston University, (Philosophy) 
Dennison University, Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) 
Nazareth College, Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa)
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.

Books

The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesel (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1979). Paperback edition, 1987. Reprinted as Elie Wiesel: God, The Holocaust, and the Children of Israel (West Orange: Behrman House, 1994).

Report to the President, President's Commission on the Holocaust (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979).

Editor, From Holocaust to New Life (New York: American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, 1985). 

Co-editor with John Roth, Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications (New York: Paragon Books, 1989.

After Tragedy and Triumph: Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience (Cambridge University Press, 1990).

Editor, A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis (New York University Press, 1990). Published simultaneously in the United Kingdom by I.B. Tauris.

The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust (New York: Little Brown and Company, 1993). Second Edition (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

Co-editor with Israel Gutman, Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994).

Co-editor with Betty Rogers Rubenstein, What Kind of God? Essays in Honor of Richard L. Rubenstein (Lanham: University Presses of America, 1995).

Witness to the Holocaust: An Illustrated Documentary History of the Holocaust in the Words of Its Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders (New York: Harper/Collins, 1997).

Co-editor with Abraham Peck, The Holocaust and History: The Known, The Unkown, the Disputed, and the Re-examined (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998).

Co-editor with Michael Neufeld, Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000; paperback University of Kansas Press, 2003).

A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors  (New York: Bullfinch Press, 2003).

Martyrdom: The Psychology, Politics and Theology of An Idea. Rona Fields, Coilin Owens, Valérie Rosoux, and Michael Berenbaum with Reuven Firestone (Boulder: Greenwood Press, 2003).

Co-Editor with J. Shawn Landres, After the Passion is Gone: American Religious Consequences (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2004.).

Editor, Murder Most Merciful: Essays on the Ethical Conundrum Occasioned by Sigi Ziering’s The Judgment of Herbert Bierhoff (Lanham, MD: University Presses of America, 2005).

Editor. Not Your Father’s Antisemitism: Antisemitism in the Early 21st Century (St. Paul, MN: Paragon Books, 2008).

Co-author with Yitzhak Mais, Memory and Legacy: The Shoah Narrative of the Illinois Holocaust Museum (Skokie: Publications International, 2009).

Co-editor with Mitchel Malkus, Many Rooms in God’s Palace: Essays in Honor of the 36th Anniversary of the Library Minyan (Los Angeles: Temple Beth Am, 2010).

The Jews in Macedonia During World War II (Skopje: The Macedonian Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012).

Co-editor with Marcia Littell and Richard Libowitz, Remembering for the Future: Armenia, Auschwitz and Beyond (St. Paul, MN: Paragon Books, 2016)

Awards

  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) — College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho (May 16, 2015).
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) — Gratz College, Menloe Park, PA. (May 15, 2011).
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) — Denison University, Granville, Ohio (May 14, 2000).
  • Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) — Nazareth College of Rochester (May 15, 1995).
  • Dartmouth Award, American Library Association for Best Reference Work on 2006, awarded to the Encyclopaedia Judaica [not the individual] 2007.
  • Emmy Award: Best Informational Program 1995 — One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weisman Klein Story, co-producer.
  • Cable Ace Award: Best Educational or Instructional Special or Series — One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weisman Klein Story, co-producer.
  • Simon Rockower Memorial Award in Jewish Journalism for Distinguished Editorial Writing —  American Jewish Press Association, First Place, 1986.
  • Simon Rockower Memorial Award in Jewish Journalism for Distinguished Commentary Writing — American Jewish Press Association, Second Place, 1986.
  • Simon Rockower Memorial Award in Jewish Journalism for Distinguished Coverage of the Arts — American Jewish Press Association, 1987.

 Museum Exhibits

  • Project Director, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (1988-1993).
  • Guest Curator, "America and the Holocaust: The Crucible of Witness," an exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
  • Historical Consultant, National Museum of American Jewish History (2001 - ).
  • Consultant, National Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (2001-2002).
  • Curator, the Memorial Museum at Belzec Death Camp, (2004).
  • Conceptual Developer and Curator, development of the exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Illinois; (2003- 2009).
  • Conceptual Consultant, Memoria y Tolerancia, Mexico City. (2004- )
  • Consultant, Holocaust Exhibition, Chapman University, (2006).
  • Consultant, Holocaust Memorial, Richard Stockton College, (2009).
  • Conceptual Developer, Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center, NY (2009 – ).
  • Conceptual Developer, Holocaust Memorial Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia (2009 – ).
  • Conceptual Developer, Dallas Holocaust Museum and Education Center (2012 - ) .
  • Consultant, Special Exhibition, “Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz” National Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH (January 27, 2015).
  • Conceptual Developer, Holocaust Museum Houston (2014-2015).
  • Conceptual Developer, Interactive APP, including 6 films and 5 audio programs and content, Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach (2015).
  • Conceptual Developer, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (2012-2017).
  • Curator, “Auschwitz: Not So Far Away, Not So Long Ago,” a joint project of the Auschwitz Museum and Musealia, Madrid, Spain (December 2017).

Filmography

  • Co-producer — One Survivor Remembers, broadcast nationally on HBO (May 1995).
  • Academy Award Winner for Best Short Documentary, 1995. Cable Ace Award and Emmy Award, 1995).
  • Chief Historical Consultant —The Last Days, Academy Award Winner, 1998.
  • Producer and Moderator — Scores of television shows on Judaism and the Jewish community. Served for four years as the producer and moderator of the Jewish Community Hour: a monthly educational program broadcast in Washington by WDVM, the local CBS affiliate. Tapes of these broadcasts are available upon request.
  • Historical Consultant, Diplomats of the Damned, The History Channel and Roos Productions, 2000.
  • Chief Historical Consultant, Holocaust: The Untold Story, Newseum Productions and the History Channel, 2001.
  • Chief Historical Consultant, Conspiracy, HBO Films, 2001. Nominated for 10 Emmys in 2001.
  • Chief Historical Consultant, Uprising, Avnet Productions and NBC, 2001.
  • Executive Producer, Writer and Chief Historian, Resistance, Warner Brothers Video 2001.
  • Executive Producer, Writer and Historian, Desperate Hours, 2001. Broadcast PBS, 2004.
  • Historical Consultant, A Yiddish World Remembered, PBS 2002 Emmy Award winner, 2002.
  • Historical Consultant, Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust, AMC Network, BBC, 2005.
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, Reinhold Heydrich, The Face of Evil, 2003.
  • Consultant, Faith and Tolerance, 2004.
  • Consultant, About Face, 2005, broadcast on PBS.
  • Consultant, Antisemitism for broadcast PBS, 2006.
  • Executive Producer Swimming in Auschwitz (2006). Broadcast Nationally by PBS April 2009.
  • Consultant, Defiance (Paramount 2008).
  • Consultant, Interviewee, Blessed Be the Match: The Hanah Szenes Story (2008).
  • Consultant, Interviewee, “Scrapbook from Hell: The Auschwitz Album” (National Geographic 2009) Historical Consultant, “Miss Irena’s Children,” Hallmark Hall of Fame (2009).
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, Masters of Death (National Geographic, 2009).
  • Historical Consultant and interviewee, Teenage Witness: The Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Story Broadcast on PBS 2010
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, Empty Boxcars: The Rescue of Bulgarian Jewry. 2010.
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, Engineering Evil  (The History Channel, 2011).
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, In One Split Second: The Holocaust in Hungary (Project Witness, 2014).
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, The Soap Myth (National Jewish Theater Foundation/Holocaust Theater archive Project, 2014).
  • Historical Consultant and Interviewee, Sammy’s Journey (2014).
  • Executive Producer and Interviewee, Treblinka’s Last Witness (WLRN and PBS, October 2014).
  • Interviewee, One Day in the Life of Auschwitz: The Kitty Hart-Moxon Story (Discovery Channel, January 27, 2015).
  • Interviewee and Historical Consultant, Anne Frank’s Holocaust (National Geographic, April 2015).
  • Interviewer, Narrator and Historical Consultant, Not A23029 (May 2016)
  • Interviewee and Historical Consultant, Daring to Rescue (August 2016)
  • Historical Consultant, The Zookeepers Wife (April 2017).
  • Interviewee and Historical Consultant, Hidden (2017).
  • Executive Producer, After Auschwitz (2017).
  • Interviewee, Antisemitism (2017).
  • Executive Producer, A Call to Remember (2018).
  • Interviewee, Never Again is Now (2018).