Samuel D. Gruber, Ph.D, accomplished researcher, author, curator and consultant, is
the founder and managing director of Gruber Heritage Global (GHG) - a cultural resources
consulting firm. GHG includes the Jewish Heritage Research Center (JHRC), which he has
directed since 1995, and also serves the not-for-profit International Survey of Jewish
Monuments (ISJM). Gruber Heritage Global serves as consultant and adviser to numerous
organizations, institutions, private foundations, government agencies and individuals. 

Sam has taught part-time in the Jewish Studies Program at Syracuse University since 1994.
His courses are often cross-listed by the History of Art, Religion, Architecture, History
and English (ETS) Departments and Schools. Sam has also taught at Binghamton, Colgate,
Columbia, Cornell and Temple Universities and Cazenovia and LeMoyne Colleges where he has
offered courses on medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art, architecture and urbanism;
Jewish art and architecture; Holocaust art; and the history of plastics. 

From 2010 through 2012 he was Curator of the Plastics Collection at the SU Library
Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), for which he created the content and was
design team leader for the innovative website ( and curator of
the exhibition "Just One Word: Plastics" in 2011-12. 

For more than twenty years he has been a leader in the documentation, protection,
preservation and presentation of Jewish cultural heritage sites around the world. He has
written two books about synagogue architecture; American Synagogues: A Century of
Architecture and Jewish Community (2003) and Synagogues (1999), and has contributed many
chapters, articles and conference papers to other publications. For many years he edited
the newsletter Jewish Heritage Report and since 2008 he has written a popular blog
"Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments". 

In 1990, he organized the first international conference on the preservation of historic
and cultural Jewish sites and curated an accompanying exhibition, "The Future of
Jewish Monuments". Subsequently he either chaired or served on the organizing
committees for follow-up conferences in Paris (1999), Prague (2004) and Bratislava
(2009). In April 2013 he was the keynote speaker at the conference "Managing
Immovable Jewish Heritage in Europe" held in Krakow, Poland. 

Sam served for a decade as Research Director of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation
of America's Heritage Abroad (1998-2008), for which he planned and supervised more
than a dozen major countrywide surveys of cultural heritage sites of ethnic and religious
minorities. Many of the reports he wrote and/or edited are published and have served as
the foundation for national endeavors to protect Jewish and other historic religious and
cultural sites. 

from 1988 to 1996, as founding director of the Jewish Heritage Council of the World
Monuments Fund (WMF), and subsequently as consultant to WMF, Sam planned and oversaw
historic preservation projects in over a dozen countries, including major documentation,
planning and restoration projects. Completed projects in which played a key role include
the Tempel Synagogue in Krakow, Poland; the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Hania (Crete)Greece;
and synagogues in Mad, Hungary; Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Pfaffenhoffen, France; and elsewhere. 

He has a B.A, in Medieval Studies from Princeton University (1977), and M.A, M.Phil. and
Ph.D. Degrees from Columbia University in Art History and Archeology with a
specialization in the the history of architecture. His M.A. Paper (1984) was a first-hand
analysis of Early Medieval Italian masonry techniques, he has maintained a research
interest in construction materials and technology - from field stone to plastics. 

His Ph.D. dissertation (1998) is a study of the architecture and urbanism of medieval
Todi, Italy, where among other topics he addressed what he termed the “incremental
urbanism” of medieval hill towns, which has gradually replaced previous ideas about their
“organic” development. He has published several articles about medieval urbanism and in
recent years has researched medieval Jewish settlement patterns and architecture. He
earned a certificate in surveying and measured drawing from Cornell University (1981).
Sam is a Rome Prize winner (1986-87) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome, and has
received numerous research grants and has participated in many grant-funded team

Sam has participated in many archaeological excavations in the United States, Israel and
Italy, including supervisory work at the medieval Italian monastic site of San Vincenzo
al Volturno in Molise, Italy. He is presently an adviser to many archaeological projects
in Europe and the Caribbean, about which he is writing a book. 

Gruber lives in Syracuse, NY with his wife, the art historian Professor Judith Meighan,
where they have raised their two children, who attended the Syracuse Public Schools. 

In Syracuse, Sam is past president of the Preservation Association of Central New York
(PACNY) and is active in local history and architecture efforts where he continues to
assist many local community organizations, offers popular neighborhood walking tours, and
writes the blog "My Central New York". He is PACNY's only recipient of
both the Wilma Auer Volunteer Award (2010) and the Jasena Foley Education Award (2014).
He also serves as a volunteer on boards and advisory committees of many cultural
organizations in America and abroad. 

Sam is a frequent national and international lecturer and has led intensive international
study trips in Italy, Poland and Morocco. For more information about current engagements
check his blog sites. To book a lecture, contact Sam directly. 

