Specialist in Jewish History and Thought. A native of northern Ontario, Canada, currently serving as Dean of Touro College in Brooklyn, New York.
Dean, Lander College of Arts and Sciences, Touro College, Brooklyn NY, 2015-present.
- Chief Academic Officer of flagship campus with all attendant duties. Special university-wide projects include supervision of creation of automated Transfer Credit approvals, Faculty Load and Compensation module. Co-chair of Faculty Development and Evaluation task force, member of Faculty Renewal Committee, Presidential Research Awards Committee.
- Effective September 2018, named Dean and Chief Academic Officer of Machon L’Parnasa Institute for Professional Studies at Touro College. Responsibilities include work with College architect and construction teams in design and construction of new campus, overhaul of existing Associates Degree programs, creation of vocation-oriented academic programming.
- Developed first continuing education program at the College, with live weekly lectures and broad online following. Lectures are free and open to the community; $15,000 in online micro-donations have been raised from the series for student scholarships. Major outreach through YouTube channel and other platforms (YouTube statistics November 2018: 15,000 subscribers, 1.9m total views, 2.5K viewers daily in 156 countries, average watch time 15 minutes).
Historian in Residence, Kosher Riverboat Cruises, 2018-present.
- Douro River (Spain-Portugal, August 2018), Danube River (Hungary-Slovakia-Austria-Germany, October 2018), Po River (Italy, scheduled for July 2019), Rhone River (France, scheduled for November 2019).
Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services, Touro College South, Miami Beach FL, 2006-2015.
- Founding Chief Academic Officer of branch campus of Touro College, with all attendant duties. Supervised licensure and accreditation applications.
University Library Scholar of Judaica and Associate Professor History and Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2002-2006 (Assistant Professor from 1996-2002).
- Initiated annual Kultur Festival of Yiddish Culture, major interdisciplinary university-wide event now continuing into its second decade.
Fellow, Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford University, Oxford UK, 2003.
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.
Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, 2002.
Slovin/YIVO Visiting Assistant Professor of Eastern European Jewish Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 1995-1996.
Visiting Scholar, Center for Research and Documentation of East European Jewry, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel 1993-1994.
Ray D. Wolfe Fellow for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1992-1993.
Doctor of Philosophy (History), University of Toronto, 1995.
Diploma in Interdisciplinary Ukrainian Studies, Kiev State University, Kiev, Ukraine, 1990.
Master of Arts (History), University of Toronto, 1990, Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), University of Toronto, 1989.
Research and Other Creative Activity (Selected)
A Prayer for the Government: Jews and Ukrainians in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies, Ukrainian Research Institute/Harvard Judaic Texts and Studies, Center for Judaic Studies), 1999. Ukrainian translation published in 2017 by Dukh i Litera as Молитва за владу Українці та євреї в революцїну добу (1917-1920) (Kyiv, Ukraine). Updated and revised edition published by Sam Sapozhnik Publishers in 2018.
The Kabbalah of Forgiveness: The Thirteen Levels of Mercy in Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s Palm Tree of Devorah (Torah Devorah) Brooklyn, NY: Sam Sapozhnik Publishers, 2014. Spanish translation published in 2018 by Perspectivas as Imitando a D-os: Análisis de los 13 niveles de compasión del Tomer Devora de Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
Maimonides on Teshuvah: A New Translation and Commentary Brooklyn, NY: Sam Sapozhnik Publishers, 2018 (6th edition).
Torah from the Years of Wrath: The Historical Context of the Esh Kodesh, 1939-1943 Brooklyn, NY: Sam Sapozhnik Publishers, 2017.
Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning, Jerusalem, Israel: Feldheim Publishers, 2006. Updated version published by Createspace in 2012.
The Sea of Talmud: A Brief and Personal Introduction Createspace, 2012.
The Art of Hatred: Images of Intolerance in Florida Culture Miami Beach: Jewish Museum of Florida/Florida International University, 2001. Catalog to accompany exhibit of same name.
ספר בני הנביאים: התחלת חסידות פיאסצ׳נא English title: The Children of the Prophets: A New Commentary on Three Essays by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira (the Aish Kodesh), forthcoming.
