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Dean P. Bell

Dean P. Bell

Spertus Institute President & CEO | Professor of Jewish History

Dean P. Bell is the 9th President and CEO of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

In addition, Dr. Bell holds a Spertus Institute faculty appointment as Professor of History. He has served on the faculty at DePaul University, Northwestern University, Hebrew Theological College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of California, Berkeley.

A leading voice for the advancement of Jewish higher education, Dr. Bell has served as President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Jewish Studies. He is a widely published author in the areas of Medieval and Early Modern Jewish history.

His current research focuses on early modern cultural responses to natural disaster and severe weather, as well as vulnerability, resilience and religious leadership.

Executive MA in Jewish Professional Studies
Jewish Studies

PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MA, University of California, Berkeley
BA, University of Chicago


  • Plague in the Early Modern World: A Documentary History
  • The Routledge Handbook of Jewish History and Historiography
  • The Bloomsbury Companion to Jewish Studies 
  • Jews in the Early Modern World 
  • Jewish Identity in Early Modern Germany: Memory, Power and Community 
  • Jews, Judaism and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany (edited by Dean P. Bell and Stephen G. Burnett) 
  • Sacred Communities: Jewish and Christian Identities in Fifteenth-Century Germany

Research Interests

Jewish Studies
Jewish Professional Studies
Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History


  • Jewish Historiography
  • History of Antisemitism
  • Jewish Studies for the Communal Professional
  • Medieval Jewish History
  • Early Modern Jewish History
  • Early Modern Responses to Natural Disaster
  • Introduction to Jewish Studies