Alvin Rosenfeld, a Ph.D. graduate of Brown University, has received the IU President's Medal for Excellence. Rosenfeld is the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and a professor of English in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences. He established the Borns Jewish Studies Program in 1973, making IU one of the first public institutions to offer such a program. Over the course of three decades, he helped elevate the program to one of the most successful in the world. Since its founding, the program has granted more degrees in Jewish studies than any nondenominational university in the U.S.
Rosenfeld's expertise in Holocaust literature, American Jewish literature, exile literature and contemporary antisemitism has helped shape two of Indiana University's most vibrant academic centers. IU's Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism was established in 2009 under the auspices of the Borns Program. Under his leadership, the institute has featured an active program of courses, lectures, conferences and publications on present-day manifestations of anti-Jewish animosity. In March of 2019, the institute hosted its fourth global conference on contemporary antisemitism, which featured nearly 60 scholars from 15 countries.
Rosenfeld is the author, co-author or editor of nine highly influential books, including "Thinking About the Holocaust: After Half a Century," "Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives" and "A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature." He has served on many national and international boards involved in communicating, teaching and memorializing the Holocaust and its impact. He was appointed in 2002 by U.S. President George W. Bush to the governing council of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and he served as longtime chair of the academic committee of the museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
In December of 2018, he was named a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, a Montreal-based international consortium of government officials, scholars, jurists, students and others dedicated to pursuing justice through the protection and promotion of human rights.