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 The Israeli Inter-University Academic Partnership
 in Russian and East European Studies

Dr. Vladimir Levin

 Vladimir Levin

Social History of the Synagogue in Eastern Europe in Modern Times

My research concentrates on the synagogue (and its subtypes: beit midrash, kloyz, shtibl etc.), which was the main public institution and main public space of Jewish communities. Its functions went far beyond the narrowly defined realm of religion and it played an extremely important role in many aspects of Jewish life. Therefore I research the synagogue as a social institution, which stood at the center of the traditional Jewish society and passed with that society through processes of modernization and change, gradually loosing its centrality with the development of secular public institutions. At the same time, the synagogue is architecturally defined space and its spatial features clearly reflect its social functioning.


Dr. Daniel Rosenthal

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Daniel Rosenthal is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa through the Israeli Inter-university Partnership in Russia and East European Studies. He received his Ph.D. in History in 2014 from the University of Toronto. His dissertation, entitled “Decomposing Identities: Shifting Perceptions of Death and Burial among Jews in Interwar Poland”, investigates the ways in which all Jews in Poland, irrespective of religious or political affiliations, refashioned their ideas about death, funerals, and burial in the decades between the World Wars due to new ideas of selfhood, changing forms of social cohesion, and the growing regulation of death by the new Polish republic. He is currently working to transform this project into a monograph entitled, “Burying Poland’s Jews: Transforming Death and the Self in Early Twentieth Century Polish-Jewish Consciousness.” Daniel also holds an M.A. in History from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University. 


Dr. Levi Cooper

Levi Cooper - in Pardes BM 

Levi Cooper was born in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a PhD from Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law and in 2014/15 he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. Levi’s research interests include: Legal History in the late modern period, Law and Literature, and the interplays between Jewish legal writing and broader legal, intellectual, and cultural contexts. Levi’s work has focused on law in the hasidic milieu. Levi’s current project explores the relationship between European Enlightenment codification and early nineteenth century Jewish legal writing in the Russian Empire.


Anna Novikov

Anka1  Department of History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Between 'Deutschland' and 'Polska': The Clash of Identities in Interwar Eastern Upper Silesia
In my dissertation " Between 'Deutschland' and 'Polska': The Clash of Identities in Interwar Eastern Upper Silesia", I deal with two groups of population: the Jewish and the Silesian in a former German border area which was shifted to Poland after the World War I. I study the dynamics of belonging of these non-national groups, the change in their self-definition and its clash with an intensive process of “nationalization” or “Polonization” which took place in this area between the wars. I concentrate on a time period of 13 years, from 1921, the year of the plebiscite in Upper Silesia, until 1934 when Poland and Germany signed a non-aggression pact.
In the case of the Silesian group I focus on the education system and in the case of the Jewish community, I concentrate on the B’nai B’rith lodge “Concordia”, to which belonged the German speaking elite of the Jewish population of Katowice.

Ilya Vovshin

IV.jpg  Ilya Vovshin is a Doctoral fellow of the Jewish History Department at Haifa University. His research project investigates the economic, political, social and cultural activity of the prominent entrepreneurial Russian-Jewish Gintsburg family (1830-1917) in the context of Jewish life in Russia and the development of the Russian economy and society in the late Tsarist period. Its goal is to provide an explanation for the meteoric rise of the Gintsburgs, their economic success, their position, influence and gradual decline. By analyzing the history of the family, revealed not only the techniques by which the Jewish plutocrats made their money, but also how they translated their wealth into high social status and political power on the Jewish street and within Russian society. Once put in its broader context, this will enable to reach a clear understanding of the nature and development of the Russian-Jewish plutocracy and its significance for the history of Russian Jewry and the Russian Empire as a whole.

Anat Vaturi

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Anat Vaturi: born in Poland, educated in Poland and Israel is a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University School of History. Her research concentrates on Jews and Protestants in Post-Reformation Cracow. Her scholarly interests include Polish-Jewish history, early modern history, interreligious relations, interplay of law and religion, history of tolerance. 



Olena Bagno-Moldavsky

untitled.jpeg  Dr. Olena Bagno received her PhD in Political Science from Tel Aviv University.In 2011- 2013 she held post-doctoral fellowships and visiting lectureship at Stanford University (US) and Michigan University, Ann Arbor (US). In 2012 Olena served as a researcher in the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies and delivered public lectures at Harvard, Stanford and Michigan universities on the topics of Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East, and political and cultural integration of minorities in Israel. Olenais a Research Fellow in the Institute for National Security Studies. Her areas of interest are public opinion, democratic values, political integration of minorities and Russian-speaking Diasporas.

Inna Shtakser

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Dr. inna Shtakser graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007. Since then she taught at The University of Texas at Austin, at Dalhousie University (NS, Canada) and at the Apeejay Stya University (India). Her manuscript titled The Making of Jewish Revolutionaries in the Pale: Poverty, Work, Community and the Transformation of Identity during the 1905-1907 Russian Revolution was recently accepted for publication by Palgrave Macmillan. Her published articles deal with cultural history of Jewish working-class radicalism in the Russian empire and with self-defense against the pogroms. At the moment she is working on a manuscript dealing with anarchist groups in Odessa before WWI.



