Home <Who We Are

The Director,

Dr. Steven L. Derfler


Who has used ERI programs?

Florida Gulf Coast University

The Glenridge Academy, Sarasota, FL

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, FL

Ringling College of Art and Design

Temple Beth Israel, Longboat Key, FL

Temple Emanu-el, Sarasota, FL

Jewish Congregation of Venice, FL

Collier County Library system, Naples, FL

University of Minnesota Lifelong Learning Program

Hadassah International, Naples, FL

University of St. Thomas Selim Center for Adult Education, St. Paul MN

Jay Philips Center for Interfaith Learning, University of St. Thomas/ St. John's University

Temple Beth Shalom, Sarasota FL

Sarasota County Adult and Community Education, Sarasota, FL

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, FL

Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul MN

Grand Edventures, Inc, Boca Raton, FL

Dawn Schuman Institute of Jewish Learning, Chicago IL

Agudat Achim Synagogue, Columbus, OH

Anoka Ramsey Community College, Anoka, MN

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St Paul MN

Jewish Community Center of St. Paul MN

The Newman Center, UWRF, River Falls, WI

JCRC ADL of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Mpls MN

St. Paul Area Council of Churches

Minneapolis College of Technology and Community, Mpls, MN

Elderhostel International, New Hampshire

Minnesota Humanities Commission

Temple David, Greensboro, NC

Anderson Center for the Arts, Red Wing MN

Jewish Community Club, Lakewood Ranch FL

Independent School District 622, Maplewood MN

Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Wayzata, MN

Mt. Zion Hebrew Congregation, St.Paul MN

Temple of Aaron Congregation, St. Paul MN


An international educational consultant, public speaker, archaeologist, historian, researcher, teacher and writer,Dr. Derfler has been uncoveringthe histories of Ancient Civilizations for 45 years. Tracing the development of western religions from their roots in the MiddleEast and EasternMediterranean countries, Dr. Derfler brings insight to current political and social events, bridging the past with the future to promote greater understanding between people from different faiths and walks of life.

Throughout his career, Dr. Derfler has worked aggressively to bring the community together for education and celebration of ethnic and cultural diversity. He has worked with many agencies; including the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Council of Churches, the Catholic Conference, Minnesota Islamic center, and International Bridges for Peace. Dr. Derfler has been associated with institutions both in the Midwest and Israel. International Institutions include Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology, the Israeli Antiquities Authority, The Negev Museum of Beersheva and the Arad Archaeological Center.

IN THE UPPER MIDWEST,, he recently retired from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has lectured in a wide variety of venues, including the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning Program, the N. St. Paul Adult Academy, and The Dawn Schuman Institute of Jewish Learning in Chicago.

NOW WITH A PRIMARY BASE IN SARASOTA, FL, there is collaboration with the Ringling College Liberal Arts Program, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Sarasota County Adult and Community Education Program, The Naples/Collier County Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of Time Sifters, Inc- an archaeological society in Sarasota-Manatee.

In addition to his teaching, Dr. Derfler also served as the Minnesota Area Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, the oldest human rights advocacy agency in the United States.

His commentaries can be found in such publications as the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The American Jewish World, The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee and The Ohio Chronicle. His research has been published by the Israel Exploration Journal, Tel Aviv Journal of Archaeology, Hadashot Archaologiot, 'Atiqot, the Middle East Review, The ARAM Journal of Oxford University, The University of Minnesota Press and the Edwin Mellen Press.

As part of his commitment to diversity and international awareness, Dr. Derfler directs academic study tours to Israel and Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Greece and Turkey.

A new destination, made possible by the reception of an educational license for travel, includes Cuba.

For interested parties, these journeys may also be tailored to Jewish constituencies. Please visit the Study and Travel Page for further details.

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