A Special Post-Performance Conversation with Jonathan Sarna, PH.D.
Professor of American Jewish History (Brandeis University)
Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History
Joseph Engel Visiting Professor of American Jewish Studies (Harvard University)
President of the Association for Jewish Studies
L-R: Jonathan Sarna, Ph.D.; Sara Bookin-Weiner, New Center for Arts and Culture.
L-R: Jonathan Sarna, Ph.D.; Bridget Kathleen O’Leary, New Repertory Theatre; Sara Bookin-Weiner, New Center for Arts and Culture.
Jonathan Sarna, Ph.D.
Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York and Boston, Dr. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979.
From 1979-1990, Dr. Sarna taught at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he rose to become Professor of American Jewish history and Director of the Center for the Study of the American Jewish Experience. He has also taught at Yale University, the University of Cincinnati, and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Dr. Sarna came back to Brandeis in 1990 to teach American Jewish history in its Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies. He served two terms as chair of that department and one term as director of Brandeis’ Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. He now chairs the Academic Advisory and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati.
Dr. Sarna has written, edited, or co-edited more than thirty books, including the new When General Grant Expelled the Jews. He is best known for the acclaimed American Judaism: A History. Winner of the Jewish Book Council’s “Jewish Book of the Year Award” in 2004, it has been praised as being “the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil.”
Sara Bookin-Weiner joined the New Center as their Manager of Outreach in 2013. She spent two years as the Dramaturgy and Outreach Fellow at ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage. She earned her MFA in dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University in 2011, where she served as assistant director on the workshop production of the Tony-winning musical Once. She is a participant in Cornerstone Theater’s summer institute in community-based theatre and also serves as a member-at-large on the board of the Association for Jewish Theater.