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 at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and director of its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.
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 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 Forward newspaper as one of the most prominent historians of American Judaism. Sarna's book, American Judaism: A History, won a number of awards, including the National Jewish Book Award for 2004 and the Publishers Weekly Best Religion Book 2004 award.
He is the author of Lincoln and the Jews: A History, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press (2015).
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 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 Europe, 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.
- Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
- Brandeis University, Hornstein faculty
- Helen Sarna renowned cataloger of Hebrew text
- Brandeis University, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies faculty
- H-Net Editors Directory - Jonathan Sarna
- Sarna, Jonathan D. (2004). American Judaism: A History. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp. back cover. ISBN 0-300-10976-8.
- Jonathan D. Sarna Archives, On Faith, Newsweek-WashingtonPost.com
- Lakein, Dvora. "Chabad's Rohr JLI Offers Retreat to Self". Chabad Lubavitch World HQ/ News. Retrieved December 2013.
- 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 (2012) Introduction
- Marshall Sklare Award Recipients, Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry