||Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder (1922 - 1999), a historian and philosopher, was born in Leeds, Great Britain. He was educated at the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at Oxford University in England where he earned his degrees in Jewish medieval history, and at Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. In 1949 he immigrated to the newly founded State of Israel where he was active as a journalist for various newspapers and radio stations, most recently serving as the founding editor of the Dialogues newsletter that focuses on discussion between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
He collaborated with Cecil Roth on the New Standard Jewish Encyclopaedia and started to work together on the 16-volume Encyclopaedia Judaica. After Cecil Roth passed away in 1970, Wigoder became its editor directing a team of some 1,800 contributors from all over the world.
His other publications include The Encyclopaedia of the Jewish Religion, Jewish Art and Civilization, The Story of the Synagogue, and a 1994 edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica. He also edited an English concordance of the Bible and the Oxford Dictionary of Judaism.
Wigoder taught and directed the first oral history department at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, lectured on Contemporary Judaism at the University of Manchester in England, and founded and ran the Steven Spielberg Film Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
A pioneer in the field of interfaith relations and Jewish-Christian dialogue, he was the Israeli representative of the International Jewish Committee for Inter-Religious Consultations for over 20 years and became its chairman in his last years. His prodigious scholarship on interfaith relations is a leading source on the subject.
Geoffrey Wigoder was one of the founders of Beth Hatefutsoth - The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora. A few years ago Beth Hatefutsoth commissioned Wigoder to compile a compendium of Jewish personalities for the museum's databases. Unfortunately, he could not achieve this plan as he passed away on April 9, 1999 in Jerusalem.