David Biale Portrait

Position Title
Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Jewish History



  • Ph.D., Jewish history UCLA, 1977
  • M.A., Modern European history, UC Berkeley, 1972
  • B.A., History, UC Berkeley, 1971


David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History with interests that range across the 3,000-year span of that subject.

Research Focus

Professor Biale’s research is broadly in the areas of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. He has written on the historian Gershom Scholem, as well as on themes of power, sexuality, blood and secularization in Jewish history. His current project is as director of an international team writing the first history of Hasidism.


  • Biale, D.(2018) Gershom Scholem: Master of the Kabbalah. Yale University Press
  • Biale, D & 7 co-authors (2018), Hasidism: A New History, Princeton University Press
  • Biale, D. & Miles, J. (2015) Norton Anthology of World Religions: Judaism, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Biale, D. (2010) Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought, Princeton University Press
  • Biale, D. (2008) Blood and Belief: The Circulation of a Symbol Between Jews and Christians University of California Press
  • Biale, D. (Ed.) (2002) Cultures of the Jews: A New History, Schocken Books. National Jewish Book Award
  • Biale, D. (1997) Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America, University of California Press
  • Biale, D. (1986) Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History, Schocken Books
  • Biale, D. (1979) Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History, Harvard University Press


Professor Biale teaches courses on the history of Jewish culture, the Holocaust, the history of the State of Israel and secular Jewish thinkers.


  • UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement (2011)
  • National Jewish Book Award – three times (1979, 1986 and 2002)
  • Gustav Arlt Award for Best Dissertation Turned into a Book (1979)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1999)
  • NEH Collaborative Research Grant (2011-2016)