The Fatal Conflict: Judea and Rome, 2018, directed by Nik Wansbrough, produced by Veronica Fury, Wildbear Entertainment. Scholarly commentary.
One of the Last, 2007, directed and produced by Ed Kucerak, Kublacom Pictures, 50 min. Scholarly commentary.
The Lost Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe, 1999, directed by Carl Hersh, produced by Albert Barry and Florida Atlantic University Libraries, 50 min. Academic Advisor, scholarly commentary. Released in English, Hebrew and Yiddish versions.
“Living with the Times:” Historical Context in the Wartime Writings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira,” in Rabbi Kalonymus Shapira: Literature, God, and Death, ed. Daniel Reiser et al., forthcoming.
“Two Jews, Three Opinions: Politics in the Shtetl at the Turn of the 20th Century,” The Shtetl: New Evaluations, Ed. Steven Katz, New York: New York University Press, 2007, 85-101.
“Deciphering the Ancestral Paradigm: A Hasidic Court in the Warsaw Ghetto,” Ghettos 1939-1945: New Research and Perspectives on Definition, Daily Life, and Survival, Ed. Paul A Shapiro, Washington DC: Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Museum, 2005, 129-146. Audio recording of formal presentation available at link above.
“A Double Occlusion: Sephardim and the Holocaust,” Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times, ed. Zion Zohar, New York: New York University Press, 2005, 285-299.
“‘This is the Way it Was!’ Textual and Iconograpic Images of Jews in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Press of Distrikt Galizien,” Why Didn’t the Press Shout? Journalism and the Holocaust, Ed. Robert Moses Shapiro, New York: Yeshiva University Press, 2003, 537-556.
“Metaphysical Nationality in the Warsaw Ghetto: Poles and Other Non-Jews in the Wartime Writings of Rabbi Kalonimus Kalmish Shapiro,” Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and Its Aftermath, Ed. Joshua Zimmerman, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003, 158-169.
“Foreword to the Turei Zahav of Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi (Volodymyr 1586 L’viv 1667)” in Ukraine: Developing a Democratic Polity, Essays in Honour of Peter J. Potichnyj, ed. Stefania Szlek Miller, Edmonton: CIUS, 1996, 97-108. [Also published as journal article, listed below]
“Shouldering the Burdens of History: Aspects of the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter since Independence,” Society in Transition: Social Change in Ukraine in Western Perspectives, ed. Wsevolod Isajiw, Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2003, 203-212.
“The End of Intimate Insularity: New Narratives of Jewish History in the Post-Soviet Era,” Construction and Deconstruction of National Identities in Post-Soviet Eurasia, ed. Tadayuki Hayashi, Sapporo: Hokkaido University, 2003, 87-115.
“Circumcision: Visual Arts,” Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011)
“Ukraine,” The YIVO Encyclopedia of the Jews of Eastern Europe ed. Gershon David Hundert, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008, 2:1930-1937.
“Well – yes, a new Synthesis! A Response to Mr. Fisher,” Revolutionary Russia 16:2 (London, 2003), 94-100. Editor-solicited response to Lars Fisher’s review article, “The pogromshchina and the Directory: A new historiographical synthesis?” published in same issue.
“Nachrichten aus Lemberg: Lokale Elemente in der antisemitischen Ikonographie der NS-Propaganda in ukrainischer Sprache,” in Grenzenlose Vorurteile: Antisemitismus, Nationalismus und ethnische Konflikte in verschiedenen Kulturen, Series; Jahrbuch des Fritz Bauer Institut, Band 6, Eds. Irmtrud Wojak and Susanne Meinl, Frankfurt am Main: Fritz Bauer Institut, 2002, 249-267.
“Studying the Talmud: 400 Repetitions and the Divine Voice,” Thought and Action 27:1 (Spring 2001), 9-18. Winner of the Excellence in the Academy Award for 2001 in the category of The Art of Teaching, see Teaching Awards below.
“Just Different: The Last Jewish Family of Ansonville, Ontario,” Canadian Jewish Studies: Etudes Juives Canadiennes 9 (2001), 155-169.
