|Born||January 10, 1955|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Alma mater||Brandeis University (BA)(MA) |
Yale University (MA)(PhD)
|Website||Brandeis Faculty Page|
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 and director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Early life and education
He is the son of Hebrew College librarian Helen Horowitz Sarna and biblical scholar Nahum Sarna. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York City 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.
Sarna is regarded by The Forward newspaper as one of the most prominent historians of American Judaism. His 2004 book, American Judaism: A History, received the National Jewish Book Award and appeared as Publishers Weekly's Best Religion Book.
He is the author of Lincoln and the Jews: A History, from St. Martin's Press (2015).
One of Sarna's most widely cited academic contributions relates to his scholarship on Ulysses S. Grant's relationship with American Jews. General Ulysses S. Grant in December 1862 issued an order expelling Jewish traders from his military command; it was a blatant display of anti-Semitism and president Abraham Lincoln forced Grant to rescind it. In his book on When General Grant Expelled the Jews (2012) Sarna argues that Grant became one of the greatest friends of Jews in American history. When he was president, he appointed more Jews than any previous president. He condemned atrocities against Jews in Russia, putting human rights on the American diplomatic agenda.
Honors and awards
Sarna received the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry's Marshall Sklare Award in 2002.
He is the author or editor of more than thirty books on American Jewish history and life, his American Judaism: A History, recently published in a second edition, won six awards including the 2004 Everett Jewish Book of the Year Award from the Jewish Book Council.
- "NEJS | Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies | Brandeis University". www.brandeis.edu. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
- Shea, Padraig B. (December 28, 2008). "Helen Sarna, 85, renowned cataloger of Hebrew text". Boston.com. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
- "Jonathan D. Sarna". www.brandeis.edu. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
- Brandeis University, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies faculty
- H-Net Editors Directory - Jonathan Sarna Archived 2007-02-14 at the Wayback Machine
- "Past Winners". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
- Sarna, Jonathan D. (2004). American Judaism: A History. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10976-8.
- "Sarna elected president of the Association for Jewish Studies". BrandeisNOW. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
- "On Faith: Jonathan D. Sarna: Archives". June 2, 2007. Archived from the original on June 2, 2007.
- Lakein, Dvora. "Chabad's Rohr JLI Offers Retreat to Self". Chabad Lubavitch World HQ/ News.
- Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters. "National Jewish Retreat Opens in Virginia". Chabad Lubavitch World HQ/ News. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- Jonathon D. Sarna, When General Grant Expelled the Jews Knopf Doubleday 2012 pp.100-101.
- Schwartz, Penny (November 19, 2019). "The earliest known American Jewish novel introduces a new feminist voice". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
- Marshall Sklare Award Recipients, Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry
- "Jonathan Sarna | Brandeis University". www.brandeis.edu. Retrieved January 26, 2022.