American University

Michael BrennerMichael Brenner is Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. and Professor of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, where he has been teaching since 1997. He taught previously at Indiana and Brandeis University and was a visiting professor at several universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins. He is the International President of the Leo Baeck Institute for the study of German Jewry and an elected member of the Bavarian Academy of Science and of the Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana in Mantua. In 2014 he was awarded the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

His latest publication is an edited volume on the history of German Jewry from 1945 until today (German edition 2012, forthcoming in English in 2015). His previous books, translated into ten languages, include A Short History of the Jews (Princeton 2010), Prophets of the Past: Interpreters of Jewish History (Princeton 2010), Zionism: A Brief History (Marcus Wiener 2003), and The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar Germany (Yale 2000). He has edited many books, among them the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times.


  • 1933: How Did German Jews React to the Rise of Hitler?
  • A State Like Any Other or a Light unto the Nations? Israel’s Search for Normalcy
  • Jewish Life in Germany Today
  • Visions of the Jewish State: From Herzl to Jabotinsky