Dr. Anat Plocker

NDC 0094 Dr. Plocker specializes in Modern East European History. Her work focuses on the memory of World War II and the Holocaust in the post-Stalinist era. Dr. Plocker examines the Polish case in order to explore the links of collective memory and political ideology. Her doctoral dissertation investigates the relations between the communist regime and the Jewish minority in the 1960s and offers a new interpretation of the “March 1968 Events” in Poland. During the events, the regime launched an anti-Zionist campaign and expelled Jews from state institutions. Dr. Plocker’s study analysed the purge from the communist regime’s point of view, offering a new theoretical and chronological framework. Her current work looks at the dynamics of history, memory, culture, and communist discourse in the east European space from a comparative perspective.

Dr. Rafael Tsirkin-Sadan

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Rafael Tsirkin-Sadan has received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. His research interests include: Russian literature and intellectual history, Hebrew literature, literature and history, transnationalism and narratives of immigration. Rafi is the author of two books Jewish Letters at the Pushkin Library: Y.H. Brenner's work and its connection to Russian Literature and Thought (Bialik Institute, 2013), and Wandering Heroes, Committed Writers: Nihilists and Nihilism in Russian Literature (Van Leer/Hakibutz Hameuhad, forthcoming in 2015). As a Postdoctoral Fellow of Israeli Partnership in Russian Studies he will be teaching two courses at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "October Revolution in Film and Literature" and "Family-breakdown in Anna Karenina and Brothers Karamazov"


Eli Lamdan

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I am a PhD student at the Program for History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science of the Hebrew University. In my doctoral dissertation, under the guidance of Dr. Othniel Dror and Dr. Jonathan Dekel-Chen, I deal with the intellectual biography of Alexander R. Luria, as a key figure in the development of neuropsychology in the Soviet Union. The attempt of Luria and his circle to introduce a materialist and at the same time non-reductionist approach to the research of brain and mind remains very relevant nowadays and for the last decades, being neurosciences at the forefront of scientific endeavor. Through the prism of an intellectual biography I examine processes and factors that shape the creation and acceptance of a scientific knowledge. Dealing with intellectual biography allows me to focus on the ways in which two contradictory-complementary aspects of science shape together the scientific activity. From my perspective, science is, on the one hand, a local social institution influenced by social, political and ideological processes of the given society, and on the other hand is a trans-national system that declares a shared professional ethos and aspires to establish a universal objective knowledge. The first aspect, science as a local social institution, also allows me to deal with questions relating to the general history of the Soviet Union, such as the degree of cultural isolation during various relevant periods of the Soviet history, the role of scientists in the socio-political system of the Soviet Union, and the impact of ideology in scientific research.


Evgeny Soshkin

Evgeniy Soshkins photo EvgenySoshkin has been working on a dissertation that suggests a new approach to the studies of the intertextual poetics of OsipMandelshtam. In this research numerous "enigmas" incorporated into Mandelshtam's poems and intended to be solved using his own texts or texts by other authors, are not being analyzed in isolation from one another but rather as a whole within each single text. According to the central assumption of the dissertation the solved enigmas in their entirety point to a hidden metaphoric structure called a hypotext. The scholar aims at finding the common basis for all the hypotexts found in Mandelshtam's poetry of the 1930s.

Alex Valdman

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I am a PhD student at the Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In my dissertation project I examine the emergence of the educated Jewish elites in Late Imperial Russia. I concentrate, specifically, on the ideologies and practices of the Jewish high-school and university students. Using microhistorical techniques and discursive analysis, I discuss the social background and ideological outlooks of the members of these groups, and trace the roots of the notions of social responsibility and political leadership, which turned them into socially committed activists. 

My broader scholarly interests include Jewish-Russian historiography, theory of history, intellectual history of Late Imperial Russia and the history of Jewish nationalism.


Dr. Raz Segal

Raz Segal April 2015 

Dr. Raz Segal earned his Ph.D. at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (History Department), Clark University (2013). His work explores the Holocaust as integral to modern processes of imperial collapse, social disintegration, and formation of new states. It focuses on two key issues: state and nation building and the multi-layered mass violence against Jews and other groups that ensued from political visions and designs during World War II; and relations between Jews and non-Jews in the broader frame of interethnic and inter-religious relations amid war and state violence. Dr. Segal’s research stands at the intersection of modern European history, Holocaust scholarship, Genocide Studies, and Jewish history, and links the Holocaust to genocide and mass violence before, during, and after World War II.


Oleg Zhidkov

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My research deals with the history of the Jews in the Cossack Hetmanate between the years 1649-1772. The research deals with several issues such as the relations between the Jews and non-Jews after the “GezerothTakh-Tat”, the economic activity of the Jews and the ways and the patterns of the resettlement of the Jews in the Hetmanate. My current supervisor is Prof. Mordechai Zalkin. I got my MA degree in General History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The topic of my MA thesis was "The August Agreement of 1610: the turning point in history of Muscovy", under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Frenkel and Dr. Judith Kalik from the Hebrew University.



Julia Rusakova

Juliya Rusakova 

Julia Rusakova is a Doctoral fellow at Hebrew University, Department of German, Russian and East European Studies. She is specializes in Economic History of the Ukrainian Jews in the Early Modern Period.Her research project investigates the Jewish involvement in the landholdings and leasing monopoly rights in Lutsk district of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during1569-1647 years. Her work focuseson the comparative study ofall types, forms and proportions of Jewish leaseholding,yield a deeper understanding of the principles, characteristics and differences of Jewish leaseholding in rural and urban areas.The sources for the present project are archival documents and narrative texts (records from municipal courts, protocols from the Council of Four Lands, lustrations, censuses and other sources) from Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Poland.