Benjamin R. Gampel

Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History

Department: Jewish History, Medieval Jewries, Sephardic History

Phone: (212) 678-8906

Email: [email protected]

Building Room: Brush 618

Office Hours: By Appointment


BA, Brooklyn College; MPhil, PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Benjamin Gampel serves as the Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History at JTS. A specialist in medieval and early modern Jewries, Dr. Gampel most recent book, Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391–1392, won the 2016 National Jewish Book Council’s Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship. This prizewinning volume treats the riots and forced conversions of 1391 in the Iberian peninsula and explores why monarchic authority failed to protect the Jews during these fate-filled months.

Dr. Gampel, who earned his doctorate from Columbia University, spent almost a year researching in local Spanish archives for his first book The Last Jews on Iberian Soil. Thanks to his painstaking work, Dr. Gampel was able to re-create some of the long-forgotten history of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula. He also edited the volume Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World, 1391–1648.

In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Gampel is known as a stimulating teacher and delightful lecturer on the whole range of Jewish history. He has addressed synagogue and lay groups, organizations of all stripes, and scholarly conclaves. Truly an energetic scholar and teacher, Dr. Gampel is dedicated to bringing the history of the Jews to a wide public audience.

See Dr. Gampel’s video lecture series on the history, society, and culture of medieval Sephardic Jewry.