FacultyLila Corwin Berman

Director – Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

916 Gladfelter Hall
1115 W. Berks St


US urban history; modern Jewish history


Lila Corwin Berman is Professor of History at Temple University. She holds the Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History and directs the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. Berman received her B.A. from Amherst College and her Ph.D. from Yale. She is author of Metropolitan Jews: Politics, Race, and Religion in Postwar Detroit (University of Chicago, 2015), for which she received support from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her first book, Speaking of Jews: Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity (California, 2009), was awarded recognition from the Center for Jewish History and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and was a finalist for the Jewish Book Council’s Sami Rohr Prize. She is currently writing a book titled “The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The Historical Formation of a Multi-Billion Dollar Institution” (under contract with Princeton University Press) and received a fellowship from the Center for the Humanities at Temple to support her work on it. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, Jewish Social Studies, the Forward, Religion and American Culture, Sh’ma, and American Jewish History, as well as several edited volumes. She has been invited to deliver lectures at universities throughout the country and is an active participant in professional organizations including the Association for Jewish Studies and the American Jewish Historical Society.

Selected Publications

  • Metropolitan Jews: Politics, Race, and Religion in Postwar Detroit(University of Chicago Press, 2015)
  • Speaking of Jews: Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity (University of California Press, 2009)
  • “Donor Advised Funds in Historical Perspective,” Boston College Law Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good, 1 (Oct 2015): 5-27.
  • “American Jewish Politics Is Urban Politics,” in Faithful Republic: Religion and Politics in Modern American., ed. Andrew Preston, Bruce Schulman, and Julian Zelizer (Penn Press, 2015)
  • “Jewish Urban Politics in the City and Beyond,” Journal of American History 99, 2 (Sept 2012): 492-519
  • “Sociology, Jews, and Intermarriage in Twentieth-Century America,” Jewish Social Studies 14, no. 2 (Winter 2008): 32-60
  • “American Jews and the Ambivalence of Middle Classness,” American Jewish History 93, 4 (December 2007): 409-434

Courses Taught

  • History/Jewish Studies 2705: Antisemitism/Holocaust/Racism
  • Jewish Studies 0802: Race and Judaism
  • History 8206: Recent US Urban History (Graduate Course)
  • History 8800: Special Topics: Religion & Ethnicity in 20th Century America (Graduate Course)