Ellen Eisenberg

Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History, History Department Chair


  • B.A., American Studies, Carleton College
  • Ph.D., History, University of Pennsylvania

Research and Teaching

Ellen Eisenberg has taught in the History Department since 1990, and holds the Dwight and Margaret Lear Chair in American History. She teaches courses on American and African American history since the Civil War, American social history, American Jewish history, American immigration history, the 1960s, Reconstruction, and a research seminar called History in the Archives. Several of her courses serve as electives for the American Ethnic Studies program.

Her research centers on the history of American immigrant and ethnic communities, particularly American Jewish communities. She authored Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920 (1995) before turning her attention to the Jews in the Pacific West, with a focus on relationships between western Jews and other minority ethnic groups. Her work in this area includes chapters in the anthologies Jewish Life in the American West (2002) and California Jews (2003) and articles in such journals as American Jewish History, The History Teacher, and the Journal of American Ethnic History. She has written four monographs on Jews in the West. The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (2008), was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America's Edge, co-authored with Ava Kahn and Bill Toll, was published by the University of Washington Press in 2010. Most recently, she completed a two-volume history of Jews in Oregon: Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians 1849-1950 (2015) and The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2010 (2016).

Books — Edited and Authored

Eisenberg, Ellen. Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians, 1849-1950. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2015.

Eisenberg, Ellen. The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2010. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press & the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 2016.

Book Chapters

Eisenberg, Ellen. “Necrology: William Toll.” American Jewish History 100.3 (2016): 457-460.

Reviews and Translations

Eisenberg, Ellen. “Review of Immigrants in the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences.” Western Historical Quarterly (2016).



Ellen Eisenberg (Research and Teaching)