“The Esh Kodesh of Rabbi Kalonimus Kalmish Shapiro: An Unique Treatise on Communal Trauma among Hasidim in the Holocaust,” Transcultural Psychiatry 37:3 (Montreal, 2000), 321-335.
“The Prince in Captivity: Reading Hasidic Discourses from the Warsaw Ghetto as Sources for Social and Intellectual History,” Journal of Genocide Research 1:2 (London, 1999), 213-225.
“Life Imitates Art Imitates Life: The Famine, the Holocaust, and Australia’s Darville/Demidenko Affair,”The Ukrainian Quarterly 50:4 (New York, 1997), 353-365.
“A Ready Hatred: Depictions of the Jewish Woman in Medieval Antisemitic Art and Caricature,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 62 (Jerusalem and New York, 1996) 1-18.
“Foreword to the Turei Zahav of Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi (Volodymyr 1586 L’viv 1667),” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 21:1/2 (Toronto, 1996), 97-108. [Also published as book chapter, listed above]
“The Scattering of Amalek: A Model for Understanding the Ukrainian-Jewish Conflict,” East European Jewish Affairs 24:1 (London, 1994), 39-47.
“Collective Memory and Collective Identity: Jews and the Rusyns During the Holocaust,” Carpatho-Rusyn American 17:3 (New York, 1994).
“Electronic Mail for the Technologically Timid,” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Newsletter 33:2 (Stanford, 1993), 21.
“Jewish Representation in the Independent Ukrainian Governments of 1917-1920,” Slavic Review 50:3 (Stanford, 1991), 542-550.
“Metropolitan Sheptyts’kyi’s Hebrew Correspondence, 1903,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 15:1/2 (Cambridge, 1991), 172-176.
“Historiography on the Jews and the Ukrainian Revolution,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 15:2 (Edmonton, 1990), 33-46.
Encyclopedia of Ukraine, 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988-1993: “Nakhman of Bratslav,” 3:527; ”Schechtman, Joseph,” 4:551; ”Tcherikower, Elias,” 5:180; ”Yiddish,” 5:773774; ”Zionism,” 5:867868.
”The Jew in History,” Nishma 8 (New York, Toronto), August 1991.
Conference Papers: Invited
Discussant, “The Jewish and Russian Question in Imperial and Civil War Ukraine,” Association for the Studies of Nationalities Conference, Columbia University, April 2013.
“Gam zeh ya’avor: Normalizing National Narratives between Ukrainians and Jews in the 21st Century,” Association for the Study of Nationalities Conference, Columbia University, April 2010.
“The Petliura Question,” Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Initiative: Shared Historical Narratives, Ditchley Park, Oxford, UK, December 2009.
“Rabbis, Rebbes, and the Crisis of Jewish Narratives at the Turn of the 20th Century,” Touro College Graduate School of Jewish Studies/YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, New York City, March 2008.
“Khmel’nyts’kyi, Petliura, Bandera – Jewish Perceptions of Paradigmatic Ukrainian Leadership and National Liberation,” Facing Catastrophe: Jews and Non-Jews in the Ukraine During the Holocaust, Tkuma Institute, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, October 2003.
“The End of Intimate Insularity: New Narratives of Jewish History in the Post-Soviet Era,” conference on Construction and Deconstruction of National Identities in Post-Soviet Eurasia, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, July 2002.
“The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Ukraine,” conference on The Aftermath of the Shoah, Arizona State University, February 2002.
“Maase avos siman le-banim: Weekly bible readings as spiritual resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, November 2001.
“Ukrainians? In Anatevka? Shtetl Jews Discover the Ukrainians,” The Shtetl: New Evaluations of its History and Character,” Boston University, November 2001.
“A Derivative Hatred: Representations of Jewish Women in Modern Antisemitic Caricature,” Klutznick-Harris Symposium on Women and Judaism, Creighton University, October 2001.
“Four Hundred Repetitions and the Divine Voice: Talmudic Pedagogy and the University Setting,” National Education Association Annual Conference, San Diego, March 2001.
“Shouldering the Burdens of History: The Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter since Independence,” Problems of Development of Ukraine Since Independence: A View from Canada, University of Toronto, November 1999.
