Benjamin Halpern joined the Brandeis University Faculty in 1960 and in 1971 became the Richard Koret Professor of Judaica for the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department. Trained at the Boston Hebrew Teachers College and Harvard College as an undergraduate, Halpern continued at Harvard to earn his doctorate in sociology, history, and philosophy. Until his retirement in 1980, Halpern taught courses such as Contemporary Hebrew Literature and the History of Modern Palestine. During his tenure at Brandeis, Halpern sat on the Faculty Senate and the Advisory Planning Committee, and chaired the Humanities Council. In addition to a twenty year career at Brandeis, Halpern taught at Tel-Aviv University and Wellesley College as a visiting professor. He passed away in 1990.
Intimately connected with the Zionist movement, Halpern's professional activities included editorial positions with Jewish Frontier and Midstream, as well as membership on academic boards such as the American Association for the Sociological Study of the Jews. Halpern's published works include "The Idea of the Jewish State,"(1961) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press) and "Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, & American Zionism" (1987) (New York: Oxford University Press).