Sharon Gillerman - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Sharon Gillerman, Ph.D.

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Contact Information

(213) 765-2152
Kutz Chair in Jewish History

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Rabbinical Program, Los Angeles; Louchheim School of Judaic Studies, Los Angeles
Academic Field: 
Research Interests: 
German Jewish History; Gender History; Cultural Studies; Popular Culture; Transnational History

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Dr. Sharon Gillerman serves as the Kutz Chair in Jewish History at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. Dr. Gillerman's scholarship focuses on modern German and central European Jewish history with a particular interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history.

Professor Gillerman's first book, Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic, was the recipient of the 2010 Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. The book reconsiders the meaning and process of assimilation by focusing on communal efforts to reinvigorate the Jewish community through strengthening the family, welfare, and increasing reproduction. She has also co-edited a volume of essays with Benjamin Baader and Paul Lerner, Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender and History. Currently, she is writing a book on the performances and reception of the popular Polish Jewish circus strongman and vaudeville star Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart in eastern Europe, central Europe, and the United States.

Professor Gillerman teaches classes in modern Jewish history, gender and Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the history of Holocaust memorialization.  In addition to teaching at HUC-JIR and USC, she has also been a visiting professor at Brandeis University, UCLA, the University of Hamburg, and Harvard University. 

Selected Publications and Edited Works
Jewish Masculinities

Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender, and History co-edited with Benjamin Baader and Paul Lerner.  (Indiana University Press, 2012.)

Germans into Jews

Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic. (Stanford University Press, 2009.) 

“Producing Jews: Maternity, Eugenics, and the Embodiment of the Jewish Subject,” in eds. Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, Kristin McGuire, Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s. London: Berghahn Publishers, 2010.

“More than Skin Deep: Histories of the Modern Jewish Body,” Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 95 No.3 2005.

 “Samson in Vienna: The Politics of Jewish Masculinity,” Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 9 No.2 2003.

Current and Future Courses
His 602 Modern Jewish History
His 630 Constructing Modern Jewish Identities
His 639 Topics in Jewish Cultural
His 643 The Holocaust between History and Memory
His 644 Engendering Jewish Modernity: Community, Family, and Faith in Modern Europe and America
ARLT 100 Representing the Holocaust
JS 180 Introduction to Judaism
JS 211 The Holocaust
JS 214 Zionism, Israel, and the Modern World
JS 321 Gender and Judaism
JS 322 Modern Jewish Movements and their Ideologies
JS 340 Modern Jewish History
Public Lecture Topics
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Jew: Twentieth Century Fantasies of Jewish Strength
The Temple of the Body: Jewish Boxers, Strongmen and the Development of “Muscular Judaism”
Jews and the Origins of American Popular Culture
The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: Contemporary and Historical Reflections
Reinventing Jewish identity: From Hellenism to Herzl and Beyond
Historical Perspectives on the Jewish Family
The Vanishing Jew? New Perspectives on the Question of Jewish Survival
Germans and Jews after the Holocaust: History, Memory, Identity
When the Holocaust meets Hollywood: how the Shoah became an American Story