Michael Cohen, professor and chair of the Department of Jewish Studies at Tulane, has been named the Stuart and Suzanne Grant Chair in American Jewish Experience, effective July 1. He will be the inaugural holder of this prestigious new chair.
This selection, made with the approval of the provost and president, comes at the conclusion of a national search. Michael’s demonstrated success as a leading scholar and teacher of American Jewish history, along with his recognition in the field and the high regard with which he is held nationally, is the basis upon which this appointment is made.
We will soon be announcing two additional new appointments to the faculty, both tenure-track assistant professors in the Department of Jewish Studies, one of them in the newly established Chair in Contemporary Jewish Life. Together with Professor Cohen, they will be pillars of the new Stuart and Suzanne Grant Center for American Jewish Experience.
Michael’s acclaimed monograph Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era (NYU Press, 2017), was a finalist for the American Jewish Historical Society’s Saul Viener Book Prize. This followed his first book, The Birth of Conservative Judaism: Solomon Schechter’s Disciples and the Creation of an American Religious Movement (Columbia UP, 2012), and numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of American Jewish History (Oxford UP). His third book-length monograph, American Jews: An Economic History, is currently under review.
Cohen earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and his A.B. with honors from Brown University. He recently co-directed “Privilege and Prejudice, Jewish History in the American South,” a seminar funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cohen chairs the Association for Jewish Studies’ Directors Group and serves as their Division Chair for Modern Jewish History in the Americas, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, and he serves as the Senior Historical Advisor for the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience.