President Reinharz recognized by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel
Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz received an honorary doctor of philosophy degree Nov. 5. Cited for his leadership, scholarly work.
Jehuda Reinharz has done much to establish the study of Zionism and Israel’s history and culture as topics of serious academic pursuit, both in his personal research and in creating programs for educating American students in these neglected areas.
Born in Haifa (1944), Reinharz received his high school education in Germany and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. Having earned concurrent bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, he completed a master’s degree in medieval Jewish history at Harvard (1968), and a doctorate in modern Jewish history at Brandeis University (1972).
His first academic appointment, at the University of Michigan (1972-1982), is notable for the program in Judaic Studies he created there. In 1982, he was appointed the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University, and, in 1994, became its seventh President, a position which he continues to hold today.
His numerous public services include advice to Israel’s Council of Higher Education on the quality of history instruction, and membership on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, appointed by President Clinton in 1998.
Reinharz has authored over 100 articles and 20 books. The Jew in the Modern World is one of the most widely adopted college texts in modern Jewish history. His two-volume biography (1985 and 1993) of Chaim Weizmann received many awards. Zionism and the Creation of a New Society, co-authored with the late Ben Halpern, was published in 1998. One of his two most recent books which appeared in Hebrew, co-edited with his wife, Prof. Shulamit Reinharz, contains letters and documents relating to the life and times of Manya Shohat (1879-1961), a remarkable woman pioneer of the second aliyah. An updated anthology of significant documents of the Zionist movement and Israeli policies, Israel in the Middle East, co-edited with Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, appeared in 2007.
Prof. Reinharz is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Hebrew Union College (1995), the Jewish Theological Seminary (1996), Fairfield University in Connecticut (1999) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2005). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, UK, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Council on Foreign Relations. He won the Shazar Prize in History (Israel, 1988), and was the first recipient of the President of Israel Prize awarded by the Knesset (1990).
As the leading historian of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the Institute’s founder, Dr. Reinharz has a long and warm association with the Weizmann Institute. In 1991, he delivered on campus the Weizmann Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities entitled 'Statecraft as the Art of the Possible.' Both he and his wife have been keynote speakers at Weizmann events in the US.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,600 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.