Fred Rosenbaum, the Founding Director Emeritus of Lehrhaus Judaica, now HaMaqom | The Place, led the organization for 44 years until 2017. He has written eight books on modern Jewish history including Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of the Bay Area (University of California Press, 2009). According to Kevin Starr, “no single community has contributed comparably to the rise and development of this region—and no book tells this story better than Fred Rosenbaum’s.”
His book Taking Risks (with Joseph Pell) was praised by Michael Krasny as “especially compelling,” and his Out on a Ledge (with Eva Libitzky), an Amazon bestseller, was deemed “honest and piercing, unsentimental and yet deeply moving,” by Michael Berenbaum, Founding Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Rosenbaum’s work has been translated into a dozen foreign languages.
Among many honors, he won the Anne and Robert Cowan Lifetime Achievement award for outstanding writing on Jewish themes by a Bay Area author and was the first educator from Northern California to receive the Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators from the Covenant Foundation in New York. He has taught at several Bay Area universities including the Graduate Theological Union, lectured widely in the United States and abroad, and has been the traveling scholar on numerous HAMAQOM study tours to Eastern and Western Europe, Israel and the Middle East, South America, and Cuba, the American South, and his native New York.