DR. MICHAEL BERENBAUM is the Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust and a Professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In the past, he was Project Director overseeing the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the first director of its Research Institute, and was President and CEO of The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. He has taught at Georgetown, Wesleyan, Claremont-McKenna and Yale among other distinguished Universities. The author and editor of 20 books, he was also Managing Editor of the Second Edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, a 22-volume, 16 million word work that won the Dartmouth Medal of the American Library Association as the best reference work of the year.
In addition to his teaching and work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Berenbaum has developed Museums in the United States, Mexico, Macedonia and Poland. He is currently working on Museums in Dallas and Houston as well as a travelling exhibition on Auschwitz that will tour European and Latin American countries. He has just completed work on an exhibition at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati that opened to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He is also developing the content for interactive programs and an expanded website for the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach and leading the development of an interactive online Holocaust and Jewish Identity curriculum with the Coalition for Initiatives in Jewish Education and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
His work in film includes being the Executive Producer, Historical Advisor, Consultant, Interviewee and Producer to more than 20 films including three that have won Academy Awards and many that have won Emmys. Among these films are:
- One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissman Klein Story. Academy Award winner
- The Last Days, Academy Award Winner
- Into the Arms of Strangers: The Story of the Kindertransport, Academy Award Winner
- HBO’s Conspiracy, nominated for 10 Emmy awards
- NBC’s Uprising
- The History Channel’s The Holocaust: The Untold Story, which won the CINE Golden Eagle Award and a Silver Medal at the US International Film and Video Festival
- About Face, a film on German Jewish refugees who fought for the Allies During World War II
- Desperate Hours on the Holocaust in Turkey, which was broadcast on Public Television
- Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust, which was broadcast on the BBC in England and on AMC in the United States
- Swimming in Auschwitz, the story of 6 women Holocaust survivors, which appeared on PBS
- National Geographic’s Master’s of Death and Scrapbook from Hell, and Engineering Evil, three documentaries, the first on the Einsatzgruppen, the Mobile Killing Units, the second on the Auschwitz album of the perpetrators and the third on the Nazi Death Camps
- One Day in the Life of Auschwitz, broadcast on the 70th anniversary of its liberation
- Treblinka’s Last Witness, broadcast on PBS