Jewish historian who’s not Jewish to lead Center for Holocaust Education

tags: Tim Crain



Tim Crain’s career as a historian of Judaism began in a Roman Catholic grade school. It was there that Mr. Crain, who was raised in an Irish Catholic family, first learned about the Holocaust—and was perplexed. "To me, it really didn’t make any sense that something like this could happen," he says. "It made zero sense at all."

That experience, which began a career spent studying the intersection of Jewish and Christian history, is a fitting prelude to his being named director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University, in Pennsylvania. Mr. Crain, 49, assumed his post last month. He had conducted an outreach program in Milwaukee’s Jewish community for 15 years, while working as an adjunct at Marquette University and the Universities of Wisconsin at Madison and at Milwaukee.

Mr. Crain earned a Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 1998 with specializations in modern Jewish, modern European, and modern Middle Eastern history. Before entering the field professionally, he says, he was nervous about whether he would be accepted "as a Jewish historian who’s not Jewish." He found that he was welcomed...




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