» Dr. Jeffrey Koerber
Assistant Professor

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Department of History
Dr. Jeffrey Koerber
Office Location:
Roosevelt Hall 133
Office Hours:
T/W 11:00a-1:00p
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Bachelor of Science
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Master of Architecture
Clark University, Ph.D.
Jeff Koerber is the first Research Associate and Holocaust History Fellow to join the History Department. In addition to his focus on teaching Holocaust history courses, he contributes to the multi-faceted outreach programs of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University. Mr. Koerber is a doctoral candidate in Holocaust history at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His background is interdisciplinary: he holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and practiced historic preservation architecture in Chicago for a decade and a half. His experience with the conservation of physical spaces inspired him in the fall of 2000 to study European Holocaust memorial sites, and this journey in turn initiated new questions about the lives, cultures, and traditions of European Jews. He began graduate work under academic advisor Debórah Dwork in 2004, and has studied with the noted Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer; the historian of Polish Jewry, Samuel Kassow; and the comparative genocide scholar Barbara Harff.

As a Research Associate at Chapman University, Mr. Koerber continues work on his dissertation, "Born in the Borderlands: Jewish Youth and Their Response to Oppression and Genocide, 1933–1948," which explores and analyzes the prewar and wartime experience of young Jews living in Vitebsk in the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and Grodno in the Second Republic of Poland. He has received fellowships from Claims Conference, USC Shoah Foundation Institute, Holocaust Educational Foundation, Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and Fulbright.


  • "Menard: Development of a Nineteenth Century Prison." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 96, no. 3 (autumn 2003). Co-authored with Walter L. Brieschke.
  • "Restoration of the San Jacinto Monument." Structural Engineering International 11, no. 4 (November 2001). Co-authored with Harry J. Hunderman and Conrad Paulson.
  • "Surrealist Vision and Cold Reality: Restoration of Marc Chagall's 'Les Quatre Saisons'." APT Bulletin 29, no. 2 (1998). Co-authored with Deborah Slaton.
  • "The Pristine Plane: Plaza Paving Technology in Modern Architecture." APT Bulletin 28, no. 4 (1997). Co-authored with Larry R. Meyers, Lisa M. Puryear
Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
The Yellow Trunk: The Life of Leila Weil Hart. Co-curated with Dr. Marilyn Harran and Ms. Jessica MyLymuk, development and installation of an exhibit in the Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library based on the collection of Leila Weil Hart, a Holocaust survivor who was evacuated from Prague in May 1939 on a Kindertransport. Additional description of the exhibition is provided under Comments on Scholarly/Creative Work below.
Seven iPad digital displays outside and within the exhibit areas of the Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library. Co-curated with Dr. Marilyn Harran and Ms. Jessica MyLymuk, the digital displays incorporate historical descriptions, photographs, and videos to enhance the visitor's experience of the existing exhibits. Additional description of the project is provided under Comments on Scholarly/Creative Work below.