David Mendelsson Appointed Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and USC

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dr. David Mendelsson has been appointed the Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles for the 2010-2011 academic year, it was announced by Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, HUC-JIR. This joint appointment with the University of Southern California has been made possible by a generous grant from the Lynn and Charles Schusterman Family Foundation in conjunction with the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprises’ Scholar Development Fund, with matching grants from Lief Rosenblatt and Elliott and Robin Broidy.

Dr. Marmur stated, "At HUC-JIR, we seek to train Jewish leaders who are steeped in the concept of Jewish peoplehood and nurtured by the enduring ties linking the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry. As a leading Israeli scholar, Dr. David Mendelsson will share his scholarship and research through teaching and further reinforce our students' relationship with the people and land of Israel, building upon their required first year of study of the history, politics, and culture of Israel and intensive Hebrew language studies at our Jerusalem campus."

Dr. Mendelsson is the Director of Israel Studies and Lecturer in Modern Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, where he also serves as the academic coordinator of the Israel Seminar for Jewish communal service students at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, in co-operation with the Jewish Community Center Association in Israel.

Dr. Mendelsson received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University’s Department of Contemporary Jewry (2003), with a dissertation entitled “Between Integration and Separation: A History of Anglo-Jewish Education 1944-88.” Previously, he earned the M.A. (1987) there with a thesis on “Pioneering Youth Movements in Britain, 1929-48.”  He received his B.A. in Politics and Modern History from Manchester University (1979).

He is a Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School in their One Year Program, served as a member of their One Year Program Academic Committee from 2006 to 2008, and is the Coordinator of their Israel Studies Summer Course Institute.  He is also the Academic Coordinator and Scholar-in-Residence at the Foster Seminar in Israel for students in Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership, in co-operation with the Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education and the Jewish Community Center Association in Israel.

Dr. Mendelsson’s academic publications include A History of Jewish Education in England, 1944-1988 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010); “Issues in Anglo-Jewish Education: Day Schools, State Funding, and Religious Education in State Schools,” in Lisa Grant, Helena Miller and Alex Pomson (eds.), International Handbook of Jewish Education (New York: Springer, 2011); “Embracing Jewish Day School Education in England 1965-79,” History of Education 38: 4 (2009), 545-563;  and “A History of Habonim in England”(Hebrew) Discussion Forum on Research into Youth Movements (Hebrew), 8 (1991).

Among his conference papers, in June, 2002 he delivered “Anglo-Jewish Identity through the Prism of Jewish Education, 1944-88,” at the Joint International Conference of the Israeli Association for Research in Jewish Education and the North American Network for Research in Jewish Education at Haifa University.  In 2002-03 he delivered “Jews, Jewish Education, and Multi-Cultural England, 1965-88,” at the workshop on “Paradigms of Contemporary Jewish Identity: A Comparative Study” at the Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History and the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem.  In June, 2003, he delivered “The Zionist Entry into Jewish Day School Education in England, 1948-65” in Hebrew atthe Annual Conference of the Israel Association of Historians of Education in Jerusalem.

Dr. Mendelsson was a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, and Michigan State University, James Madison College.  He is currently an adjunct lecturer at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu