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Professor Stephen Berk



About Dr. Stephen Berk

Stephen M. Berk is Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York, former Chair of the Department of History, Director of the Program in Russian and Eastern European Studies and Faculty Advisor to the Jewish Student Organization. He is the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 (Greenwood Press, 1985). At the present time Berk is writing a book entitled, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1954-1965. The book provides an interesting discussion of an extremely important chapter in the history of the civil rights movement and attempts to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that surround the Black-Jewish relationship.

Professor Berk has been a consultant to the Wiesenthal Holocaust Center in Los Angeles, and in 1992 made a set of six hour-long audio taped lectures on the Holocaust that have been sold across the country. His well received book on the pogroms of 1881-1882 deals with anti-Semitism in Russia and eastern Europe and is an important contribution to the pre-history of the Holocaust in the Jewish heartland. Professor Berk has written articles on Russian and Jewish history,anti-Semitism, and the Middle East. In 1994 Berk authored a brief and interesting article on the Holocaust in Yugoslavia. He has lectured on throughout the United States and Canada including such distinguished colleges and universities as Princeton, Vanderbilt, The University of Texas at Austin and Williams College.

Professor Berk is frequently consulted by newspaper reporters and by television and radio stations including the BBC. Berk is considered an absolutely superb lecturer and teacher. Two college guide books mention him as the best teacher at Union College. The Lisa Birnbach book New and Improved College Book, refers to him as an "amazing lecturer," and Edward B. Fiske writes in the Fiske Guide to Colleges, "The History Department is home to Union's most esteemed lecturer" and notes that Berk's course on the Holocaust is the most popular one offered at the College. Berk has spoken in countless cities and towns in the United States and Canada and is frequently invited to return. Berk is equally adept in scholarly, popular and fund raising talks.

In 1996 Professor Berk received the prestigious Holocaust Memorial Award from the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center. The citation accompanying the award stated: "On the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Nuremberg trials, the Holocaust Memorial Award honors Dr. Berk's years of dedication to understanding and education as a world-wide lecturer and spellbinding speaker on the lessons of the Holocaust and its meaning for today. In 2010 Professor Berk was designated an Israel Hero for his defense and advocacy of the State Israel by JERNY the Jewish Educational Resources of New York.

Recent Podcasts

Two Movies to See

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Recent Blog Entries


""Dr. Stephen Berk's lectures are a treasure. They are the finest and most interesting and informative I have ever heard. His delivery is mesmerizing." "

Dr. Dan Berkenblit


"I attended Dr. Berk?s Eastern European tour in June with my husband, his father and uncle. I then purchased Dr. Berk?s audio tapes and I am still able to enjoy his enthusiasm an..."

Laureen Kinast


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