Center for Jewish History Fellowship Programs
Through the Graduate Fellowship Program that began in 2002, the Center has directly supported more than 50 Ph.D. candidates as they worked to complete their dissertations using the partner collections.
Enhanced in the 2010-11 academic year, when the National Endowment for the Humanities recognized the Center as one of 25 elite research institutions around the world by funding its Fellowship Program for Senior Scholars, the Center is now the first and only Jewish studies institution to receive such validation since the NEH program was established 40 years ago.
In concert with the NEH Fellowship, the Center offers Prins Fellowships for international junior scholars, Undergraduate Research Fellowships to support outstanding college students, a Visiting Scholars Program to provide accomplished scholars the benefits of a healthy research community, and the Steinberg Emerging Jewish Filmmaker Fellowship to support the production of documentary films based on the collections housed here.
Each fellowship is described briefly below, and details are available in the Application Info section.
NEH Fellowship for Senior Scholars
CJH offers fellowships to senior scholars through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The awards support original research at CJH in the humanities, including but not limited to Jewish studies, Russian and East European studies, American studies and 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 housed at CJH. Fellowships carry a stipend of up to $50,400 for a period of one academic 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 CJH and NEH in all publications resulting from research completed during the fellowship and submit a report upon completion of the fellowship describing the experience.
Prins Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Emigrating Scholars
We invite foreign scholars who seek permanent teaching and research positions to apply for this award, which will support 12-month fellowships for scholars who are at the beginning of their careers. Fellows will be provided with an annual stipend of $35,000 to conduct original research at the Center's Lillian Goldman Reading Room and utilize the vast collections of our partners. This award allows the Center to serve as the gateway for the best and brightest emerging scholars seeking to begin a new academic life in the U.S. 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 and submit a report upon completion of the fellowship describing the experience.
Visiting Scholars Program
We invite scholars working in the field of Jewish Studies who have completed their doctorate or its equivalent to apply for an affiliation with CJH to work in the collections of one or more of its partner institutions. Scholars are generally expected to commit to a regular presence at CJH for at least three months. Scholars may apply for a full academic year, the fall or spring semester, or for the summer. Visiting scholars will be provided with work space, a CJH e-mail account and access to CJH resources. This program does not provide a stipend or financial support. During their period of affiliation, Visiting Affiliated Scholars are expected to attend monthly seminars of CJH graduate fellows and to offer a seminar presentation on their own scholarly work.
Graduate Research Fellowship
CJH offers fellowships to PhD candidates supporting original research using the collections at the Center. Preference is given to those candidates who draw on the library and archival resources of more than one partner. Full fellowships carry a stipend of up to $14,000 for a period of one academic year. It is expected that applicants will have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except for the dissertation. It is required that each fellow conduct research for the duration of the award at a minimum of 2 days/week in the Lillian Goldman Reading Room using the archival and library resources. The fellow must also participate in a CJH Seminar and deliver a minimum of one lecture based on research at CJH and the collections used.
Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Advanced undergraduate students at North American universities are invited to apply to carry out research in the archives and libraries of CJH's partner institutions. This fellowship is designed for third and fourth year undergraduates preparing theses or other major projects in Jewish history and related fields. Projects require substantive use of archival and printed sources (e.g., newspapers, collections of sermons, memoirs, institutional reports) housed at CJH and not available at the student's home institution. The amount of the fellowship is up to $1,000 and students are encouraged to seek matching funding from their home institutions. The award may be used for travel purposes and lodging while at CJH.
Joseph S. Steinberg Emerging Jewish Filmmaker Fellowship
Undergraduate and graduate emerging filmmakers working on topics related to modern Jewish history are encouraged to apply for this fellowship, which supports research in the archives housed at CJH. The award is designed to help further existing projects, or to start new projects, whose subject matter is in line with the collections housed at CJH. Recipients are eligible for awards of up to $5,000 and are provided with access to the resources at CJH. Students are selected for one academic year of research through a rigorous and competitive process and are expected to present finished works, or works in progress, to a public audience at CJH.
