Murray Baumgarten directs the program in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is Distinguished Professor of English & Comparative Literature. He studies the Holocaust, Urban Jewish writing and Victorian Literature, and is the founding director of the Dickens Project.

His books include City Scriptures: Modern Jewish Writing, and Understanding Philip Roth with Barbara Gottfried. He has edited The Jewish Street: Modern Urban Jewish Writing with Lee Jaffe, and Homes and Homelessness in the Victorian Imagination with H. M. Daleski; he has also written many essays on Holocaust Literature, Victorian culture and modern Jewish writing. From 1994-2006 he edited JUDAISM: A QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF JEWISH LIFE & THOUGHT, for the American Jewish Congress.

He is a founding member of the Venice Center for International Jewish Studies, and continues to work on the afterlife of the Venice Ghetto, in preparation for the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Venice Ghetto in 2016.

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