Outgoing Message from John Efron

Dear Friends,

I write to tell you that June 30th is my final day as Faculty Director of the Center for Jewish Studies (CJS).  I am not going away.  I will remain in the History Department and will continue to teach Jewish history to undergraduate and graduate students.  For the past three years it has been an extraordinary privilege to work as closely as I have with our Executive Director, Etta Heber and our world class faculty.  I’m particularly excited to report that we have expanded our footprint across campus with nineteen affiliated faculty in the following departments and schools: Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, German, History, Journalism, Law, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Political Science, Rhetoric, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese.  Along with Berkeley’s superb graduate students, we continue to grow our long-standing reputation as a leading center of Jewish Studies scholarship.  Over the past three years we have taught thousands of students in scores of classes.  More than ever before those students come from very diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.  For all of us, it is especially rewarding to be teaching students with no or little knowledge about the richness of Jewish civilization.

I am delighted to announce that the incoming Faculty Director of the CJS will be Ethan Katz.  He is a historian of modern Europe and the Mediterranean, with specialties in modern Jewish history and the history of modern France and its empire.  He is also Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Jewish Life & Campus Climate and is Co-director of the very successful and impactful Antisemitism Education Initiative, which is housed in the CJS.  In Ethan, I have no doubt that I pass the baton on to an important scholar and skilled administrator.  Please join me in wishing Ethan well as he leads the CJS into its next, exciting phase.

Warm regards,

John Efron
Koret Professor of Jewish History