Ida E. King Distinguished Scholar during 2008
alia Ofer is a noted historian of contemporary Jewry, with a research specialization in Holocaust studies. Dalia graduated from the Hebrew University High School in 1956, served in the Nahal and went to Kibbutz Ein Gev. After marrying Gur Ofer (b. 1934) in 1958, she moved to Kibbutz Ha-On and had four daughters. In 1959 they moved to Jerusalem, where Dalia received her B.A. in history and Bible from the Hebrew University in 1962 and, a year later, also a teaching certificate. From 1964 until 1982 she taught intermittently at the Hebrew University High School. In 1973 she completed her M.A. in history summa cum laude, with a thesis on “The Rescue and Aid Operation of the Yishuv Delegation in Istanbul, 1943–1944.” In 1981 she received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University for her dissertation on “Illegal Immigration to Palestine 1939–1941.”
After becoming a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University in 1989 and an associate professor in 1995, Ofer was promoted to the rank of full professor in 2000 and since 1995 has been the holder of the Max and Rita Haber Chair of Holocaust Studies. Since 2004 she has headed the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University. She serves on numerous boards, including that of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, which she headed from 1995–2002. She has participated in a variety of committees, most of them dealing with education in general and more specifically with the Holocaust, and has frequently been a visiting scholar or researcher at universities in the United States, including Brandeis, Harvard, Columbia, Yale and the University of Maryland.
Currently, Ofer is engaged in an innovative comparative study of daily life in a number of East European ghettos, once again focusing on the social history of the time and place from the perspective of the individual men, women, youngsters and children of different social classes and different ages. Her aim in this work is to add the perspective of daily life of the individual Jew and thus to better understand how the Jews managed to survive and make a living until their deportation to the death camps.
Dalia Ofer is the co-editor with Paula E. Hyman of Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia (2006).
1959: B.A. in Hebrew and Bible, Hebrew University (Jerusalem)
1973: M.A., summa cum laude in History, Hebrew University (Jerusalem)
1981: Ph.D., Hebrew University (Jerusalem)
Areas of Expertise:
History, Holocaust Studies and Genocide Studies, Israel and Palestine Relations, Gender Studies, Psychology, Holocaust Remembrance, Religious Studies, Religious History Intercultural Conflict Management, Education
Selected Publications Include:
- Escaping the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1939-1944. New York: Oxford UP, 1990.
- Hyman, Paula E., and Dalia Ofer. Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Shalvi, 2006
- Weiner, Hana, and Dalia Ofer. Dead-end Journey: The Tragic Story of the Kladovo-Šabac Group. Lanham, MD: U of America, 1996.
- Weitzman, Lenore, and Dalia Ofer. Women in the Holocaust. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1998.