Berkowitz, Joel

Foreign Languages & Literature


  • PhD, Theatre, City University of New York Graduate Center, 1995
  • MA, Theatre, Hunter College, 1991
  • BA, cum laude, English, University of Pennsylvania

Joel Berkowitz is Director of the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A historian of the Yiddish theatre and translator of Yiddish drama, he is the author of Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage, editor of Yiddish Theatre: New Approaches, and co-editor of Landmark Yiddish Plays: A Critical Anthology and Inventing the Modern Yiddish Stage. He is the co-founder of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project (, a research group applying Digital Humanities methods and tools to the study and preservation of Yiddish theatre.

Professor Berkowitz is currently working on two solo projects: a study of how Yiddish playwrights responded to the Holocaust and its aftermath in the years immediately following World War II, and an anthology of English translations of one-act Yiddish plays.

Research Interests

Yiddish theatre and drama, Jewish theatre and performance, modern Jewish fiction
About the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project, Jewish Studies website
Digital Yiddish Theatre Project website

Teaching Interests

Jewish literature in various genres; Yiddish literature, theatre, and culture; modern Jewish history

Other Relevant Activities

Director, Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, UWM

Selected Publications

Berkowitz, Joel B. “The Many Languages of Yiddish Drama.” Changing The Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theater Studies, 1959-2009. Ed. Roach, Joseph. University of Michigan Press, (2009): 238-60.
Berkowitz, Joel B., and Dauber, Jeremy, eds. Landmark Yiddish Plays: A Critical Anthology. SUNY Press, 2006.
Berkowitz, Joel B. “Yiddish Theater.” Encyclopedia Judaica 19.2nd ed. (2006): 677-85.
Berkowitz, Joel B. Yiddish Theatre: New Approaches. Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003.
Berkowitz, Joel B. Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage. University of Iowa Press, 2002.