Areas of Specialization
Jews and Judaism in America.
EducationB.A., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Department of History, Ohio State University, 1971-1989
Department of Religious Studies, William & Mary, 1989-
Visiting Professor at California State University, Northridge; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Pittsburgh; Brown University; Wolfson College, Oxford University
Introduction to the History of Jewish Thought (211), The Holocaust (309), Judaism in America (326), Sexuality Women, and Family in Judaism (327), Midrash: Jewish Interpretation of Scripture (328), Introduction to Religion (201)
Professor Raphael writes about Jews and Judaism in the United States, including philanthropy, culture, politics, and especially religion. His most recent book, The Synagogue in America – A Short History (New York University Press, 2011), is the first of his many scholarly books to have no footnotes. Although it has a full discussion of the archival sources as well as books upon which he drew, it is written for undergraduate students and intelligent laypeople who have an interest in American religion. The latter has been his field of interest ever since he began doctoral studies, and it represents the culmination of many years of research in synagogue archives and attendance at worship services at more than 100 synagogues in every region of the country.