“Response” at “Ukrainians and Jews in Revolution and Civil War: A Critical Assessment of Henry Abramson’s A Prayer for the Government,” Papers presented by Professors Taras Hunczak (Rutgers), Eric Lohr (Harvard), Richard Pipes (Harvard), and Antony Polonsky (Brandeis) Center for European Studies, Harvard University, October 1999.
Scholarly Lectures: Invited (Selection)
“Ukrainians and Jews Since HURI,” Ukraine and the World, Harvard University, May 11, 2018.
“Should We Tear Down Statues of Khmel’nyts’kyi and Petliura?” The 100th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution and the Proclamation of Ukraine’s Independence,” The Ukrainian Institute, New York, January 21, 2018.
“Lighting the Lantern,” American Ideas Workshop, Tikvah Foundation, Glen Cove, NY, May 2015.
“The Talmud, the Internet, and the New Jewish Curriculum: Implications of the Information Age for the People of the Book,” JESNA Board Meeting Keynote Address, Boca Raton, February 2008.
“Singer in the Shtetl, the Shtetl in Singer,” University of Central Florida, October 2004.
“The Wartime Writings of the Piaseczno Rebbe,” St Edmund College, Oxford University, July 2003.
“An Intimate Insularity: The Triangular Framework of Ukrainian-Jewish History,” Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, July 2002.
“The ‘Ukrainian Famine’ vs. the ‘Jewish Holocaust:’ Reflections on Historical Reality and Ethnic Politics in Helen Darville/Demidenko’s The Hand that Signed the Paper,” Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, December 1996.
“Antisemitism as Cognitive Dissonance: Jews and Ukrainians in the Modern Period,” Program of Jewish Studies, Cornell University, January 1995.
“The Social and Economic Foundations of Modern Ukrainian Antisemitism,” Center for European Studies, Harvard University, October 1995.
“Understanding 1919: New Perspectives on Jews and the Ukrainian Revolution,” Harvard Seminar in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, March 1995.
“The Question of Antisemitism in Ukraine,” Roundtable with Professors Orest Subtelny and Andrew Wilson, Columbia University, New York, November 1994.
“Hayim bela’o: Ukrainim ve-Yehudim be-milhemet ha-ezrahit be-Rusyah, 1917-1920” Merkaz Zalman Shazar Israel Historical Society, Jerusalem, January 1994.
Conference Papers: General
“Sowing Flax and Trapping Deers: Narratives of Literary Origin in the Babylonian Talmud,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Washington DC (December 2008).
“Intersections of Technology and Tradition in Talmudic Study: Modalities of Religious Learning in Historical Perspective,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Toronto (December 2007).
“Entering the Mind of the Rebbe: New Research based on Manuscript Emendations in the Warsaw Ghetto Writings of the Piaseczno Rebbe,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, San Diego (December 2006)
“The Imperative of Prophecy: The Twentieth-Century Hasidic Thought of the Piaseczno Rebbe, 1889-1943,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston 1998.
“Revisiting a Forbidden History: Recent Historiography of the Jews in PostSoviet Ukraine,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 1996.
“Antisemitism and Misogyny in Medieval Art and Caricature,” “Women’s Voices,” Florida Atlantic University, November 1996.
“Ukrainians, Jews, and the Problem of Antisemitism,” “Remaking National Identities: First Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities,” Columbia University, April 1996.
“‘A Clean Cause Demands Clean Hands:’ Symon Petliura and the Pogroms of 1919,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 1995.
“‘This is the Way it Was!’ Textual and Iconograpic Images of Jews in the Nazisponsored Ukrainian Press of Distrikt Galizien,” Conference on Journalism and the Holocaust, 19331945, Yeshiva University, New York City, October 1995.
“Notes on the NonExistence of Ukrainian Jewry,” Conference on “Peoples, Nations, Identities: the RussianUkrainian Encounter,” Columbia University, New York, November 1994.
“Tefilin and the Two-Headed Boy: The SocialistZionist Conflict in Ukraine, 19171919,” 63rd Annual Conference, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York City, November 1992.
