Jonathan Gribetz

Professor of Near Eastern Studies and the Program in Judaic Studies
Director of the Transregional Institute
Office Phone
116 Jones Hall



  • History of Palestine and Israel
  • Jewish-Arab Encounter
  • Race and Religion in the Modern Middle East
  • Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism

Jonathan Marc Gribetz is a professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and in the Program in Judaic Studies. He teaches about the history of Zionism, Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem, and religion and nationalism in the modern Middle East. He serves as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies journal, the AJS Review.

His first book, Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter (Princeton University Press, 2014), investigated the mutual perceptions of Zionists and Arabs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showing the prominent place of religious and racial categories in the ways in which these communities imagined and related to one another. Defining Neighbors was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2015. Gribetz’s second book, Reading Herzl in Beirut: The PLO Effort to Know the Enemy (Princeton University Press, 2024), analyzed the history of the Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center and its studies of Jews, Judaism, Zionism, and Israel. Gribetz was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Before joining the Princeton faculty, Gribetz was an assistant professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers University, a Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University, a Wolfe Fellow in Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, and an Amado Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gribetz earned a PhD in History from Columbia University, an MSt in Modern Jewish Studies from Oxford University, and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard University.

Gribetz advises PhD candidates in the history of modern Palestine and Israel and welcomes applications from those who seek to study any aspect of the encounter between the various communities of the Holy Land since the late 19th century.



Reading Herzl in Beirut

Reading Herzl in Beirut: The PLO Effort to Know the Enemy

Princeton University Press, 2024







Defining Neighbors

Princeton University Press, 2014






Selected Publications

Reading Herzl in Beirut: The PLO Effort to Know the Enemy (Princeton University Press, 2024)

“A Convert’s Yiddish Translation of Yeven Metsulah,” with Edward Fram, in A Jew in the Street: New Perspectives on European Jewish History, N. Sinkoff, H. Lupovitch, J. Karp, and J. Loeffler (Wayne State University Press, 2024), 29-54.

"The PLO's Defense of the Talmud," AJS Review 42:2 (2018).

“Arab-Zionist Conversations in Late Ottoman Jerusalem: Sa'id al-Husayni, Ruhi al-Khalidi, and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda,” in Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire, eds., Ordinary Jerusalem 1840-1940: Opening New Archives, Revisiting a Global City (Leiden: Brill, 2018).

“‘This Shameful Document’: Early PLO Intellectuals on the Balfour Declaration and the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence,” Journal of Levantine Studies 8:1 (2018).

"The PLO's Rabbi: Palestinian Nationalism and Reform Judaism," Jewish Quarterly Review 107:1 (2017).

“When The Zionist Idea Came to Beirut: Judaism, Christianity, and the Palestine Liberation Organization's Translation of Zionism,”  International Journal of Middle East Studies 48:2 (2016).

"Reading Mendelssohn in Late Ottoman Palestine: An Islamic Theory of Jewish Secularism," in A. Joskowicz and E. Katz, eds., Secularism  in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter (Princeton University Press, 2014).

"'To the Arab Hebrew': On Possibilities and Impossibilities," International Journal of Middle East Studies 46:3 (2014).

"'Their Blood is Eastern': Shahin Makaryus and Fin de Siècle Arab Pride in the Jewish 'Race,'" Middle Eastern Studies 49:2 (2013).

"The Question of Palestine Before the International Community, 1924: A Methodological Inquiry into the Charge of 'Bias,'" Israel Studies 17:1 (2012).

"An Arabic-Zionist Talmud: Shimon Moyal's At-Talmud," Jewish Social Studies 17:1 (2010).