Joshua B Stein

February 27, 1944September 8, 2012

STEIN, JOSHUA B., beloved husband of Penney (Taubman), devoted father of Daniel and daughter-in-law Suzanne, Jeremy and daughter-in-law Amanda, and Samuel and daughter-in-law Sarah, loving brother of Michael, died peacefully at home on September 8, 2012, after battling prostate cancer for 18 years.   Son of Dr. Joseph and Sylvia (Tancer) Stein, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and was a devoted fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and earned a Ph.D in history from St. Louis University and an MA in Religious Studies from Brown University.  He began graduate school with an interest in medieval history, but eventually concentrated in modern Europe, writing his dissertation on Britain and the Jews of Germany, 1933-1939.  He taught in the History Department at Roger Williams University for 43 years, specializing in Western Civilization, modern European, ancient and medieval history, religion and the history of religion.  He later developed an interest in the US Constitution and American democracy.  He was a gifted and devoted teacher who communicated his knowledge and erudition through compelling stories and narratives, inspiring students to “shout across time”— receiving messages and lessons from the past and always looking forward toward the future.   At Roger Williams University Stein established the Alpha Chi Honors Society and served as its faculty advisor for six years.  In 1994 he created the RWU Honors Program and served as its faculty director until 2000.  He also served as President of the Faculty Senate, chair of the History Department and Faculty Advisor of Hillel.  In the Rhode Island community, Joshua Stein was known for his column in the Jewish Voice and Herald, “From the Old Olivetti,” which he wrote from 2006 to 2012.  His weekly Shabbatshalomagram, an email digest of his thoughts, stories and activities, was a highlight for his more than 300 readers for over a decade.   Joshua B. Stein was the author of seven books:  Claude G. Montefiore on the Ancient Rabbis; Lieber Freund:  Letters of Montefiore to Schechter; Our Great Solicitor; Fields of Summer; Shout Across Time: The Joy of History; Commentary on the Constitution from Plato to Rousseau; Religion and the State: Europe and North America in the 17th and 18th Centuries; and many scholarly articles and papers.    His wit, humor, love of history, zest for life, and dedication to teaching and scholarship will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues and students.   Funeral Services will be held TODAY, Monday September 10th at 10:00 AM in Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence with burial in Swan Point Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Roger Williams University, JCDS of RI or Temple Emanu-El.  Shiva will be observed at his late residence. 


  • Funeral Service Monday, September 10, 2012

Joshua B Stein

have a memory or condolence to add?

Suzanne Ryan

April 14, 2013

A wonderful man and great professor. Always an inspiration to me. Suzanne Ryan, Oceanside, CA

James Razin

February 6, 2013

I just became aware of Dr. Stein's passing. I owe a lot of my life to him. That first accepted students day at RWU, I listen to his lecture on how the Declaration of Independence was a British document and his energy made me decide to attend RWU. My degree, my friends, and my future had and have been shaped from his influence. My senior year, I was lucky enough to do an Independent Study and spend my Spring Break in Paris with him. It was one of the most experiences that I have had.

My deepest condolences to his family. He will be missed.

RWU Class of 2010.

Kevin Lisinski

January 18, 2013

An amazing man and inspiriation

Robert Bromley

November 9, 2012

With great sadness I came across his passing. Dr. Stein was great professor of mine that I always admired for his wit and style of teaching a course. I will always rember him.

Robert C. Bromley, Class of 1982

Elaine Carlos

November 3, 2012

Dr Stein had a true gift in imparting an in-depth knowledge of European History. After many years....his course is the one that I appreciated the most.

George Mattis

October 30, 2012

Dr. Stein was one of my favorite teachers at RWC. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with his family. George Mattis (RWC class of 1976) Coordinator of LS (Wytheville VA)


September 17, 2012

He was blessed the the gift of story telling and through this gift he taught those who were willing to learn. I am blessed to have had him as a mentor in the class room. Aeschylus once said: "There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief". Thank you Professor Stein. -Chris, Student.

September 16, 2012

Penny and family:
My sincere condolences. May your memories of Josh provide you comfort and solace during this time.

Karen Shlevin Fink and family

September 12, 2012

Dear Penney,
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope all the years you spent with him and the beautiful memories you have will give you strength and joy.
Jane Revkin


September 12, 2012

Dr. Stein was one of the most knowledgeable and enjoyable prof that I had during my time at RWU. I and all his students are better people for knowing him. His love for teaching and history was contagious and he strived to make you do better than even you though possible. RWU lost a great legend, friend and educator with Josh's passing.
class of 2010