Beth Wenger

Beth Wenger
Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania

Beth WengerBeth S. Wenger is Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History. She is a former Chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, former Co-Chair of the Jewish Women’s Caucus of the Association for Jewish Studies, and former Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania—a position she held for seven years. Wenger serves on the boards of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society as well as on the academic advisory boards of Penn’s Hebert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Wenger was one of four founding historians who helped to create the core exhibition at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, and she continues to serve as historical consultant to the Museum.

Wenger’s books have been awarded the Salo Baron Prize in Jewish History, Honorable Mention as one of the American Library Association’s Exhibition Catalogue Awards for Excellence, and named a National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Wenger has been awarded several academic grants and fellowships, including a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, and fellowships at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of American Religion, the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at Yale University, the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wenger holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, M.A.’s from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Yale University

Selected Publications

History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage (Princeton University Press, 2010)

The Jewish Americans: Three Centuries of Jewish Voices in America (Doubleday, 2007)

New York Jews and the Great Depression: Uncertain Promise, (Yale University Press, 1996)

Co-editor (with Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet) Gender in Judaism and Islam: Common Lives, Uncommon Heritage (New York: New York University Press, forthcoming Fall 2014).

Co-editor (with Hasia Diner and Jeffrey Shandler), Remembering the Lower East Side: American Jewish Reflections (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000).

Co-editor (with Jeffrey Shandler) and contributor, Encounters With the “Holy Land”: Place, Past and Future in American Jewish Culture (Philadelphia: National Museum of American Jewish History; The Center for Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania; and the University of Pennsylvania Library in association with Brandeis University Press, 1997)