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Dr. Emil Kerenji

Applied Research Scholar
Areas of Expertise
  • Yugoslavia and the Balkans

  • Jewish life during the Holocaust

  • Nationalism and genocide

Contact Information


Media contact Raymund Flandez, Senior Communications Officer, 202.314.1772,

Dr. Kerenji joined the Mandel Center in 2009 as a historian working on a source volume series, Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1933–1946. In 2016, he developed, with Dr. Leah Wolfson, Experiencing History: Holocaust Sources in Context, a digital primary-source teaching tool available to instructors teaching Holocaust-related courses in North American college classrooms. Dr. Kerenji’s current work focuses on developing the Mandel Center’s research agenda by managing phase one of the Holocaust Justice project, aimed at unlocking the Museum’s vast documentation of postwar investigations and trials to Holocaust researchers.

Dr. Kerenji is a historian of modern Jewish and East European history, with expertise in the history of the Holocaust and World War II in Yugoslavia and the Balkans more broadly. His research focuses on the relationship of genocidal violence against Jews and violent nationalizing regional policies of states allied with Nazi Germany. 

Prior to joining the Museum, Dr. Kerenji was a case officer working on refugee resettlement at the UNHCR office in Belgrade, Serbia. He was also an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.


  • PhD, East European and Jewish history, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008

  • MA, history, Central European University, Budapest, 1998

  • BA, history and political science, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, 1997


  • English

  • Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian (native)

  • German (reading)

  • Yiddish (reading)

  • Bulgarian (reading)

  • Macedonian (reading)

  • Hebrew (basic reading)

Select Publications

Select Presentations and Interviews

  • Access Utah episode, interview with Utah Public Radio on the Jewish Responses to Persecution project