Affiliated Faculty hold appointments in political science, law, sociology, philosophy and religion, history, journalism, and world languages, and teach courses that count toward the Jewish Studies minor and/or hold a research agenda in Jewish studies.
Max Abrahms is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy. His courses focus on terrorism and international security more broadly. His classes include Terrorism and Counterterrorism (POLS 3423). Prof. Abrahms has been a visiting fellow at Bar Ilan University, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the American Jewish Committee. He is the author of Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History and numerous articles. At Northeastern, Abrahms is the faculty advisor for the student group Huskies for Israel.
Libby Adler has a joint appointment as Professor of Law and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern Law School and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She has taught courses on constitutional law, sexuality, gender, and the law, family law, and administrative law, and has written about sexuality, gender, family, and constitutional issues, as well as contemporary legal issues arising out of Nazism. She is the author of Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform.
Teaching Professor Natalie Bormann’s work centers on the interplay of trauma, memory, and ethics in international relations, which she mostly explores in the context of the Holocaust, and genocide studies more broadly. She is especially interested in posing pedagogical questions regarding the teaching and learning about genocide. Her courses include the Holocaust and Comparative Genocide (HIST/JWSS 2282) and Genocide in a Comparative Perspective (POLS 7366).
Professor Bormann’s most recent book The Ethics of Teaching at Sites of Trauma and Violence – Student Encounters with the Holocaust chronicles her time with students of her Holocaust and Genocide Studies Dialogue of Civilizations program that she leads each summer, comprising the courses History and the Politics of the Holocaust: Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders (POLS 4937) and Memory, Trauma and the Holocaust (POLS 4938).
Phil Brown is University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, and Director of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute. His work relates to the intersection of environmental health science and social science.
Professor Brown is an expert on the Jewish experience in the Catskills. He is the author of Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat’s Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area, and the editor of In the Catskills: A Century Of The Jewish Experience In “The Mountains,” and Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination (with Holly Levitsky). Professor Brown is founder and president of the Catskills Institute, a research organization possessing the world’s largest archive of material on the Jewish experience in the Catskills, much of it available digitally through a project of the Northeastern Library’s Digital Scholarship Group, https://catskillsinstitute.northeastern.edu/.
Professor of Philosophy and Religion Liz Bucar is a religious ethicist who studies sexuality, gender, and moral transformation within the Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) traditions and communities. She is author of three books, including the award-winning Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women Dress. She has been on the forefront of creating bridges and partnerships between scholars of religion and journalists, winning an inaugural Luce/ACLS grant in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs for the project Reporting Religion and a Henry Luce Grant in Theology for the project Sacred Writes. Professor Bucar’s courses include Sex in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (PHIL/WMNS 1271).
Jeffrey Burds is Associate Professor of History specializing in Modern Russian and East European History. He has written extensively on the basis of more than twenty years of research in East European archives, focusing on themes like World War II, the Holocaust, and espionage in the early Cold War era. He leads a Dialogue of Civilizations entitled “From Fascism to Communism to Post-Communism in Eastern Europe,” which offers a hands-on introduction to East European Jewish history, with visits to Budapest (Hungary), Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk (Poland). His books include Holocaust in Rovno: The Massacre at Sosenki Forest, November 1941 (translated into Russian, Ukrainian and Polish), Espionage and Nationalism, as well as a book on the Soviet secret police in Ukraine. He has received grants from the Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, IREX, Fulbright-Hayes, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Research Council. In 2014, he presented the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff lecture at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: “Communist Collaborators and the German Occupation in Soviet Zones, 1941-1943.” Professor Burds regularly offers a seminar, HIST3336 Borderlands: World War II in Eastern Europe.
Sigalit Davis is a linguist and an expert in the history and development of the Hebrew language and has developed numerous curricula and approaches to the instruction of Hebrew. She teaches Elementary Hebrew Levels 1 and 2 (HBRW 1101 and 1102), and Independent Study (HBRW 4993) for advanced students of Hebrew.
Jonathan Kaufman is Professor and Director of the School of Journalism. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, editor, and author of three books focusing on the Jewish experience in modern times: Broken Alliance: The Turbulent Times Between Blacks and Jews in America, A Hole in the Heart of the World: Being Jewish in Eastern Europe and the newly published The Last Kings of Shanghai.
William Miles is Professor of Political Science and is the author of Zion in the Desert: American Jews in Israel’s Reform Kibbutzim, Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey, and Afro-Jewish Encounters: From Timbuktu to the Indian Ocean and Beyond, and co-editor of In the Shadow of Moses: New Jewish Movements in Africa and the Diaspora. Currently he is working on Another Israel, a linguistic memoir based on his extended sojourn in a Druze village in the Upper Galilee. Professor Miles has also published on the Jewish experience in the French Antilles, French language use among Jews and Arabs, local voting patterns in the Arab sector, the electoral strength of religious parties, and how Israeli geography classes teach about the nation’s boundaries. Prof. Miles convened the first-ever international symposium on Third World Views of the Holocaust and is currently the lead collaborator on an American Academy of Jewish Research cross-institutional grant on the topic Jews in Muslim and Shared Diasporas. His courses include Religion and Politics (POLS 2370).
James Ross is Associate Professor of Journalism. He was Chair of the Jewish Studies Program from 1995 to 1998 and 2004 to 2010 and he also served as the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies. He is the author of Fragile Branches: Travels Through the Jewish Diaspora and Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China. Most recently, he co-edited The Image of Jews in Contemporary China and wrote a chapter on “Image of Jews in Books, Blogs and Films.” He also co-edited From the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to Holocaust Denial Trials: Challenging the Media, Law and the Academy. Professor Ross teaches Covering Conflicts: Peace, War and the Media (INTL/JRNL 3300) and has received a grant from the U.S. Institute for Peace to run a three-week seminar for Israeli and Palestinian journalists on ways to improve coverage of the Middle East conflict.