Portrait (head shot photo)
Yael Zerubavel
Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies & History; and Founding Director, The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life
Degree: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Additional Degree(s): M.A., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Tel-Aviv University
Specialty: Modern Middle East: History of Memory
Office: 12 College Avenue
Phone: 848-932-2033



  • Collective memory, autobiographical memory, history & memory
  • Nationalism, national myths
  • Tradition and change
  • Israeli culture, Israeli literature
  • Jewish memory, Jewish space
  • Jewish immigrant literature


  • Israeli Culture
  • Cultural Memory
  • Jewish Immigrant Experience
  • Jewish Memory
  • Jewish Space
  • Trauma and Memory in Israeli Culture
  • Israeli Society through Film

PUBLICATIONS [Click for Complete List]


  • Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition. (University of Chicago Press, 1995; paperback 1997).
  • Desert in the Promised Land: Memory, Space and the Counterplace in Israeli Culture (under contract with the University of Chicago Press)
  • Memory, Politics, and the Representations of Antiquity in Israeli Culture (work in progress)

Selected Articles

  • "Putting Numbers into Space: Place Names and Collective Remembrances in Israeli Culture," in Taking Stock: Cultures of Enumeration in Contemporary Jewish Life, edited by Michal Kravel-Tovi and Deborah Dash Moore.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press [in press, 2015].
  • "Numerical Commemoration and the Challenges of Collective Remembrance in Israel," in History and Memory 26, 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 5-38
  • “Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film,” in Deeper than Oblivion: Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema, edited by Raz Yosef and Boaz Hagin. New York & London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 299-327.
  • Ha’tanakh akhshav: Ikh’shuv, satira politit ve’zikaron le’umi” [“'The Bible Now': Contemporizing, Political Satire, and National Memory”], a combined issue of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore vol. 28 and Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature vol. 25 in honor of Galit Hasan-Rokem, (2013), II, 755-74 [in Hebrew].
  • “Transforming Myths, Contested Narratives: The Reshaping of Mnemonic Traditions in Israeli Culture,” in National Myths: Constructed Pasts, Contested Presents, edited by Gérard Bouchard. London: Routledge, 2013, 173-90.
  • Ha’hazara el ha’tanakh:Ha’tiyul ve’zikhron ha’avar ba’siah ha’tayaruti be’israel [“Back to the Bible: Hiking in the Land as a Mnemonic Practice in Contemporary Israeli Tourist Discourse”], in History and Memory: Essays in Honor of Anita Shapira, edited by Meir Hazan and Uri Cohen. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2012, vol. 2, 497- 522 [in Hebrew].
  • “Coping with the Legacy of Death: The War Widow in Israeli Films,” in Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion, edited by Miri Talmon and Yaron Peleg. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011, 84-95.


  • Association for Jewish Studies(board member, 1993-2002, 2006-present)
  • Association for Israel Studies(board member, 1997-2001; 2006-09)
  • Israel Studies (editorial board, 1995 – present)
  • Journal of Israeli History (editorial board, 2002 – present)
  • Israel Studies Forum (editorial board, 2000 – present)
  • Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds (editorial board, 2005-present)
  • Rutgers University Press, Jewish Cultures of the World Series, (editorial board, 2007- present)
  • Academic Studies Press, Israel: Society, Culture, And History Series (editorial board, 2009-present)
  • AJS Perspectives, the bi-annual magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies (editorial board, 2009 – present)


  • Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Kazan State University, Russia
  • Ben-Gurion Research Center, Ben-Gurion University, Sde Boker
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • École Pratique des Hautes Études