The CESJDS Center for Excellence and Engagement in Jewish History is a hub for Jewish History consulting, training, and learning. The Center:

  • Trains teachers and administrators in Jewish History content and pedagogy

  • Works with schools to set and achieve curricular goals in Jewish History particular to their school’s needs

  • Offers lectures and adult education on topics in Jewish History

Meet our CEEJH Experts

Rachel Bergstein
Director, Center for Excellence and Engagement in Jewish History

Rachel Bergstein is the Director of the CESJDS Center for Excellence and Engagement in Jewish History and teaches high school Jewish history and American history at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She has an undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a graduate degree in Jewish history from Yale University. Rachel also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York. Rachel teaches courses on American Jewish History and Modern Jewish History with a particular emphasis on culture, race, and religion. Her dissertation research focused on the role of Jews in the American South. Rachel has offered adult education lectures and classes at various local institutions and has served as a synagogue Scholar-in-Residence. In 2016, Rachel was awarded the Beryl and Norman Meyer Outstanding Educator Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and in 2020, Rachel was selected as a University of Chicago Outstanding Educator. Last spring, Rachel partnered with the Shalom Hartman Institute to organize a conference of Jewish History teachers from across the United States. Rachel has taught at CESJDS since 2012.   

Dr. Daniel Rosenthal
Evonne and Elliot Schnitzer Family Jewish History Department Chair 

Dr. Daniel Rosenthal is the Evonne and Elliot Schnitzer Family Jewish History Department Chair at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He received his Ph.D. in History (also completing the collaborative Jewish Studies Graduate Program) in 2014 from the University of Toronto, writing a dissertation on the transformations in Jewish society and selfhood following the First World War as reflected through the institutions of death, burial, and mourning. He has previously taught at Western University (Ontario) and the University of Haifa, where he also held a postdoctoral fellowship through the Israeli Inter-university Academic Partnership for Eastern European Studies.  Previously, Daniel received a B.A. in history with university and departmental honors from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.A, in history and Jewish studies, from the University of Toronto. He has published articles on, among other topics, the response to Jewish suicide in the Eastern Europe during the period between the World Wars, and he worked as a long-term curatorial intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Daniel joined the Jewish History faculty at CESJDS in 2015.

Dr. Sara Coxe
High School Jewish History Teacher

Dr. Sara Coxe teaches a variety of different courses, including Ancient and Medieval Jewish History, Modern Jewish History, History of Modern Israel, and Comparative Religion.  Sara has an undergraduate degree in religion from Emory University, a Masters degree in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  In addition to her experience in the high school classroom, she previously served as the Director of Education and Youth in a synagogue in Connecticut.  Sara joined the CESJDS Jewish History department in 2004.

Dr. Anna Band
High School Jewish History Teacher

Dr. Anna Band received her PhD in History with Distinction from the University of Chicago in the summer of 2022. Her field of specialization is Modern Jewish History, and her dissertation examined the relationship between Jewish dwelling space and belonging in interwar Germany. At the University of Chicago, Anna designed and taught numerous undergraduate courses in Jewish History, on topics such as Jewish Migration and Urbanization, the Holocaust and Human Rights, and Gender and Jewish History. In 2020, Anna received the Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the highest university-wide teaching honor awarded to graduate students at the University of Chicago, in recognition of her work. Anna also holds a BA with High Honors in History and Jewish Studies from Oberlin College, and an MA in History from the University of Chicago. Anna began teaching at CESJDS in the fall of 2022. 


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                     Jill and Rob Granader