Core Faculty maintain teaching and research agendas focused on Jewish studies.
Lori Lefkovitz, Director and Ruderman Professor
Lori Hope Lefkovitz, Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of English, directs the Jewish Studies Program and the Humanities Center. Professor Lefkovitz’s books include In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identity, Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust (with Julia Epstein), Textual Bodies: Changing Boundaries of Literary Representation, and the Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel. She has held a Golda Meir Post-doctoral Fellowship and a Fulbright Professorship both at Hebrew University, and was the founding director of Kolot the Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she held a chair in Gender and Judaism. Professor Lefkovitz teaches Jewish literature, English literature, Israeli literature and culture, and the Hebrew Bible. Her classes include Bedrooms & Battlefields: Hebrew Bible and the Origins of Sex, Gender, and Ethnicity (ENGL/JWSS 3678); Modern and Contemporary Jewish Literature (ENGL/JWSS 3685), and one of the foundational courses of the program, Jewish Religion and Culture (JWSS/PHIL 1285).
Laurel Leff, Associate Director
Laurel Leff is Professor of Journalism. She was formerly a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The Miami Herald and an editor with American Lawyer Media Inc. and The Hartford Courant. Professor Leff’s books include Well Worth Saving: American Universities’ Life-and-Death Decisions on Refugees from Nazi Europe and Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper. Professor Leff has previously been the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies, an endowed term-professorship for Northeastern University Faculty. Professor Leff teaches on America and the Holocaust (HIST/JWSS 2285) and on Holocaust and genocide studies, in addition to courses on news writing, media law, and nonfiction writing.
Simon Rabinovitch is Associate Professor of History. His books include Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia and the anthologies Jews and Diaspora Nationalism: Writings on Jewish Peoplehood in Europe and the United States and, most recently, Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy, and the Law. He is currently working on a book called Religious Freedom and the Jews: Collective Rights in Modern States. Professor Rabinovitch teaches classes in Jewish, European, Russian, and legal history, including Jews in the Modern World (HIST/JWSS 1294), the new class Digital Histories of Ethnic Boston (HIST/JWSS 2430), and one of the program’s foundational courses, Jewish Religion and Culture (JWSS 1285).