Jewish Art, Architecture & Cultural Heritage Sites


USA: Beachwood Ohio's Fairmount Temple is a Monument of Mid-20th-Century Jewish Design, Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments (2015)

Description and photos of history and architecture of Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio, outside Cleveland....



Latvia: Death of Pioneering Researcher Meijers Melers (Meyer Meler), Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments (2015)

A remembrance of Latvian researcher of Jewish historic and religious sites Meijers Melers.



A Look at the High Front Dome in Synagogue Architecture, Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments (2015)

Starting with the unusual form of the now-demolished Temple Beth El in New York (Brunner...



The Life of the Synagogue | From the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection (2015)

The Life of the Synagogue is a tribute to both the central role of the...



Lone Star (of David) Story: A ‘moving’ tale of a synagogue being trucked across Texas, Tablet Magazine (2014)

Discusses the move of the 1893 Orthodox B'nai Abraham synagogue in Brenham, Texas to a...


Ethnic & Religious Minority (not Jewish) Cultural Hertiage


Selected Protestant Historic Monuments and Sites in Bulgaria (2013)

Report of detailed survey of pre-Communist era buildings and sites of significance to Protestant Christian...



Selected Muslim Historic Monuments and Sites in Bulgaria, United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad (2010)

2010 report from the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad on...



Roma Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites in Poland, United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad (2009)

2009 report from the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad on...


Medieval Art, Architecture & Urbanism (not Jewish)

The New Abbey: the early medieval borgo and the twelfth-century monastery (with W. Bowden), Between Text and Territory: Survey and Excavations in the Terra of San Vincenzo al Volturno (2006)
Medieval Todi: Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (1998)

Doctoral dissertation about architecture and urbanism of Todi, a ancient-medieval hilltown in Umbria, Italy.



"Representations of Domestic Space in Medieval Italian Painting" paper delivered at The Fordham Medieval Conference: The Family in the Middle Ages (1995)

This paper, presented at a conference in 1995, presents impressions about the interior spaces of...



Ordering the Urban Environment: City Statutes and City Planning in Medieval Todi, Italy, deas of Order in the Middle Ages (Acta, 15) (1990)

Discusses the deliberate urban policies that of medieval Todi, Italy that helped create a functioning...



Urbanism, Western Medieval, Scribner's Dictionary of the Middle Ages (1990)

Survey of the architectural aspects of medieval urbanism in Western Europe.


Syracuse & Central New York History and Architecture


City of Syracuse Historic Resources Survey: Washington Square Neighborhood, Volume 1 (with Bruce G. Harvey Dr.) (2013)

Historical overview and map analysis of the Washington Square Neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, originally...



City of Syracuse Historic Resources Survey: Washington Square Neighborhood, Volume 2: Survey Forms (with Bruce G. Harvey Dr.) (2013)

Historical overview and map analysis of the Washington Square Neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, originally...



Video interview: "Why Save Urban Churches?", (2013)

Video interview by Tim Knauss with Sam Gruber about the plight of historic churches in...



The Role of Neighborhood Theaters, Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY) (2003)


Underground Railroad, Underpublicized Hero, in (Syracuse) Post-Standard (2002)

Lead article in Sunday Opinion Section re 19th century Abolitionist Rev. Jermaine Loguen




Just One Word: Plastics, 16 pp illustrated essay in conjunction with exhibition (2011)

Introduction to an exhibition (Sept 2011-Jan 2012) of highlights from the Plastics Collection at the...


Public Art, Monuments & Memory


Preliminary Survey of Sites Associated with the Lives and Deeds of Foreign-born Heroes of the American Revolution, United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad (2002)

2002 report from the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad on...


Contemporary Art


Video presentation: Sam Gruber talks about Shirley Moskowitz (2007)

Samuel Gruber speaks about his mother, the artist Shirley Moskowitz, at the opening of an...



A 94-Foot Retelling of Jewish History, The Jewish Daily Forward (2007)

Review of retrospective exhibition of renowned Jewish and feminist art Ruth Weisberg at the Skirball...



At Syracuse University, Undulating Walls Commemorate Vanishing Barriers, The Jewish Daily Forward (2004)

A discussion about the art and symbolism of a new Sol Lewitt sculpture at Syracuse...



Shirley Moskowitz at Seventy-Five, exhibition catalogue essay in Shirley Moskowitz: a Half Century of Art (January 19-February 9, 1996) (1996)

Essay about the life and art of Shirley Moskowitz for catalog of retrospective exhibit.




Mapping Jews: Cartography and Topography in Rome's Ghetto, Giambattista Nolli and Rome: Mapping the City before and after the Pianta Grande (2013)

This paper examines how the Ghetto of Rome was represented in the many view-plans and...