In Memorium

Michael Feige, Visiting Professor
19?? - 2016

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University mourns the tragic murder of Professor Michael Feige.  Feige was a former Visiting Professor at Brandeis (Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, NEJS and Anthropology) and was one of the victims of the terror attack in central Tel-Aviv on Wednesday night, June 8.

Michael Feige was a gentle man and a sensitive teacher. His scholarship earned him the annual Shapira Prize in 2010 of the Association for Israel Studies for the best book published in Israel Studies: “Settling in the Hearts; Jewish Fundamentalism in the Occupied Territories.” A graduate of the Hebrew University in sociology and anthropology, much of his work was focused on memory and identity in Israeli politics and culture. He engaged in original research on the settlement movement and Gush Emunim as well as on Peace Now, the use of archaeology in contemporary Israel, the assassination of Rabin and religious fundamentalism, and the place of Ben-Gurion in national memory.  After his degree he spent a year as a Fellow of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and then returned to Israel where he joined the Ben-Gurion Research Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism at the Ben-Gurion University campus in Sde Boker. He was serving as the head of the BGU program in Israel Studies.

He leaves a wife and three daughters, and many friends and admirers. We extend deepest sympathies to Nurit and the entire Feige family.

Y'hi zichro baruch -- may his memory serve as a blessing.

David Kaplan, Professor Emeritus
1929 - 2012

David Kaplan, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Brandeis University, passed away December 12, 2012 in Wayland MA at the age of 83 after a 5 year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Union City New Jersey on May 8, 1929. He received his BA, MA and PhD (1960) degrees in anthropology from the University of Michigan.  His doctoral field work was done in Mexico. He taught at the University of Oklahoma for two years (1959-1961) and then was at Brandeis University for the rest of his career. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1966, and to Professor in 1972. He was awarded Emeritus status in 1996. Kaplan served as Chair of the Department twice, from 1971-1974, and again from 1979 to 1980. He served as Dean of the Graduate School from 1983 to 1990. He published articles on Mesoamerica. His major publications concerned theory in anthropology.  His Brandeis colleague Robert A. Manners and he published Theory in Anthropology, A Sourcebook in 1968. This was followed by Kaplan and Manners, Culture Theory in 1972, a critical evaluation of major theories in anthropology. Culture Theory remained in print for decades and was widely used in anthropology courses in the United States and in other countries.

Kaplan’s areas of specialty included method and theory, economic and political anthropology, and peasant culture of Mesoamerica. At Brandeis, Kaplan taught courses on the Nature of Human Nature and the Evolution of Political Economy, as well as graduate seminars in method and theory. He helped advise many PhD dissertations. 

He is survived by Carol his wife of 55 years, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.