Jonathan Sarna

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Jonathan D. Sarna (born 10 January 1955) is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies[1] at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and director of its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

He is the son of Hebrew College librarian Helen Horowitz Sarna,[3] and biblical scholar Nahum Sarna. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York and Newton Centre, Massachusetts, Sarna attended Brandeis University, Hebrew College in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, Mercaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, Israel and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979.[4]


Sarna is regarded by Forward newspaper as one of the most prominent historians of American Judaism.[4] Sarna's book,[5] American Judaism: A History,[6] won a number of awards, including the National Jewish Book Award for 2004 and the Publishers Weekly Best Religion Book 2004 award.[7]

Sarna is a contributor on religion to the joint project On Faith.[8]

He is the author of Lincoln and the Jews: A History, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press (2015).

He is a member of The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's Academic Advisory Board. [9][10]

Honors and awards[edit]

Sarna received the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry's Marshall Sklare Award in 2002.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Sarna is married to Boston College theology professor Ruth Langer, with two children, Aaron and Leah.[4]


  1. ^ Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
  2. ^ Brandeis University, Hornstein faculty
  3. ^ Helen Sarna renowned cataloger of Hebrew text
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ Brandeis University, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies faculty
  6. ^ H-Net Editors Directory - Jonathan Sarna
  7. ^ Sarna, Jonathan D. (2004). American Judaism: A History. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp. back cover. ISBN 0-300-10976-8. 
  8. ^ Jonathan D. Sarna Archives, On Faith,
  9. ^ Lakein, Dvora. "Chabad's Rohr JLI Offers Retreat to Self". Chabad Lubavitch World HQ/ News. Retrieved December 2013. 
  10. ^ Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters. "National Jewish Retreat Opens in Virginia". Chabad Lubavitch World HQ/ News. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Marshall Sklare Award Recipients, Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry

External links[edit]