Skip navigation
UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

leftnav sidebar


Jay R. Berkovitz


Adjunct Professor of History
Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

Director, Center for Jewish Studies

Office: Herter, 7th floor
Telephone: (413) 545-5868
Fax: (208) 694-6316

Degree: Ph.D., Brandeis (1983)
Field(s) of interest: Jewish social and intellectual history; classical texts

Courses Taught Recently
Antisemitism in Historical Perspective; Jewish Law and Society; Family and Sexuality in Judaism; the Making of Modern Jewry; Modern Israel : History, Society, and Culture; Major Issues in Contemporary Jewish Life; the Jews in Modern France ; Ritual and Belief in Judaism.

Research Interests and Professional Activities

Jay R. Berkovitz is Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and directs the Center for Jewish Studies. He is the author of the following books: The Shaping of Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-century France (Wayne State University Press, 1989); Rites and Passages: The Beginnings of Modern Jewish Culture in France, 1650-1860 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); and Tradition and Revolution: Jewish Culture and the Beginnings of Modernity in France (Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2006) in Hebrew. Articles and reviews have appeared in the Association for Jewish Studies Review, Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques, the International History Review, Modern Judaism, Zion, Jewish History, and the Encyclopedia of European Social History. He is a member of the editorial board of Jewish History and of the academic advisory committee of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Awarded grants by the Lady Davis Foundation, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Professor Berkovitz has held research fellowships at Harvard University, the Hebrew University, and the Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem.