2019-2020 Center for Jewish History Fellowship Program

Fellowship awards at the Center for Jewish History supported cutting-edge research in the rich collections of the Center's partners - American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. More than 100 humanities scholars at various stages of their careers and research projects have taken up residence at the Center and profited from opportunities to share their work with leading scholars in their fields. Support from the NEH and other funders has been critical in helping to build an interdisciplinary community of scholars.

While in residence at the Center on year-long or short-term fellowships, fellows are invited to participate in a vibrant academic community that engages students and scholars from North America, Europe, and Israel. Each year a New York-based scholar serves as the Academic Advisor, directing monthly seminars and offering academic guidance to early career fellows. Comprised of 16 leading scholars in Jewish Studies, the Center's Academic Advisory Council provides oversight and offers an additional professional resource to fellows. Fellows are additionally invited to take part in regularly scheduled Scholars Working Groups that bring together expert faculty to discuss new Jewish Studies research.

Fellows are encouraged to share their work with a wider audience through public programs at the Center. Lectures, discussions, symposia/conferences, film screenings, concerts, and other programs provide a creative platform for fellows to draw attention to their research in the partner collections and convey their knowledge to the public.

For a complete list of available fellowship programs, please click below to view descriptions and application guidelines. Questions about the fellowship program may be directed to Malgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, Director of Academic Programs.

Available Fellowships

  • Graduate Research Fellowship

    The application deadline for Graduate Research Fellowships starting in Fall 2020 is December 20, 2019.

    The Center for Jewish History offers ten-month fellowships to doctoral candidates to support original research using the collections of the Center’s partners—American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Preference is given to those candidates who draw on the library and archival resources of more than one partner institution. Fellows must be in residence at the Center from September 2020 through June 2021 and applicants should have completed all requirements (i.e., coursework, exams, dissertation proposal) for the doctoral degree except for the dissertation. It is required that each fellow spend a minimum of three days per week in residence in the Lillian Goldman Reading Room using the archival and library resources. Fellows must also participate in the Center for Jewish History Fellowship Seminar Program, attend bi-weekly meetings of the fellowship program cohort, deliver a minimum of one lecture based on research conducted at Center, and submit a report upon completion of the Fellowship describing her/his experience as a Center Fellow. Fellowships carry a stipend of $22,500 for a period of one academic year.

    Download the Application Guidelines

    Eligibility

    • The fellowship is open to qualified doctoral candidates from accredited domestic and international institutions.
    • Fellows must be in residence at the Center from the beginning of September 2020 until the end of June 2021.
    • Applicants should have completed all requirements (i.e. coursework, exams, dissertation proposal) for the doctoral degree except for the dissertation.
    • For non-U.S. citizens, it is the responsibility of the applicant to have the appropriate visa for acceptance of the award during the ten-month fellowship term. The Center for Jewish History is not a visa-granting institution.

    Requirements for Application

    • Register at www.cjh.org/gradregistration
    • Cover letter stating area of interest, knowledge of relevant languages, and how the project relates to the general mission of the Center for Jewish History
    • Curriculum Vitae, including contact information, education, publications, scholarly and/or museum activities, teaching experience, and any other relevant work experience
    • Research proposal of no more than four pages double-spaced, including specific reference to the collections at the Center and clearly stated goals for research during the period of the fellowship
    • A one-page bibliography of important secondary sources for the project
    • Graduate school transcript
    • Three letters of recommendation, which address the significance of the candidate’s work for his or her field, as well as the candidate’s ability to fulfill the proposed work. Please ensure that your application indicates the names and contact information of those writing letters of recommendation on your behalf.
    • Letters of recommendation should be sent separately, directly by the recommenders – preferably by email or dossier service – to the address below.
    • Please submit application materials 2-6 by email. Transcripts may arrive separately to the below address or email address.

    The schedule for the application process is as follows:

    • All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by December 20, 2019 for consideration.
    • Announcement of grant recipients by February 2020
    • Commencement of grant period, September 1, 2020
    • Conclusion of grant period, June 30, 2021

    Applications are to be submitted to:

    Malgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, Ph.D.
    Director of Academic Programs
    Center for Jewish History
    15 West 16th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    United States of America
    Email: fellowships@cjh.org

  • NEH Fellowship for Senior Scholars

    The application deadline for the NEH Fellowship for Senior Scholars starting in Fall 2020 is December 1, 2019.

    The Center offers a fellowship to senior scholars through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award supports original research at the Center in the humanities, including but not limited to Jewish studies, Russian and East European studies, American studies, Germanic studies, as well as musicology, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and history.
    Applications are welcome from college and university faculty in any field who have completed a PhD more than six years prior to the start of the fellowship and whose research will benefit considerably from consultation with materials in the collections of the Center’s partners – American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
    Fellowships carry a stipend of up to $50,400 for a period of one year. Fellows are expected to conduct original research at the Center, deliver at least one lecture based on the research conducted, actively participate in the scholarly community at the Center, acknowledge the Center and NEH in all publications resulting from research completed during the fellowship, and submit a report upon completion of the fellowship describing the experience.

    Assessment Criteria

    • The ambition, scope, and intellectual significance of the proposed project, including its value for scholars of Jewish history, humanities scholars, and/or general audiences.
    • The quality and impact of the applicant’s prior work in Jewish Studies and/or a related humanities discipline.
    • The overall clarity and intelligibility of the proposal, with its aims clearly conveyed.
    • The feasibility and appropriateness of the project proposal, including the applicant’s disciplinary and linguistic training and, when relevant, the soundness of the dissemination and access plans.
    • The likelihood that the applicant will become part of the life of the Center for Jewish History for the time of the fellowship, by using its collections for the proposed project, participating in Center events, and mentoring other fellows.

    Download the Application Guidelines


    Please submit your application by December 1, 2019 to:

    Malgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, Ph.D.
    Director of Academic Programs
    Center for Jewish History
    15 West 16th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    United States of America
    Email: fellowships@cjh.org

  • CJH-Fordham University Research Fellowship

    The application deadline for the CJH-Fordham University Research Fellowship is February 1, 2020.

    Fordham University's Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Jewish History offer a joint short-term research fellowship in Jewish Studies for scholars outside the New York City metropolitan area whose research focuses on Jewish-Christian relations and who wish to conduct research based on materials housed at the Center for Jewish History and Fordham University.

    The fellow is expected to spend at least a month at the two host institutions, but may stay as long as five months. The fellow's stay must coincide with either the fall or spring Fordham University academic semesters. The stipend for this fellowship is $5,000.

    The fellow will receive affiliation with Fordham University, and will be required to offer a faculty seminar, and a public lecture, which would be a joint event of Fordham and CJH with alternate venues. The fellow is also expected to participate in scholarly seminars and other meetings at the Center for Jewish History and Fordham University.

    The CJH-Fordham Research Fellowship in Jewish-Christian Relations is made possible by funds from the Center for Jewish History, the Eugene Shvidler Gift Fund at Fordham University, and additional gift funds to Jewish Studies at Fordham University.

    Download the Application Guidelines


    Applications are to be submitted to:

    Malgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, Ph.D.
    Director of Academic Programs
    Center for Jewish History
    15 West 16th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    United States of America
    Email: fellowships@cjh.org

  • Visiting Scholars Program

    The Center for Jewish History’s Visiting Scholar Program invites scholars working in the field of Jewish Studies who have completed their doctorate or its equivalent to apply for an affiliation with the Center and to work in the collections of one or more of its partner institutions: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. For their period of affiliation, Visiting Scholars will receive workspace at the Center, a Center email address, and access to the collections housed at the Center for Jewish History. The Visiting Scholar Program does not provide a stipend or financial support.

    Visiting Scholars will be expected to commit to a regular presence at the Center for a minimum of three months, working at the Center at least two days per week. Visiting Scholars are expected to play an active role in the Center’s Fellowship Program activities by attending bi-weekly meetings and either presenting an academic seminar on their work or participating in a public program. Scholars may apply to be affiliated with the Center for a full academic year (September – May), the fall semester (September – December) or spring semester (mid-January – May), or for the summer (June – August).

    Junior and senior scholars, including those who are on leave from their home institutions, are encouraged to apply, as are independent scholars and scholars who are between academic appointments.

    Download the Application Guidelines

    Eligibility

    • Scholars holding a PhD or equivalent terminal degree
    • Scholars working on projects that make use of the Center partner collections
    • Scholars eager to participate in the Center’s active community of researchers

    Requirements for Application

    • A complete curriculum vitae
    • A description of the proposed research project, maximum 3 pages in length, including an explanation of which of the Center partners' collections will be used
    • The names and contact information of two references
    • Please send all application materials together electronically as one continuous PDF document.

    Applications are to be submitted to:

    Malgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, Ph.D.
    Director of Academic Programs
    Center for Jewish History
    15 West 16th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    United States of America
    Email: fellowships@cjh.org

Center for Jewish History Fellows

The Center for Jewish History welcomes a new cohort of outstanding fellows to spend the 2019-2020 academic year engaged in their cutting-edge research. They will be working with the Center’s Partners’ archives on their original projects. Varying in their disciplinary and chronological scope, the fellows’ scholarship weaves a fascinating and complex picture of the field of Jewish studies today.
Each year the Center for Jewish History hosts a cohort of scholars as well as a distinguished senior scholar.
This year we are pleased to announce that Prof. Brian Ogren, Anna Smith Fine Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Department of Religion at Rice University, joins us as the National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Scholar. 
Prof. Ogren’s project, Kabbalah and the Founding of America: Christian Uses of Jewish Thought in the Nascent Republic explores the understudied area of exchange between early American Protestantism and Jewish thought. It will seek to broaden the understanding of the role that Jewish esoteric lore known as kabbalah and corresponding intellectual exchanges between Jews and Protestants played in the shaping of American notions of religious liberty, tolerance, and the formation of individual identity.

The 2019-20 CJH-Fordham University Fellow in Jewish-Christian Relations is Jessica Cooperman, Associate Professor at Religion Studies Department and Director of Jewish Studies Program at Muhlenberg College. Her project, called Jewish and Christian Passover Seders as Sites of Interfaith Engagement explores the proliferation of Christian and interfaith seders in the United States as a means of considering the ways that the Jewish holiday of Passover has been reinterpreted in modern American contexts. The project posits that Jews and Christians often enter into these interfaith encounters with different, at times opposing, social, political, and theological goals in mind.
Joining Prof. Ogren and prof. Cooperman will be doctoral students pursuing diverse research in Jewish studies:

  • Ari Cohen, University of Virginia
  • Binyamin Hunyadi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Tamar Menashe, Columbia University
  • Miriam Schulz, Columbia University

Ari Cohen, University of Virginia

Graduate Fellow
Displaying Art and Exhibiting Philanthropy: Jews, Genders, and Museums in the United States, 1888 -1958

Ari Cohen’s dissertation offers a gendered history of Jewish cultural philanthropy in United States museums. Beginning in 1888 with Cyrus Adler’s tenure as curator of Judaica at the Smithsonian National Museum in D.C. and ending in 1958 with New York Jewish Museum benefactor Frieda Warburg’s death, this project examines the individuals and networks that donated their time, talent, and treasure to Jewish exhibitions in American museums and thereby altered the course of American Jewish life. During the period between 1888 and 1958, Jewish Americans attempted to secure places for themselves in a new, expanding country. Focusing on five key female cultural philanthropists, Cohen examines how women in Jewish museums proved essential yet remained only partially visible, pioneered new forms of public culture yet faced limitations on their power.

Binyamin Hunyadi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Graduate Fellow
Yiddish Anarchist Press and Literature 1890-1918

Binyamin Hunyadi’s research explores literary and polemical output of the Yiddish Anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century. He focuses in particular on the under-discussed aspect of the cultural influences of this political movement in American and English Yiddish millieux; he analyzes the cultural and social, local and transnational contexts of Yiddish Anarchism that helped shape Jewish cultural production in the US for years to come. Hunyadi explores Yiddish anarchist press, further analyzes the reception and long-lasting influence of Yiddish literary figures, among them Yosef Bovshover and David Edelshtadt.

Tamar Menashe, Columbia University

Graduate Fellow
Jews in Cross-Confessional Legal Cultures in Germany ,1500-1700

Tamar Menasche explores the legal culture of German Jewry during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her research thus far shows that despite the rabbinic ban on litigation in non-Jewish courts, Jewish women and men litigated vigorously in Germany’s Imperial Supreme Court. The research highlights legal cases involving German-Ashkenazi converts to Christianity and Iberian conversos who fled to Germany and reverted to Judaism, as a particularly valuable lens for the study of the intersection of law and religion.

Through an integrative examination of internal Jewish sources, German legal records, and Supreme Court dossiers, Menashe’s project uncovers how competing legal and religious institutions fashioned German-Jews’ early modern legal culture and civil consciousness.

Miriam Schulz, Columbia University

Graduate Fellow
Keyner iz nit fargesn: Soviet Yiddish culture and the Holocaust in the Jewish Cold War, 1941– 1991

Miriam Schulz attempts to provide a first comprehensive picture of how Soviet Jews reckoned with the Holocaust and the “Great Patriotic War” as interrelated phenomena in Yiddish. She lays open Soviet Yiddish’s uniquely diverse modes of literary, scholarly, political, and ritual responses to the Holocaust and examines them in the context of the sociopolitical landscape and psychopolitical reality of the wartime and postwar Soviet Union. This analysis considers both this corpus’s complex, symbiotic relation to hegemonic Soviet memorial cultures at home and the intra- Jewish Holocaust historiography and commemoration abroad.

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