About Michael Berenbaum - Page 2

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In film, his work as Co-Producer of One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissman Klein Story was recognized with an Academy Award, an Emmy Award and the Cable Ace Award. He was the historical consultant on The Shoah Foundation’s Documentary, The Last Days that won an Academy Award for the best feature-length documentary of 1998.

Over the past several years, Berenbaum was a historical consultant or chief historical consultant for

  • HBO’s Conspiracy, recently nominated for 10 Emmy awards,
  • NBC’s Uprising
  • The History Channel’s The Holocaust: The Untold Story, which won the CINE Golden Eagle Award and a Silver Medal at the US International Film and Video Festival.
  • About Face, a film on German Jewish refugees who fought for the Allies During World War II

Dr. Michael Berenbaum pictureHe was the executive producer, writer, and historian for a film entitled Desperate Hours on the Holocaust in Turkey, which was broadcast on Public Television in the fall and is a consultant and interviewee on several broadcasts, most recently, Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust, which was broadcast on the BBC in England and on AMC in the United States. He was Executive Producer of Swimming in Auschwitz, the story of 6 women Holocaust survivors, which appeared on PBS in the spring of 2009. He also was the commentator for the National Geographic’s Master’s of Death and Scrapbook from Hell two documentaries, the first on the Einsatzgruppen, the Mobile Killing Units, and the second on the Auschwitz album of the perpetrators.

For his work in journalism, he won the Simon Rockower Memorial Award of the American Jewish Press Association three times in three different categories during a two-year period. He has been featured on Nightline and the Today Show as well as National Public Television.

Berenbaum takes special pleasure in his work as a teacher. His course at Georgetown was named by the student newspaper as one of the ten most important courses in the University. Among his former students was the famed American entertainer, Pearl Bailey, who wrote of Berenbaum: "The wisdom I gained from his class is priceless. He is young, aggressive, tough, wise as some sages of yore, and as brilliant as a diamond. When class ended, you felt filled, drained, and filled again." (Pearl Bailey, Between You and Me)

Berenbaum is a graduate of Queens College (BA, 1967) and Florida State University (Ph.D., 1975), and also attended The Hebrew University, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Boston University. He has won numerous fellowships including the Danforth Fellowship, the George Wise Fellowship at Tel Aviv University, and the Charles E. Merrill Fellowship at FSU. Berenbaum was an elected fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education. He was given a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from Nazareth College in 1995 and a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from Denison University.

He is married to Melissa Patack Berenbaum, who is the Vice-President and General Manager of the Motion Picture Association of America, California Group. He is the father of four children: Ilana, a Brown University honors graduate, who was ordained as a Rabbi by the University of Judaism in May 2001 and is working on her Ph.D. in Midrash as UCLA; Lev, who graduated from Georgetown University and is a Los Angeles-based businessman; Joshua, born in December 1998; and Mira, born in May, 2000.

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