Research Fellows

Joel Rappel, PhD

Project Manager, Elie Wiesel Archive
Visiting Scholar, EWCJS

Email Dr. Rappel

Dr. Joel Rappel received his Ph.D from Boston University, having specialized in Jewish History and Rabbinic Literature. He grew up in Israel where he lived most of his life and where he also worked for 40 years as a journalist and senior program editor at the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Israel’s main radio channel (being credited with over 7000 radio programs). Before coming to BU he also taught at Bet Berl College, the Avshalom Institute for Israel Studies and served as content manager at the Center for Jewish Identity in Bar Ilan University.

Dr. Rappel has published 29 books (which have, in total, been translated into 8 languages) and edited more than 80 (most of them academic) as well as numerous articles, primarily in the fields of Israeli history and the history of the Jewish Prayer Book (Siddur). His main focus is the connection between historical and current Jewish history and the evolution of the Jewish Prayer book.

Dr. Rappel is the editor of the Hebrew editions of Prof. Elie Wiesel’s books.

Peter Hermann

Visiting Scholar, EWCJS

Mr. Hermann is currently working on a book exploring the role of a small group of American, Diaspora Jews in the arming of the Yishuv between 1945-1949. David Ben-Gurion charged this clandestine effort, known as the Sonneborn Institute, with funding, purchasing and transporting the arms, ships, planes and related weapons of war required by the Yishuv in order to, ultimately, establish the State of Israel. Mr. Hermann has assembled thousands of pages of primary documents, many never before uncovered. He has carried out research in archives across the US and will be traveling to Israel in the autumn to complete the archival research at the IDF, Haganah and Central Zionist Archives.

Prior to returning to the realm of academia, Mr. Hermann spent 30 years in the business world. He was a co-founder of the private equity firm, Heritage Partners, Inc. and helped lead the organization from its inception in 1994 until 2009. At its height, Heritage Partners had nearly $1.5 billion in assets under management.