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< All Fellows and Scholars

Professor Judith Gerson

Dr. Judith Gerson
2005-2006 Life Reborn Fellow for Research on Displaced Persons

"By Thanksgiving We Were Americans: Hidden Legacies of the Holocaust Among German Jewish Immigrants"

Professional Background

Dr. Judith Gerson received a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University and a B.A. in sociology from Syracuse University. During her fellowship at the Museum, she was Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. For her ‘Life Reborn’ Fellowship for Research on Displaced Persons, Professor Gerson conducted research on her project, “‘By Thanksgiving We Were Americans’: Hidden Legacies of the Holocaust among German Jewish Immigrants.”

Professor Gerson is the author of dozens of scholarly articles including “In Between States: National Identity Practices among German Jewish Immigrants” (Political Psychology, 2001). She is co-editor with Diane Wolf of Deghettoizing the Holocaust: Lessons for the Study of Diaspora, Ethnicity, and Collective Memory to be published by Duke University Press. The recipient of a number of prestigious honors, Professor Gerson has received awards from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, the American Sociological Association, and the National Science Foundation to conduct research on the sociological perspectives of life during and after the Holocaust.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Center, Professor Gerson conducted research on the lives of German-Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany before November 1941 and arrived in the United States by May 1945. She studied survivor testimonies and memoirs to gain an understanding of how the Holocaust and resettlement in the United States shaped German-Jewish immigrants’ lives.

Professor Gerson was in residence at the Mandel Center from September 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006.