Portrait of Prof. Y. Cohen. Head of the Da'at Hamakom Project

Prof. Richard I. Cohen

Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry
Paulette and Claude Kelman Chair in French Jewry Studies
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Academic Director of the I-CORE Daat Hamakom – Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World

Born in Montréal, Québec, Canada, I studied History and Sociology at McGill University before immigrating to Israel in 1967. After completing my Ph. D. (1981) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I became a member of the Department of Jewish History (now the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry), and served as its chair several times. I also served as the academic head of Revivim: Honors Program for the Training of Jewish Studies Teachers (2002-06), and a member of a research group on Exegetical Imagination at Scholion, an Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies, at The Hebrew University (2008-11).
I have been a visiting professor at Yale University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Wesleyan University, University of Pennsylvania, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU, Munich), and during the present year (2013-14) serve as a Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
My major fields of interest are Jewish social and cultural history in the modern period with special attention to visual culture; the history of modern French Jewry; the interrelationship between Jews of western Europe and Jews in Islamic countries; Jewish historiography and museology.


Selected Publications

  • The Burden of Conscience. French Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust (1987).
  • Jewish Icons. Art and Society in Modern Europe (1998).
  • Raymond-Raoul Lambert, Diary of a Witness, 1940-1943.The Ordeal of French Jewry during the Holocaust ([1985] (French edition), [2007] (English edition), [2010] (Hebrew edition)). Edited and introduced.
  • Co-curator and co-editor with Vivian B. Mann, From Court Jews to the Rothschilds. Art, Patronage, and Power: 1600-1800 (1996).
  • Co-curator and co-editor with Laurence Sigal-Klagsbald, Le Juif Errant. Un témoin du temps (2001).
  • Editor of Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History, Vol. 26 of Studies in Contemporary Jewry (2012).
  • Richard I. Cohen, Natalie B. Dohrmann, Adam Shear, Elchanan Reiner (eds.), JEWISH CULTURE IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF DAVID B. RUDERMAN (HUC. Press and Pittsburgh University Press), Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, 2014. press.huc.edu/ruderman-festschrift