Passing of Prof. Sharon Gillerman

Shalom Berger's picture

H-Judaic is greatly saddened to learn of the untimely death, following several months of hospitalization battling illness,  of Prof Sharon Gillerman (1960 - 2020), holder of the Kutz Chair in Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles.

The HUC-JIR website provides the following summary of her career:

Professor Gillerman's scholarship focused on modern German and central European Jewish history with a particular interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history.  Her first book, Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic, was the recipient of the 2010 Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. The book reconsiders the meaning and process of assimilation by focusing on communal efforts to reinvigorate the Jewish community through strengthening the family, welfare, and increasing reproduction. She has also co-edited a volume of essays with Benjamin Baader and Paul Lerner, Jewish Masculinities: German Jews, Gender and History. At the time of her death, she was writing a book on the performances and reception of the popular Polish Jewish circus strongman and vaudeville star Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart in eastern Europe, central Europe, and the United States.

Professor Gillerman taught classes in modern Jewish history, gender and Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the history of Holocaust memorialization.  In addition to teaching at HUC-JIR and USC, she had also been a visiting professor at Brandeis University, UCLA, the University of Hamburg, and Harvard University. 

We extend deepest condolences to her grieving family, colleagues and students.


Jonathan D. Sarna

Chair, H-Judaic 

Categories: Obituary
Keywords: Necrology