Richard Freund

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Richard Freund

Bertram and Gladys Aaron Professor of Jewish Studies

McMurran Hall 254
(757) 594-9196


  • Ph D in Philosophies of Judaism, The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • MA in Talmud and Rabbinics, The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • BA in Judaic Studies, Queens College


History and Religion of the Jews, Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Language and Literature, Archaeology of the Holocaust


Archaeology of the Land of Israel, Jewish Thought, Early Christianity, Archaeology of the Holocaust


Dr. Richard A. Freund is the Bertram & Gladys Aaron Professor of Jewish Studies.

Professor Freund has directed over a dozen archaeological projects in Israel, including sites associated with the beginnings of Christianity and Judaism at Nazareth, Bethsaida, and Qumran, the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition, he has directed projects in Spain (two sites), Poland (three sites), Rhodes, Greece (four sites) and Lithuania (18 locations). His work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Archaeology, Smithsonian Magazine and featured on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and Fox News and in hundreds of media outlets worldwide. His work is featured in 20 television documentaries from National Geographic, CNN, Discovery,History Channel and PBS. His most recent work in Lithuania has been chronicled in a recent NOVA episode: “Holocaust Escape Tunnel.” The program focuses on the new discoveries made in the Ponar Burial Pits and the Great Synagogue of Vilna, Lithuania. Dr. Freund is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and 12 books (written or co-edited) including Digging Through History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012; paperback 2016). His newest book Archaeology of the Holocaust: Vilna, Rhodes, and Escape Tunnels (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) is available nationwide.

  • Book, Scholarly-New
    (2019). Archaeology of the Holocaust: Rhodes, Vilna and the Escape Tunnels. Rowman and Littlefield. Pages, 271.
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