Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History, was invited to the University of Haifa as a Visiting Professor of the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies, from May 10-17, 2016. Dr. Zola gave a series of lectures to the Ruderman Program students and attended a researchers' seminar at the University.
The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies is offered as a master’s program. It covers a range of issues pertaining to Jewish American life, American society, and the long-lasting and important bond between the Jews of America, the State of Israel, and Israeli society. The program caters to outstanding students who seek to expand their grasp of American Jewish life and who want to take part in a unique academic and intellectual experience. “I am confident my students, colleagues, and I will benefit greatly from Dr. Zola’s visit,” said Professor Gur Alroey, Director of the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies.
Dr. Zola is a scholar of the American Jewish experience. Professor Zola became the AJA’s second executive director in 1998, succeeding his teacher, mentor, and founder of the AJA, Professor Jacob Rader Marcus (1896-1995). Today, the American Jewish Archives is home to the world's largest collection of documentary evidence on the history of American Jewry.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Zola to serve as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, an independent agency of the Federal government. Established by Public Law in 1985, the Commission exists to foster the preservation and protection of the cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings associated with the foreign heritage of United States citizens.
Zola is the author of numerous books and articles, including his most recent volumes: We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History and American Jewish History: A Source Reader.