Carnegie Mellon University

Barbara Burstin

Barbara Burstin

Adjunct Instructor


Barbara Burstin is a respected Holocaust and Jewish studies scholar whose works include “After the Holocaust: The Migration of Polish Jews and Christians to Pittsburgh” published in 1989. She has written three books on the history of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. They are Steel City Jews 1840-1915, Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War, 1915- 1950, and Jewish Pittsburgh, part of the Images of America series. She produced a documentary film “A Jewish Legacy: Pittsburgh,” that she wrote and produced in 2001. At the current time she is working on a film entitled “The Jewish Hill” and is writing a biography of Sophie Masloff, the first female mayor of Pittsburgh from 1988 through 1993. She has been a popular speaker in the community and has offered a number of classes in the CMU and Pitt Osher program. She has been chair of the Pittsburgh Jewish Federation, the Hillel-JUC, the Holocaust Commission and the local chapter of the American Jewish Committee. She served on the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission and has won numerous awards for her community service. She has taught The Holocaust in Historical Perspective at CMU and The History of Pittsburgh, Blacks and Jews, and Pride and Prejudice in American History at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently she is teaching at Pitt- The U.S. and the Holocaust and the American Jewish Experience.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Vassar College, a master’s in history education from Columbia University and a doctorate in history from the University of Pittsburgh.


Ph.D.: University of Pittsburgh, 1986

Courses Taught

  • Jewish American Experience
  • The Holocaust in Historical Perspective
  • Jews, Anti-Semitism, and the American Immigration/Refugee Experience

Department Member Since: 1986