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Simon Rabinovitch

Associate Professor of History

Simon Rabinovitch teaches and writes about different aspects of Jewish, European, Russian, and legal history. His first book, Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia (Stanford, 2014, soon forthcoming in Russian translation) traces the politics of Jewish non-territorial autonomy in Russia and Eastern Europe, from the turn of the twentieth century to the early 1920s. He is also the editor of Jews and Diaspora Nationalism: Writings on Jewish Peoplehood in Europe and the United States (Brandeis, 2012), and a recent volume on Israel’s nation-state law entitled Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy, and the Law (HUC, 2018). He is currently working on a book called Religious Freedom and the Jews: Collective Rights in Modern States (Yale, under contract) that compares legal cases in Europe, North America, Africa, and Israel where civil courts have decided on matters of Jewish law and communal identity. Rabinovitch has also written for Haaretz and Aeon and was an editor at the Marginalia Review of Books.

  • Henry Luce Foundation/American Council for Learned Societies Fellowship in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs, 2017–2018
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015 (for Jewish Rights, National Rites)
  • Long List, Historia Nova Prize for the Best Book on Russian Intellectual and Cultural History, 2015 (for Jewish Rights, National Rites)
  • Jewish Book Council, National Jewish Book Award Finalist in the Category Writing Based on Archival Material, 2014 (for Jewish Rights, National Rites)
  • University of Helsinki, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Research Fellowship, 2011–2012

Books:

  • Simon Rabinovitch ed., Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy, and the Law. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 2018.
  • Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture), 2014; paperback 2016.
  • Simon Rabinovitch ed., Jews and Diaspora Nationalism: Writings on Jewish Peoplehood in Europe and the United States. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press (The Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought), 2012.

Selected Recent Articles and Chapters:

  • “Jewish Politics: History and Historiographical Implications,” in The Routledge Companion to Jewish History and Historiography. Edited by Dean Phillip Bell. London; New York: Routledge, 2019, 534–49.

“The Quality of Being French v. the Quality of Being Jewish: Defining the Israelite in French Courts in Algeria and the Metropole,” in Law and History Review vol. 36, no. 4 (2018): 811–46.

“What is Wrong with Tolerance,” in Aeon, June 20, 2018. https://aeon.co/essays/reciprocity-not-tolerance-is-the-basis-of-healthy-societies

“Jewish-Soviet-Ukrainian Relations during the Civil War and the Second Thoughts of a Minister for Jewish Affairs,” in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (special issue on nationality questions and the creation of the Soviet Union) vol. 17, no. 3 (2017), 339–57.

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