Robert A. Rockaway   Department of  Jewish        


B.A., 1961,  Wayne State University, majors in English literature and history

M.A., 1962, University of Michigan, history

Ph.D., 1970, University of Michigan, American history


Professional Experience


Senior Lecturer, Tel-Aviv University, from 1974

Distinguished Visiting Professor, San Diego State University, 1985-1986

Head, Overseas Student Division, Tel-Aviv University, 1976-1979

Visiting Professor, Brandeis  University, 1975-1976

Adjunct  Associate Professor, Boston University, 1975-1976

Lecturer, Tel-Aviv University, 1971-1974    

Assistant Professor, University of Texas, El Paso, 1970-1971

Teaching Fellow, University of Michigan, 1965-1968

Fellow, Diaspora Research Institute, Tel-Aviv University, 1971 to present

Consultant, Beit Hatefutsoth, Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1974-1986 

President, Israel Association for American Studies, 1981-1983, 1987-1989 

Editorial Board Member, American Jewish History (USA)



Major Publications (books, major articles)




The Jews of Detroit: From the Beginning, 1762-1914 (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1986)


Words of the Uprooted: Jewish Immigrants in Early 20th Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998)


But  He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters  (Jerusalem/New York: Gefen, 2000)


Edited Books:


Co-editor, Michael X (Tel-Aviv, Diaspora Research Institute, 1986)


Co-editor, Michael XV (Tel-Aviv, Diaspora Research Institute, 2000)


Articles (selected):


Co-Author, “Leaving the Ultra-Orthodox Fold: Haredi Jews Who Defected,”

The Jewish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 29, 1987 , pp. 97-114.


“Hoodlum Hero: The Jewish Gangster as Defender of His People,”  American Jewish History, Vol. 82, Numbers 1-4, 1994-95, pp. 215-235.


“The Nation of Islam and the Jews,” The Jewish Journal of Sociology, Vol 40,

1998, pp. 48-78.



Teaches in the following subject areas:


American Jewish History

Modern Jewish History



Teaches the following courses in the current academic year:


History of The Jews in the United States, 1654-1880 

The Attitude of Americans Toward Jews, 1789-1930

The U.S. Government,  American Jewry and Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

The Religion and Culture American Jews in the 20th Century





Awards and grants:


Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Michigan, 1968

Grant, National foundation for Jewish Culture, 1968

University of Texas Research Grant, 1970 

Grant, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, 1979

Franklin Award  in American Jewish History, Hebrew Union College, 1979





Areas of  Current Research Interest:


The Historic Relations Between Jews and Other Ethnic Groups in the

United States


The Demonization of the Jew in America





Additional Points of Contact (office/home telephone, fax, etc.):


Department of Jewish History

Tel-Aviv University

Ramat-Aviv, Israel 69978

Tel: 972-3-6409277

Fax: 972-3- 6407287


Tel (home): 972-9-9515595

Fax (home): 972-9-9516865