Jewish Collective Rights: Religious Liberty and Modern States. In progress.

Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture), 2014.

  • Russian translation forthcoming in the New Literary Observer’s Historia Rossica series.
  • Now out in 2nd edition paperback!
  • Winner, Choice 2015 Outstanding Academic Title.
  • Long List, 2015 Historia Nova Prize.
  • Finalist, 2014 National Jewish Book Award (in the category Writing Based on Archival Material).
  • Reviewed in Ab Imperio, American Historical Review, Association for Jewish Studies Review, Canadian Journal of History, Choice, Jewish Review of Books, Nationalities Papers, and Revolutionary Russia.

For the complete bibliography click here (or in pdf here).



finalist smaller








Focusing on Russian Jewry, this book traces the theory, meaning, and practice of non-territorial Jewish autonomy, from the turn of the twentieth century to the early 1920s. I describe how Jewish nationalism emerged at the same time as new ideas about the legal rights of individuals and groups, and evolved alongside similar movements for autonomy among other national minorities in the Russian and Austrian Empires.

Order on Amazon here.

Jews and Diaspora Nationalism: Writings on Jewish Peoplehood in Europe and the United States. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press (The Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought), 2012.

  • Reviewed in Association for Jewish Libraries Review, Choice, Jewish Quarterly, Jewish Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement.

An anthology of Jewish thought on spiritual, cultural, and political nationalism in the diaspora. Most essays appear in English for the first time. I point readers to the important individuals and ideas in fourteen separate chapter introductions and annotations throughout. Also includes a chapter-by-chapter Suggestions for Further Reading.

Order on Amazon here.

Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy, and the Law. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, completed and forthcoming 2018.






Between December 2014 and October 2015 Marginalia ran the “Defining Israel” forum featuring documents and essays on Israel’s parliamentary struggle over the question of whether or not to pass a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. In addition to English translations of all versions of the nation-state bill submitted to Israel’s Knesset, Marginalia also published the report issued by Professor Ruth Gavison to the then Minister of Justice, Tzipi Livni, and commentary by a dozen scholars and politicians. The Defining Israel volume brings the debate up to the current moment, with my introductory essay, new sources, and five new essays.


LARB Digital Editions no. 37, edited with Angela Roskop Erisman and Charles Halton (June 2015).

Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Reference

“The Quality of Being French v. the Quality of Being Jewish: Defining the Israelite in French Courts in Algeria and the Metropole,” in Law and History Review. Forthcoming.

“Jewish-Soviet-Ukrainian Relations during the Civil War and the Second Thoughts of a Minister for Jewish Affairs,” in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (special issue on nationality questions and the creation of the Soviet Union) vol. 17, no. 3 (2017), 339-57.

“Jewish Politics and Diplomacy,” in The Routledge Handbook of Jewish History and Historiography, edited by Dean Phillip Bell. Completed and forthcoming 2018.

“A Bridge to the East: Moses Gaster as a Romanian Folklorist,” in BÉROSE, encyclopédie en ligne sur l’histoire des savoirs ethnographiques. Paris, IIAC-LAHIC, 2015.

“Simon Dubnov,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies, edited by Naomi Seidman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. PDF or

“Diaspora, Nation, and Messiah: An Introductory Essay,” in Simon Rabinovitch ed., Jews and Diaspora Nationalism: Writings on Jewish Peoplehood in Europe and the United States. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2012, xv-xli.

“Ethnography,” in Bruce Adams ed. The Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History, vol. 10, edited by Bruce Adams. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 2011, 21-29.

“Folklore,” in Bruce Adams ed. The Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History, vol. 10, edited by Bruce Adams. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 2011, 231-39.

“Russian Jewry Goes to the Polls: An Analysis of Jewish Voting in the All-Russian Constituent Assembly Elections of 1917,” in East European Jewish Affairs vol. 39, no. 2 (August 2009), 205-225.

“Jews, Englishmen and Folklorists: The Scholarship of Joseph Jacobs and Moses Gaster,” in The ‘Jew’ in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Culture: Between the East End and East Africa, edited by Nadia Valman and Eitan Bar-Yosef. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 113-130.

“The Dawn of a New Diaspora: Simon Dubnov’s Autonomism, from St. Petersburg to Berlin,” in The Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook vol. 50 (2005): 267-288.

“Positivism, Populism and Politics: The Intellectual Foundations of Jewish Ethnography in Late Imperial Russia,” in Ab Imperio: Theory and History of Nationalism and Empire in the Post-Soviet Space no. 3 (2005): 227-256.

Journalism and Short Pieces

“Israel, the Nation State of the Jewish People? An Interview with Ruth Calderon,” in The Marginalia Review of Books (July 5, 2017).

“The Ultimate Jewish Road Novel, Set in First-century Rome, Judea and Beyond,” in Haaretz (English online) (May 16, 2016).

“A Conversation with Tzipi Livni,” in The Marginalia Review of Books (August 27, 2015).

“A Blessing on Your Head, and Other Ways to Deliver a Beating in Yiddish,” in The Marginalia Review of Books (May 28, 2015).

“Jewish and Democratic According to the Law: An Introduction to Israel’s Nation-State Bills,” in The Marginalia Review of Books (February 2, 2015).

“Don’t blame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for anti-Semitism in France,” in Haaretz (English online) (January 8, 2015). For non-registered users, PDF here.

“Defining What’s Jewish About the Jewish State: An Introduction to Ruth Gavison’s Report to the Minister of Justice,” in The Marginalia Review of Books (December 30, 2014).

“A Conversation with Sayed Kashua,” with Margaret Litvin, in The Marginalia Review of Books (November 5, 2014).

“Pakistan’s ‘Jewish’ Roots,” in Haaretz (English online) (October 1, 2013). For non-registered users, PDF here.

“Searching for the Meaning of ‘Russian,'” in The Marginalia Review of Books (July 2, 2013).

“Europeans of the Orient,” in Haaretz monthly book supplement (August 2012), 1, 4, 13.

Review of Dana Evan Kaplan, Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal, in The Times Literary Supplement (October 2, 2009), 31.

“Memory Disorder,”  in Haaretz monthly book supplement (September 2008), 10-11.

Academic Reviews

Review of Ellie R. Schainker, Confessions of the Shtetl: Converts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906, in American Historical Review 123:1 (2018): 334-35.

Review of Rebekah Klein-Pejsova, Mapping Jewish Loyalties in Interwar Slovakia, in Slavic Review 76:1 (2017), 220-21.

Review of Rotem Giladi, “A ‘Historical Commitment’? Identity and Ideology in Israel’s Attitude to the Refugee Convention 1951-4,” The International History Review 37: 4 (2015): 745-67, in H-Diplo no. 609 (April 22, 2016).

Review of Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, Lenin’s Jewish Question, in Revolutionary Russia 25:2 (2012): 223-25.

Review of Stefani Hoffman and Ezra Mendelsohn eds., The Revolution of 1905 and Russia’s Jews, in Slavonic and East European Review 89:2 (2011): 367-69.

Review of Olga Litvak, Conscription and the Search for Modern Russian Jewry, in Canadian Slavonic Papers 50:3-4 (2008): 516-17.