2012-13 CJH Fellows
Allan Amanik, NYU
From Dust to Deeds: Community, Family, and the Commercialization of New York Jewish Burial, 1750-1950
Description of Work: This project traces the evolution of New York's Jewish burial enterprise from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. From a deeply ritual and communal rite in the colonial period, Jewish burial moved to something more of a commercial service, centered on the family and tied to its economic security. This study asks why that shift occurred in the funerary realm, and how those changing priorities impacted larger social developments. Whether matters of institutional affilation; power dynamics among leaders and laity; the construction of gender or generational roles, or even family patterns and decisions of marriage, local Jews’ consistent desire to secure their burials in advance often underwrote the broader social systems in which they lived. Through a long history of New York’s Jewish burial enterprise, this work seeks to highlight the overlooked and often unexpected ways in which matters of death had a hand in the obstacles and opportunities shaping people’s day-to-day lives. The project incorporates larger fields of study including: US History, Social History, Immigration, Women and Gender Studies, and histories of the Family, Urban Space, and Private Life.
Joshua Furman, University of Maryland
Approaches to Jewish Childrearing and Education in America During the Baby Boom, 1945-1967
Description of Work: My dissertation examines approaches to Jewish childrearing and education in the United States during the baby boom era, from 1945 to 1967. I explore how key events and developments of the mid-20th century, including the Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, the Cold War, and suburbanization, influenced and transformed efforts to raise and educate the largest cohort of American Jewish children to date. I am particularly interested in teasing out the multiple visions of the "perfect" Jewish child that emerge from parenting journals and guidebooks, Jewish children's literature, social science studies, sermons, and the promotional and educational materials produced by and used in religious schools and summer camps. Scholarly analysis of childrearing practices provides a rich avenue of inquiry into the values and priorities of a particular society or group. By looking at these efforts to imagine and create the ideal American Jewish child, we can better understand the anxieties and desires at play within the various sectors of the American Jewish community in this period of dramatic change.
Other Interests: Broadly speaking, I am interested in American Jewish social and cultural history, the history of childhood, Yiddish studies, and Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965.
Anna Koch, NYU
Rebuilding Lives - Italian and German Jews after the Holocaust
Description of Work: My research project focuses on the small number of Italian and German Jews who remained or returned to Italy and Germany after the Holocaust. It asks how they coped with the trauma they experienced under the Nazi and Fascist regimes, how they remade their lives, and how they related to their home country, its past and its people after WWII. It investigates surviving Jews’ return to their home, and sheds light on their postwar encounters with non-Jewish neighbors and friends as well as with state bureaucracies. This study offers a comparative perspective on postwar Jewish history, contrasting the experiences of surviving Jews in Italy, East Germany and West Germany. Utilizing an extensive range of sources from archives located in the US, Israel, Italy and Germany, my dissertation will enhance our present knowledge of material as well as psychological reconstruction after WWII, and add to our understanding of the complex logics of home, national belonging, and identity formation.
Other Interests: I enjoy reading, running, practicing yoga, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.
Anna Manchin, Ph.D., Brown University
Reinventing Assimilation: Jewish Identity and National Culture in Interwar Hungarian
Description of Work: My research focuses on Jewish identity, middle class culture, nationalism and gender in modern Eastern Europe. I am interested in how popular cultural representations can complicate our understanding of how minorities positioned themselves in majority culture. I am currently working on a book Fables of Modernity: Jews, Nationalism and Comedy films in Interwar Hungary; it explores how and why Jewish filmmakers maintained their leading role in the creation of popular entertainment films until the late 1930s in a country that increasingly questioned Jewish participation in national life. The romantic comedy films, offering glamorous images of a modernizing Hungary, helped construct a popular vision of the nation that spoke not only to Jews but to all Hungarians. But their representations of modern Hungary were strikingly different from the racially exclusive nationalism increasingly widespread in politics. Using a subtle parody of Jewish-non-Jewish relations, the films invented a new image of the Hungarian middle class and a new place for Jews in Hungarian culture.
Other Interests: My other interests include current social and cultural trends, data analysis and visualization, running, and dogs.
Kataryzna Person, PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London
I am a Jewish DP. A Jew from the Eternal Nowhere.’ The Jews from Poland in the Displaced Persons Camps of Western Germany: Encounters with Poles and memories of Poland, 1945-1946
Description of Work: I am a historian of modern Eastern European Jewish history, specializing in the Holocaust and its immediate aftermath. In my PhD I looked at the assimilated, acculturated and baptised Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. I am also the editor of two volumes of documents from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archive. During my fellowship in the CJH, I will be working on the encounter between Polish and Jewish DPs in postwar Germany.
Other Interests: I gained my first degree in drama and I am really looking forward to New York theater.
Amy Smith, Yale University
Rebuilding and Remembering: Women and the Family Life of Holocaust Survivors in Displaced Persons Camps, the United States, and Israel between 1945 and 1960
Description of Work: My project examines the impact of the Holocaust on the family life of Holocaust survivors between 1945 and 1960. It begins with liberation and the search for surviving relatives, then examines the formation of new families in the displaced persons' camps in Europe. Finally, it traces families who immigrated to either America or Israel, and examines the impact of immigration on family life. It focuses on the process of mourning and rebuilding that Holocaust survivors had to face. It is my contention that studying family life provides a unique window into this complex process, and ensures that the experiences of male and female Holocaust survivors are analyzed as interrelated but distinct subjects.
Other Interests: My other research interests include the Holocaust itself, twentieth century Jewish history, and black-Jewish relations in America.
Brian Smollett, CUNY Graduate Center
Reviving Enlightenment in the Age of Nationalism: Hans Kohn’s Anti-Fascist Ideology
Description of Work: My research at the Center for Jewish History focuses on the historian of nationalism, Hans Kohn. My dissertation, tentatively titled, "Reviving Enlightenment in the Age of Nationalism," explores Kohn's post-Zionist, American phase. I will be researching Kohn's life and context, focusing on the development of his anti-totalitarian polemics during the 1930s and 1940s, and the impact this period had on his later approaches to global national movements and ideologies. I also hope to gain, through the resources at the CJH, a fuller understanding of Kohn's often elusive Jewish identity and to re-examine ideological changes and continuities from his earlier, Zionist phase.
Other Interests: When not working on my dissertation, I enjoy traveling, skiing, boating and making pizzas.
Adam Teller, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and History, Brown University
Adam Teller is an Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and History at Brown University and the 2012-2013 Senior NEH Scholar at the Center for Jewish History. Professor Teller specializes in early modern history, specifically on the history of the Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. His research focuses on the ways in which Jews became an integral part of society there and the tensions this aroused. He has written two monographs (in Hebrew), one on living conditions in the Jewish quarter of Poznan, titled The Jewish Quarter of Poznan and its Population in the First Half of the 17th Century, the other on the roles played by Jews in Lithuania's eighteenth century magnate economy, titled Money, Power, and Influence: The Jews on the Radziwill Estates in 18th Century Lithuania, as well as numerous articles (in English) on social and cultural issues. During his tenure as the Senior NEH Scholar Professor Teller will work on a study that will deal with the seventeenth century Polish-Lithuanian Jewish refugee crisis that followed the Chmielnicki uprising of 1648 and subsequent wars.
Amy Weiss, NYU
Between Cooperation and Competition: American Jewish and Protestant Zionists, 1939-1977
Description of Work: My dissertation examines the socio-political and ideological shift in American Protestant support for Israel and Zionism from 1939 to 1976. I argue that post-World War II shifts in American Zionist rhetoric, United States foreign policy concerns, and the Israeli domestic agenda helped cause the decline of liberal Protestant support for Israel and led to the entry of evangelical Protestant Zionists into the American Zionist movement. By examining interactions between American Jews and Protestants over time, I demonstrate that denominational and political affiliations affected interreligious Zionist cooperation.
Other Interests: I served as a Lipper Intern at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, where I continue to give tours to middle school and high school groups. I also enjoy playing volleyball in New York City sports leagues.