Shaul's blog posts

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Elie Wiesel Goes to Moscow: On the (In)visibility of Systemic Antisemitism

Vanderbilt Law School, Dean’s Lecture Series on Race and Discrimination April 3, 2023 Two decades after he was liberated from Auschwitz, and two decades before he won the Nobel Peace Price, Elie Wiesel visited the USSR to report back on the plight of Soviet Jews. His 1966 travelogue, The Jews of Silence, became the galvanizing…

Posted by on April 3, 2023 in Lectures and Podcasts, , ,

Jewish Studies Covid-Compliant Klezmer Concert

Special live music returns to campus with COVID protocol-compliant performance

Students and faculty from Vanderbilt Blair School of Music and a Jewish studies class hosted a COVID protocol-compliant live music performance on April 8. Full story and video here.

Posted by on April 12, 2021 in In the News, Media, , ,

Cover Image, "Tourism and Travel During the Cold War"

Foreign Tourists, Domestic Encounters: Human Rights Travel to Soviet Jewish Homes

2020. In Sune Bechmann Pedersen and Christian Noack, eds. Tourism and Travel during the Cold War: Negotiating Tourist Experiences across the Iron Curtain, London: Routledge. Circumventing the Soviet government’s travel bureau, Western organizations working for Soviet Jewish emigration rights collaborated with Jewish activists in the USSR to create an alternative tourist track that regularly opened…

Posted by on December 23, 2019 in Articles, Research, , ,

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À la rencontre des juifs de l’autre côté du rideau de fer : récits de voyage de juifs américains et représentation du judaïsme en Union soviétique

2019. “Encountering Jews on the other Side of the Iron Curtain: American Jewish Travel Writing and the Representation of Judaism in the Soviet Union”, in Andreas Nijenhuis-Bescher, Susanne Berthier-Foglar, Gilles Bertrand and Frédéric Meyer, eds., Frontières et altérité religieuse : La religion dans le récit de voyage [Boundaries and Religious Otherness : Religion in Travel Writing]….

Posted by on December 22, 2019 in Articles, Research, ,


Where is the Next Soviet Jewry Movement? How Identity Education Forgot the Lessons that Jewish Activism Taught

2019. In Jon Levisohn and Ari Y. Kelman, eds., Beyond Jewish Identity: Rethinking Concepts and Imagining Alternatives. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press. Pp. 193-215.

Posted by on November 23, 2019 in Articles, Research, ,


The American Soviet Jewry Movement’s ‘Uneventful’ 1968: Cold War Liberalism, Human Interest and the Politics of the Long Haul

2018. In American Jewish History 102(1), 5-35. How did the American campaign for Soviet Jews, a movement born in and of the 1960s, manage to pass the tumultuous 1968 in relative quiet? And what does this reveal about the movement itself, its relationship to the politics of the New Left, and the relationship between internal…

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Articles, Research, ,


Veneration and Critique: Israel, the Sociology of American Judaism and the Problematics of Sovereignty

2016. In Jewish Studies Quarterly 23, 194–221. Both the erosion of state sovereignty and the conceptual reassessments that have emerged in response to this erosion provide the context for this consideration of American Jewish religious engagement with the State of Israel. Theorizations of sovereignty can be helpful for thinking about the relationship between American Judaism…

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Articles, Research, , , ,

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American Jewish Sociology

2014. In Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies. Ed. David Biale. New York: Oxford University Press. This online annotated bibliography with hundreds of references surveys the broad scope of research in the sociology of American Jews. Chapter headings: Introduction General Overviews Critical Histories of the Field Readers Journals and Book Series Research Centers, Archives, and Repositories…

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Articles, Research, ,

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Forgotten Lessons of Jewish Activism: How American Jews Mobilized to Fight for Human Rights in the USSR (and Saved American Jewry in the Process)

A lecture delivered  to the Center for Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Youngstown State University in October 2017.

Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Lectures and Podcasts, ,

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Drink Prey Lust

Wexner Foundation Blog, March 15, 2016. Purim is a festival of inversion, a time when the lowly are honored, the esteemed are mocked, the serious is parodied, and the forbidden is — for a moment — permissible.  By turning things upside down for a day, Purim reaffirms what right-side-up should look like. It is only…

Posted by on March 15, 2016 in Media, , ,