Yosef Kaplan is professor emeritus of the history of the Jewish people at the Hebrew University where he was one of the founders of the School of History and subsequently held many senior positions. He also serves as chair of the humanities division of the Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities. He has had visiting appointments at many prestigious universities.
He is the recipient of many prizes and distinctions including the Israel Prize for his work on the history of the Jewish people (2013).
He is the author of numerous publications on subjects such as medieval Jewish history, the Sephardi diaspora, and ideological ferment in the early Jewish enlightenment.