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Lehigh University's Linderman Library in the fall
Jodi Eichler-Levine professor of religion studies at Lehigh University

Jodi Eichler-Levine

Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization


Director, Berman Center for Jewish Studies

B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Ph.D. in Religion, Columbia University

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Research Areas

Additional Interests

  • Jewish Studies
  • Religions of North America
  • Gender Studies


Jodi Eichler-Levine is a professor of Religion Studies and serves as the Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization. Her work is located at the intersection of Jewish studies, religion in North America, literature, material culture, and gender studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University and a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Before coming to Lehigh, she spent eight years as a professor of Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

Professor Eichler-Levine is the author Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community (UNC Press, October 2020). Building upon three years of ethnography around the U.S., this book explores how everyday acts of creativity are a crucial part of making religious lives. Here first book, Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children’s Literature (NYU Press, 2013), was widely reviewed. In this work, she analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are traumatic ones. Her publications have appeared in American Quarterly, Shofar, and other journals and edited volumes.  Additionally, she has written for The Washington PostSalon,The RevealerKilling the Buddha The Immanent FrameAJS PerspectivesKvellerReligion DispatchesTikkunReligion in American History (where her work was also featured), and the Christian Century Then and Now blog.

As an affiliate of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Eichler-Levine’s teaching encompasses a wide range of topics, including Jewish studies, particularly in the United States context; religion and popular culture; children's literature; and religion and gender. She has held leadership roles in the Association for Jewish Studies and the American Academy of Religion.

Her next project will be a book length study of the intersections between religion and the Walt Disney Company.

When she is not wearing her professional hats, Professor Eichler-Levine enjoys running, knitting, sci-fi and fantasy series, the Boston Red Sox, and the Green Bay Packers. She lives in the Lehigh Valley with her husband and daughter. 

Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community (University of North Carolina Press, October 2020) 

Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children’s Literature 
(New York: NYU Press, April 2013). 
(Paperback release: April 2015)
Reviewed in: American Literary History Advance, American Jewish History, Catholic Library World, Children’s LiteratureChildren’s Literature Association Quarterly, Choice, The Lion and The Unicorn