Prof. Bacon Gershon

Prof. Gershon Bacon




Date of birth:       December 17, 1948

Birthplace:           Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Marital Status:     Married, four children




         Columbia University, New York

                Major Specialization area - Jewish History

                Minor Specialization area - Polish and

                                                            Russian History

                Degrees awarded - Master of Philosophy, 1978; Doctor of Philosophy, 1979

                 Jewish Theological Seminary, New York

                Degree awarded - Master of Hebrew Literature and

                                              rabbinical ordination, 1972

                                             Honorary doctorate, 1998

         University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

                Degree awarded - Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude), 1968

                 Gratz College, Philadelphia

                Degree awarded - Bachelor of Hebrew Literature, 1968


Research Languages


         Hebrew, Yiddish, French, German, Polish, Russian


 Full-time Employment


         Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

         Associate Professor in Jewish History - tenured,

         full-time, employed 1981-present

         Chairman, Dept. of Jewish History, 1998-2001

         Lecturer (= assistant professor in USA), 1981-1985

         Senior Lecturer (tenured, = associate professor in USA), 1985-1997

         Associate Professor (= full professor in USA), 1997- present


         Jewish Theological Seminary, New York

         Instructor and Assistant Professor of Jewish History, 1974-1981



Public and Communal Positions


         Incumbent, Marcell and Maria Roth Chair for the History and Culture of Polish

         Jewry, Bar-Ilan University, 2012-present


         Member of supervisory control committee, Central Archives for the History of the  

         Jewish People, 2012-present 


         Member of executive board, Keller Foundation, 2012-present


         Member of executive board, Historical Society of Israel, 2011- 2015


         Member of supervisory control committee, World Union of Jewish Studies,

         2009- present


         Member of international editorial advisory board, Scripta Judaica Cracoviensa,



         Section Editor: Poland 1795-1939 and member of editorial board, Jews in Eastern    

         Europe: The Yivo Encyclopedia, 2001-2008


         Member of executive board, World Union for Jewish Studies, 2004-2009


          Member of board of directors, Central Archives for the History of the Jewish

          People, 2004-2009


         Director, Klein Chair on the History of the Rabbinate in Europe, Bar-Ilan

         University, 2000-2012; member of advisory board, 1996-2000


         Council member, Historical Society of Israel, 2000-2003


         Director, Institute for Research on Religious Zionism, Bar-Ilan University,



         Coordinator, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch chair,

         Jewish History Department, Bar-Ilan University,



         Member of Editorial Board, Bi'Shevilei Ha'Tehiya,



         Director of Kotlar Institute for Judaism and

         Contemporary Thought, 1990-1995


         Member of Academic Advisory Board, Institute of

         Traditional Judaism, Teaneck, NJ, 1990-present        


         Member of Editorial Board, Yivo Annual, 1989-2000


         Israel Association of Slavic and East  European Studies,

         secretary, 1982-1983; vice- president, 1983-1984; treasurer, 1984-1985;

         secretary, 1985-1986; treasurer, 1986-1987, 1988-present



Scholarships and Fellowships


         Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania

         Fellow, beginning of spring semester 2012 (research group on Jews and travel)


         Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor

         Fellow, fall semester 2011 (research group on Jews and Politics)


         Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University -

         Fellow, spring semester 2008 (research group on Hasidism); Fellow, academic year

         1997-1998 (research group on orthodoxy); fellow, academic year 1993-1994

         (research group on East European Jewry)


          Israel Science Foundation (ISF) – research grant for years 2007-2010 (with Dr.

          Mirjam Rajner)       


          History department and Judaic Studies Program, Yale University – Jacob Blaustein

          Visiting Professor, fall semester 2007


          Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania -

          Fellow, January-February 2003 (research group on East European Jewry)


         American Council of Learned Societies -

         research fellowship, 1995-1996


         Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture - research

         fellowship, 1985-1986; post-doctoral fellowship,

         1980-1981; doctoral fellowship, 1977-1978


         International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) -

           grant for research in Poland, 1973


         National Foundation for Jewish Culture - doctoral

           research grant, 1973-1974


         Kościuszko Foundation - grant for study in Poland,



         New York State Herbert Lehman Fellowship, 1969-1973


         Philadelphia Board of Education Full Tuition

           Scholarship, 1965-1968


         Pennsylvania State Scholarship, 1965-1968


Graduate student advising


Completed MA - 1.   Esther Segel-Eitan

2.Haim Sperber

3.Allon Raichlin

4.Maia Matania (Gender Studies)

5.Akiva Bigman


Completed PhD    1. Shlomo Leibovici

                              2. Adam Ferziger

                              3. Haim Shalem

                              4.  Asaf Kaniel

                              5.  Haya Galinski Meller

                              6.  Haim Sperber

                              7.  Adva Selzer

                              8. Daphna Ben-Yosef (Contemporary Jewry)

                              9. Adah Gebel (history, Ben-Gurion University)

                              10. Moshe Uriel


Present graduate students:


PhD – 1. Yohanan Ben-Yaakov

           2. Moshe Tarshansky

           3. Uri Oholy           


For Prof. Bacon Gershon's list of publications please click on the link



Main research interests

  1. Political, social and intellectual/religious history of Jews of Poland and Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special emphasis on interwar period;
  2. History of Orthodox Jewry in Europe;
  3. History of the rabbinate in Europe and the United States;
  4. History of Jewish women in Poland;
  5. Political and ideological movements in European Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries