Faculty Spotlight: Stephen M. Berk

Publication Date

"Whether you teach at the kindergarten level or you teach at the college level, to have an impact upon young people...there's nothing better than that."

Stephen M. Berk

  • Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies
  • Director, Russian and Eastern European studies program
  • Adviser, Holocaust mini-term
  • Adviser, Hillel
  • Consultant, the Wiesenthal Holocaust Center, Los Angeles

Ph.D., Columbia University

Selected publications:

  • Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1954-1965 (in progress). Looks at the American civil rights movement and the myths and misunderstandings that surround the relationship between Jews and African-Americans
  • Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882. Examines the events leading to the massive pogroms against Russian Jewry, crystallizes the Russian and Jewish responses to them, and assesses the impact pogroms had on the course of Russian and American Jewish history and on the Jewish national movement
  • “The Russian Revolutionary Movement and the Pogroms of 1881-1882,” Soviet Jewish Affairs
  • The `Class-Tragedy’ of Izhevsk: Working-Class Opposition to Bolshevism in 1918

Widely known for:
Expertise on the Holocaust, Russia, the Middle East and a variety of Jewish subjects


  • Citizen Laureate, the University at Albany Foundation, 2013
  • Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center Pillars of the Community Award (with wife, Roberta), 2013
  • Israel Hero, Jewish Educational Resources of New York, 2010
  • Faculty Meritorious Service Award, Union College, 2001
  • Holocaust Memorial Award, the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center, Albany, 1996

Joined Union: