Ella Darivoff Director

University of Pennsylvania


Steven Weitzman specializes in the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Jewish culture. Recent publications include Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity (Harvard University Press, 2005); Religion and the Self in Antiquity (Indiana University Press, 2005); The Jews: A History (Prentice Hall, 2009); and a biography of King Solomon, part of the new “Jewish Lives” series, published by Yale University Press in 2011. 

Weitzman received his Ph.D. from Harvard University after completing his B.A. at UC Berkeley, and spent several years teaching in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University where he served as director of its Jewish Studies program for six years. He comes to Penn from Stanford University, where he was Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion and the director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.

Selected publications

  • The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age (Princeton University Press, 2018)
  • with Sylvester A. Johnson, The FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security Before and After 9/11 (University of California Press, 2017)
  • Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom (Yale University Press, 2011)
  • Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity (Harvard University Press, 2005)