Michael Berenbaum is a scholar, rabbi, professor, writer and film maker, who was born in 1945, in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1967, and in 1975 received a doctorate from the University of Florida. He also attended Hebrew University, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Boston University. In 1968,he received Orthodox rabbinic ordination. He has held teaching posts at many major US universities.
Berenbaum focuses on Holocaust study and served as Deputy Director of the President's Commission into the Holocaust from 1979-1980. From 1988-1993, he was Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Director of its Holocaust Research Institute from 1993 until 1997. He played a leading role in the creation of the museum and the content of its permanent exhibits.
Berenbaum was President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation from 1997 to 1999 before taking the role of Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, located at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
Michael Berenbaum has authored and edited 18 books, and is the Executive Editor of the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica. He has also co-produced and advised on a variety of films, especially those dealing with the Holocaust.
He and his wife Melissa Patak Berenbaum have 4 children.