Articles in Popular Publications:
“How did the Murdered Warsaw Ghetto Rabbi Build a Huge Modern Following?” The Jewish Forward, October 15, 2018.
“When Jews Were ‘Illegals,’ They Took Away Our Children,” The Jewish Forward, July 19, 2018.
“To The Antisemitic Vandal who Defaced my Car: Thank You,” Five Towns Jewish Times, July 3, 2018 (updated version available here).
“People of the Book: Classic Works of the Jewish Tradition,” Weekly column in Five Towns Jewish Times, 2015-2016.
“Cairo Geniza’s Remarkable Story of Wuhshah the Broker,” aish.com, April 22, 2018.
“Babatha & the Role of Women in the 2nd Century,” aish.com, February 17, 2018.
“The First Pillar of Jewish Law: The Rif,” aish.com, May 14, 2016.
“The Mysterious, Miraculous Sarajevo Haggadah,” aish.com, April 18, 2016.
“The Soviet Campaign to Eliminate Passover,” aish.com, April 11, 2016.
“Standing Up for Ukrainian Jews,” The Globe and Mail, (Toronto) May 4, 1990, A7. Also reprinted in Novyi shlakh, (Toronto), June 9, 1990, 4.
Research Grants and Awards:
National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, “Becoming an American Writer: The Life and Work of Isaac Bashevis Singer,” October 2004. Grant for curating FAU contributions to a collaborative traveling exhibit with the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities at the University of Texas.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship, Oxford University, Summer 2003. Theme: “Representation of the ‘Other:’ Jews in Medieval Christendom.”
Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, Summer 2002.
Scholar/Humanist Fellowship, Florida Humanities Council, 2002.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, November 2001.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, 2000.
Researcher of the Year Award, Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, January 2000.
Third Place for Creative Excellence, US International Film and Video Festival, 2000.
Videographer Award of Distinction for Religious Documentary, Videographer’s Society, 2000.
Louis Wolfsohn II Historical Media Center Award, 2000.
Slovin/YIVO Fellowship, Cornell University, 1995-1996.
Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), Ottawa, 1990-1994.
Morris M. Pulver Fellowship, Jerusalem, 1993-1994.
Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Programme, University of Toronto, 1992-1993.
Neporany Exchange Fellowship for Research in Ukraine, Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies, 1992.
Max Weinreich Fellowship for Advanced Jewish Research, Max Weinreich Centre for Advanced Jewish Research, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York, 1992.
Research grant, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, 1992.
Research grants, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto, 1991, 1992.
Research grants, Department of History, University of Toronto, 1991, 1992.
Research grant, Petro Jacyk Educational Foundation, Toronto, 1992.
Research Grant, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1991.
Fellowship, Soviet Academy of Sciences/International Association of Ukrainianists, Kiev, 1990.
Stephen Cooper Award for Jewish Leadership, Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto, 1990.
Reuben Leonard Wells Scholarship for Academic Excellence, University of Toronto, 1989.
Herschel William Gryfe Scholarship for Jewish History, University of Toronto, 1989.
Rabbi Isserman Prize for Studies in International and Interracial Relations, University of Toronto, 1988.
Norma Epstein Award for Creative Writing, University College, 1986.
Emil L. Fackenheim Scholarship for Jewish Thought, Hillel Foundation, Toronto, 1984.
Distinguished Honors Professor of the Year, University Scholars Program, Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
Kathleen Raymond Award for Excellence in Teaching, IMPAC Award (Individuals Making Personal and Academic Contributions), Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Distinguished Professor of the Year, Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, Xi Omega Chapter, Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers listing, 2000.
Award for Outstanding Teaching, Life Long Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University, 1999.
Acta Slavica Iaponica, Addison-Weseley Publishers, Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Houghton-Mifflin Publishers, Longman Publishers, McGraw-Hill Publishers, Palgrave Publishers, Pittsburgh University Press, Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, Slavic Review, Syracuse University Press, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, West/Wadsworth Publishers.
Editorial Board Service:
Harvard Ukrainian Studies, Holodomor Studies, Tkuma, Thought and Action: The NEA Journal in Higher Education, H-Judaic, Jewish Scholarship in Eastern Europe.