Born in Tel-Aviv in 1943. After completing his military service he began his studies at the Hebrew University and was awarded the B.A. (1966) and M.A. degrees (1968) summa cum laude. From 1969 through 1971 he was at Oxford University, where he wrote his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Samuel Stern and Richard Walzer (1969-1971). In 1972 he began teaching at the Hebrew University, and was promoted to senior lecturer four years later. In 1983 he was appointed associate professor and has been a full professor since 1991. He served as Head of the Institute of Asian and African Studies (1987-1989).
Prof. Kohlberg has been awarded the Rothschild Prize (2008) and the EMET Prize (2008) for his unique contribution to the study of Islam and in particular its Shii branch.