Manfred Gerstenfeld, Pioneer of Contemporary Antisemitism Scholarship, Dies in Israel Aged 84

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, who passed away on Feb. 25, 2021, speaking at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Israel. Photo: courtesy of JCPA.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, one of the world’s leading experts on global antisemitism, passed away in Israel on Thursday at the age of 84.

The author of numerous scholarly articles, books and op-eds, Gerstenfeld was buried at a ceremony in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon.

Gerstenfeld distinguished himself as a scholar and analyst of post-Holocaust antisemitism, a subject area that brought him into contact with the mutations of antisemitism in a range of different contexts — from university campuses to international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations.

Shortly after he was born in Vienna in 1937, Gerstenfeld’s family escaped the Nazi annexation of Austria for The Netherlands. Gerstenfeld grew up in Amsterdam, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Amsterdam University. He moved to Israel in 1968, serving with the IDF and establishing himself as a successful business consultant.

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February 25, 2021 6:03 pm

In a life dedicated to serving the Jewish people, Gerstenfeld was the recipient of several awards and honors. From 2000-2012, he served as emeritus chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), one of Israel’s most respected think-tanks.

He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism in 2012, and the International Leadership Award by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in 2015. In 2019, Gerstenfeld received the International Lion of Judah Award from the Canadian Institute of Jewish Research, in recognition of his status as the leading international scholar on contemporary antisemitism.

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