HBI Conference Participants' Bios


Intermarriage Roundtable Biographies:

Erik Cohen

Erik H. Cohen received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Lyon, France, his DEA in socio-linguistics at the Sorbonne, and a Jerusalem Fellowship in Jewish education in Israel. In 1986, he received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Nanterre, France. He currently teaches in the faculty of social sciences at Bar-Ilan University’s School of Education. He also is the chair of the board of directors at the Melitz Institute for Jewish Zionist Education and director of the independent Research and Evaluation Group in Jerusalem.

Cohen’s research fields include French Jewish demography and sociology, youth culture in modern and postmodern society, educationa tourism, sociology of Jewish education, and theoretical and methodological issues in informal education. He has published widely in French, Israeli and international journals and books, and has participated in numerous pedagogical conferences. Cohen was born in Morocco and is married with three sons.


Sergio DellaPergola

Born in Trieste, Italy, in 1942, Sergio DellaPergola immigrated to Israel in 1966. In 1973, He earned a doctorate from the Hebrew University. A professor of demography at the Hebrew University’s Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, and institute chairperson in 1991, 1994-98, and 2000-02, DellaPergola is an internationally known specialist on Jewish populations and communities. He has worked on Jewish historical demography, the Jewish family, Jewish migration and absorption in Israel and the western countries, quantitative aspects of Jewish education, and population projections of the Diaspora, Israel and Palestine, and Jerusalem. He has published numerous books, monographs and over 100 papers on these and other topics.

He has lectured at over 40 universities and research centers worldwide, consults to numerous major Israeli and international organizations, and is a senior fellow of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. In 1999, he won the Marshall Sklare Award for distinguished achievement from the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.

DellaPergola lives in Jerusalem with his wife Miriam Toaff and has four children.


Lars Dencik

Lars Dencik is a professor of social psychology and head of the department of psychology’s research committee at Roskilde University, Denmark. He has published several books and articles on topics including modernity and welfare, development and society in Scandinavian countries, and the impact of postmodern society on individuals, children and families. He is the director of the Center for Childhood and Family Research at Roskilde University, and is a member of the Academic Committee of Paideia, an institute dedicated to the renewal of European Jewish culture based in Stockholm, Sweden. Dencik was born in 1941 in Sweden.


Gary Eckstein

Gary Eckstein is a demographic and statistical consultant, with wide experience in a range of applications. He received his doctorate in 1996 from the department of human geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

He holds part-time positions with the Center for Health Service Development at the University of Wollongong and the Health Services Research Group, University of Newcastle in Australia. He has a particular interest in equitable resource allocation, demand/supply analyses and clinical classification tools, and focuses on the application of data sets into manageable information tools. He has helped develop resource allocation models for New South Wales Health and NSW Breastscreen, HIV/AIDS, the Medicare Incentive scheme and the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program.

Eckstein has also been acting as ongoing advisor for the Far West, Northern Rivers, and New England Area Health Services, the Ambulance Service and NSW Corrections Health. Eckstein has worked on population projections and has done statistical work for numerous Australian organizations. He has studied the demography of the Jewish population of Australia, focusing on both technical issues and, more specifically, trends in education, care for the elderly, immigration and intermarriage.


Sally Frankental

Sally Frankental was born in 1943 and received both her master's degree and doctorate from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Frankental teaches in the departments of social anthropology and the Hebrew and Jewish studies at the University of Cape Town. She was the first director of the Kaplan Center for Jewish Studies and Research at UCT, and has been acting head of the department of social anthropology since 2002.

Her past research has included work on Tamil Indians, South African Jewish community, the elderly and Israelis in Cape Town. Her current fields of research are in migration, ethnicity and ethnic identity, and citizenship. Frankental is presently working on a book on ethnicity in South Africa with Owen Sichone (UCT).

She has been involved in Jewish communal affairs in South Africa in various capacities for many years and was a founding member of the community’s anti-apartheid organization, Jews for Justice.


Josette Goldish

Josette Capriles Goldish was born and raised on the island of Curaçao. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is currently completing a study of the migration and religious assimilation of Curaçao’s Sephardic Jews who migrated away from that island to other Caribbean locations in the 19th century.


Gustave Goldmann

Gustave Goldmann is a senior researcher and social demographer in the Census and Demographic Statistics Branch of Statistics Canada. He holds a master's degree and doctorate in sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa.

His research activities include questions related to aboriginal demography, the acculturation and adaptation of immigrants, and issues related to ethnicity and identity. He has published Population Society and is editor of the society’s newsletter, and a member of the Association des Démographes extensively on these and other topics in Canadian and international journals. He is currently working on a book dealing with the determinants of acculturation of Canadian immigrants.

Gustave Goldmann is a lecturer at Carleton University and a member of the Canadian du Québec, as well as the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association.


Marlena Schmool

Marlena Schmool is the director of the community issues division at the Board of Deputies of British Jews, where she has also served as research director since 1986. Schmool was born in Leeds, Yorkshire. She is a specialist on Jewish social research, and has published widely in Britain on Jewish demography and identity, with a special emphasis on the religious identity of Jewish women. The latest publication, The Relaxation of Community (2003), is a study of Britain’s smaller Jewish communities. Schmool has two children, Barak and Osnat, and lives in England.


Mark Tolts

Mark Tolts is a senior research associate in Jewish demography and statistics at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. He received his doctorate in statistics at the Institute of Statistics, USSR Central Statistical Administration in 1982.

Before emigrating to Israel in 1991, he was senior research associate, Laboratory of Demographic Studies of Households and Families, Institute for Socioeconomic Studies of Population, USSR Academy of Sciences, and member of the Demographic Section, Council of Research and Methodology, USSR Central Administration. He has written widely on the family demography of the Former Soviet Union and on Soviet and post-Soviet Jewry in particular.


Shulamit Reinharz

Shulamit Reinharz was born in Amsterdam, Holland, to parents who had been in hiding throughout the war. She grew up in New Jersey and received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College. In 1977, she earned her doctorate from Brandeis University, and after teaching at the University of Michigan for 10 years, returned to Brandeis as a professor of sociology.

In the 1990s, Reinharz directed the women's studies program at Brandeis University and created its graduate program and its program in the prevention of violence against women among many other innovations.

Reinharz was invited to chair Hadassah's National Commission on American Jewish Women in 1993, which led to her creating the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute in 1997. In 2001, she opened the Women’s Studies Research Center in a 10,000-square-foot facility that she designed and for which she raised all the funds. The holder of the Jacob Potofsky Chair of Sociology, Reinharz is the author or co-author of eight books including "The JGirls’ Guide," "Manya Shohat: Her Collected Writings" (in Hebrew), "American Jewish Women" and the "Zionist Enterprise".

Shulamit Reinharz is the mother of two daughters and is married to Jehuda Reinharz, former president of Brandeis University.