History Doctoral Program: Ph.D. in Jewish History

The Jewish history graduate program, part of the Emory University Laney Graduate School’s doctoral program in History, covers the medieval and modern periods, with special strengths in the history of Jews in the US, Europe, and Latin America, and in the history of modern Israel. The program also draws on the outstanding strengths of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies.

The Ph.D. program in Jewish history provides students with rigorous training in their fields of specialization while encouraging comparative study. Students who focus on Jewish history are encouraged to study its chronological breadth while choosing a geographic area of specialization for coursework and examinations. They may also enroll in a Certificate Program in Jewish Studies, which will present them with cross-disciplinary perspectives through coursework and participation in lectures, seminars, and conferences sponsored by TIJS which bring together graduate students and faculty from across the university for intellectual interchange. The Certificate Program will offer students a credential beyond their program training that strengthens their ability to compete for national fellowships, postdoctoral awards, and tenure-track positions in Jewish history.

Graduate students in Jewish history have a strong group of faculty members with whom to work. Eric L. Goldstein  is a specialist in modern Jewish history and culture, with interests that extend from the United States to Eastern Europe. His work has focused on topics such as the construction of Jewish identities, Jews’ place in America's racial and ethnic mix, the culture of Yiddish-speaking immigrants, and Jews in the American South. Jeffrey Lesser is an authority on race and ethnicity in Latin America. He is interested in the construction of national identity in Brazil, especially in how minority groups understand their own and national space. Ellie Schainker specializes in modern European Jewish history with a focus on Eastern Europe. She has worked on the social history of conversion in the Russian Empire, with special attention to the religious and social boundaries and gender roles that shaped the lives of Russian Jews. Kenneth W. Stein specializes in modern Israel, the British Mandate in Palestine, the Arab-Israeli negotiating process, and American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Students may extend their work to draw on other colleagues in the History program or those affiliated with it, as well as on Jewish studies faculty in other programs. View a complete listing of History doctoral program and associated faculty and a complete listing of Jewish studies and associated faculty.

Graduate students in Jewish history in the last few years have won tenure-track positions across the United States as well as national and international fellowships and grants.

Fellowship Support

All students accepted to the Department of History are awarded tuition scholarships and competitive fellowship support. The Laney Graduate School regularly awards a number of fellowships through the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies to outstanding Ph.D. applicants in various Jewish studies-related fields. These awards are intended to supplement the doctoral program fellowships that students receive through their home departments. Applicants indicating an interest in Jewish history will automatically be considered for these awards.


Applicants for Ph.D. study in History should visit the Laney Graduate School admissions page and should specify Jewish history as their area of interest in their application. The application deadline is December 1, 2019 for admission in Fall 2020.

For more information on the Jewish history program, contact Professor Eric L. Goldstein.