CV – Shachar Pinsker



Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union, 2001

M.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1997

B.A. Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1994. Comparative and Hebrew Literature; Amirim Program for Outstanding Students

Columbia University and YIVO Institute, 1997, 2001. Yiddish Studies


2020-               Associate Director, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

2018-               Professor, University of Michigan

2011-2018       Associate Professor, University of Michigan

2003- 2010      Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

2002    Kreitman Postdoctoral Fellow, Ben-Gurion University

2001    Visiting Instructor, Harvard University


Books and Edited Volumes:

Editor: Where the Sky and the Sea Meet: Israeli Yiddish Stories [Hebrew] (Magnes Press, Forthcoming)

A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture (New York University Press, 2018); Finalist, National Jewish Book Award, 2018; 2019 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies for the best book in Jewish Literature and Linguistics.

Editor: Women’s Hebrew Poetry on American Shores (Wayne State University Press, 2016)

Literary Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011); 2011 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies for the best book in Jewish Literature and Linguistics

Co-editor (with Sheila Jelen): Hebrew, Gender and Modernity: Critical Responses to Dvora Baron’s Fiction, Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture, (Bethesda: University Press of Maryland, 2007).

Book Manuscript in Preparation

When Yiddish Was Young: The Pervasive Influence of Israel’s Silent Language

Co-edited (with Naomi Brenner and Matthew Handelman): Below the Line: The Feuilleton, the Public Sphere, and Modern Jewish Cultures

Digital Humanities Projects:

“Mapping Modern Jewish Cultures”

“The Feuilleton, The Public Sphere, and Modern Jewish Cultures”

Articles and Book Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Publications:

“Jewish Literary Studies” in Leora Batnitzky, Eve Krakowski and Steven Weitzman (Eds.) The Princeton Companion to Jewish Studies (Princeton University Press, forthcoming)

“The World of Conviviality,” A Cultural History of Leisure, vol. 7 (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming)

“Coffeehouses, Journalism, and the Rise of Modern Jewish Literary Culture,” Prooftexts 38:2 (2020)

 “When Yiddish Was Young in Israel,” in Nancy Berg and Naomi B. Sokoloff (eds.), Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making (SUNY Press, 2020)

 “The Viennese Coffeehouse as a space of Jewish Modernism” in Sharon Gordon and Rina Peled (eds), Vienna 1900: Blooming on the Edge of an Abyss [Hebrew], (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2019)

“Modern Hebrew Literature,” in Tony Michels and Mitchell Hart(eds.), The Cambridge History of Judaism: The Modern Era, vol. 8. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)

“Warsaw in Hebrew Literature 1880-1920: New Perspectives,” Studia Judaica, 35:1 (2015), 91-118

“A Modern (Jewish) Woman in a Café: Leah Goldberg and the Poetic Space of the Coffeehouse,” Jewish Social Studies, 21:1 (2015), 1-48

 “ThatYiddish Has Spoken to Me:Yiddish in Early Israeli Literature,” Poetics Today, 35:1 (2014), 325-356

The Language that Was Lost on the Roads: Discovering Hebrew through Yiddish in Aharon Appelfeld’s Fiction,” The Journal of Modern Jewish Identities 7:1(2014), 23-35

“Hebrew Literature in America: New Perspectives (review essay),” American Jewish History, 79:2 (2013), 182-186

“Jewish Modernism and Viennese Cafés, 1900-1930” in Scott Haine and Jeffrey H. Jackson, eds., The Thinking Space: The Café as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy, and Vienna, (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 51-64

“Between ‘The House of Study’ and the Kaffeehaus: The Central European Café as a Site for Hebrew and Yiddish Modernism,” in Simon Shaw-Miller and Tag Gronberg, (ed.), The Viennese Café as an Urban Site of Cultural Exchange, (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013) 78-89

“Choosing Yiddish in Israel: Yung Yisroel between Home and Exile, Margins and Centers,” in Shiri Goren, Hannah Pressman and Lara Rabinovitch (eds.), Choosing Yiddish: Studies on Yiddish Literature, Culture, and History, (Detroit: Wayne State University, 2012), 277-294

 “The Urban Literary Café and the Geography of Hebrew and Yiddish Modernism in Europe” in Mark Wollaeger (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 433-458

 “Never Will I Hear the Sweet Voice of God: Religiosity and Mysticism in Modern Hebrew Poetry,” Prooftexts 30:1 (2010), 128-146.

Spaces of Hebrew and Yiddish Modernism: The Urban Cafés of Berlin,” in Gertrud Pickhan and Verena Dohrn (eds.), Transit und Transformation: Osteuropäisch-Jüdische Migranten in Berlin 1918-1939 (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2010), 56-75.

“Deciphering the Hieroglyphics of the Metropolis: Literary Topographies of Berlin in Hebrew and Yiddish Modernism”, in Gennady Estraikh and Mikhail Krutikov (eds.), Yiddish in Weimar Berlin (Oxford: Legenda, 2010), 28-53

“Lemberg, Vienne, Berlin: cafés juifs et créativité culturelle,” [French], Les Cahiers du Judaïsme 26, (June 2009), 31-43

“The Construction of ‘Secular’ and ‘Religious’ in Modern Hebrew Literature” in Zvi Gitelman (ed.), Religion or Ethnicity? Jewish Identities in Evolution (New-Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009), 221-238

“Imagining the Beloved: Nation and Gender in Early Twentieth-Century Hebrew Literature,” Gender and History 20:1, (2008), 105-127

“Midrash, Intertextuality, and Modernist Hebrew Fiction,” in Anita Norich and Yaron Eliav (eds.), Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intrertext,(Providence: Brown University Press, 2008), 201-228

“The Challenges of Writing a Literary History of Early Modernist Hebrew Fiction: Gershon Shaked and Beyond,” Hebrew Studies 49 (2008), 291-298

 “Old Language, New Land: On Yung Yisroel,” [Hebrew] Davka: Yiddishland and its Culture 3, (July 2007), 46-50

 “And Suddenly We Reached God? The Construction of ‘Secular’ and ‘Religious’ in Israeli Literature,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 5:1, (2006), 21-40

“Unraveling the Yarn: Intertextuality, Gender and Cultural Critique in the Stories of Dvora Baron,” Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender 11, (2006), 244-279

“The Train that Rides Inside: The Jewish Predicament in Aharon Appelfeld’s The Iron Tracks” [Hebrew], in Igal Shwartz and Risa Domb (eds.) Aharon Appelfeld and his World: special volume of Mikan, (Cambridge University and Ben-Gurion University Press, 2005), 77-89

“Whose Canon is it? On the Formation and Dissemination of the Hebrew Canon” (Review Essay), [Hebrew], Theory and Criticism 25(Fall 2004), 259-264

Reviews and Articles in Non-Refereed Publications:

Review of Rachel Rojanski. Yiddish in Israel: A History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020, AJS Review, 45(2), 500-502

“I have a good memory because I’m too weak to forget”: On Avrom Stuzkever’s Short Stories, Tel Aviv Review of Books, September 2021

“Restaurants may be reopening, but will dining out be the same?” Washington Post, June 14, 2020

Review of Seeds in the Desert by Mendel Mann, translated and with an introduction by Heather Valencia, In geveb, May 2020

“Teaching Through a Bout With Covid-19.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2020

“We must not assimilate into Israel; we must assimilate Israel into ourselves,” Tel Aviv Review of Books, Fall 2019

“The Jewish Women Writers Who Made Their Mark on Café Culture,” Paper Brigade 3, 2019.

Review of Naomi Seidman, The Marriage Plot, AJS Review 42 (2018)

“Translingualism Today: A Review of Naomi Brenner’s Lingering Bilingualism” (co-authored with Ya’akov Herskovitz), In geveb, September 2016

“Kawiarnie Berlina – przestrzenie modernizmu hebrajskiego i jidysz”[Polish], Cwiszn, Winter 2012

“The Great Jewish Market of Ideas: Berlin as a Crossroads of Jewish Culture [Hebrew], Davka: Yiddishland and its Culture, 7 (2012)

 “A Habsburg Treasure in a Desolate Land: On David Fogel’s Viennese Novel,” Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, April 2012 (Hebrew)

 “What is Jewish Literature?” (A review essay on Dan Miron’s Book: From Continuity to Contiguity”) The New Republic, December 2011

“Israeli Snow: On Yung Yisroel for its 60th anniversary,” Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, October 2011 (Hebrew)

A series of two articles on Ya’acov Shabtai’s and Yiddish, Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, August 2011 (Hebrew)

“New Home, Old Language: On Yiddish Literature in Israel,” Cwiszn, Winter 2011 (Polish)

“Tel Aviv, meet the Lower East Side”: A Review of the Novel “Hebrew Publishing Company [Hebrew and English versions], Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, February 2011. 

“Kaffee als kultureller Nährboden”, Aufbau:das Jüdische Monatmagazin, June 2009.

“A Rich Brew of Ideas: On Jews and Coffeehouses,” The Jewish Week: Text/Context, April 2009.

 A series of five articles on the Jewish Literary Cafés of Europe [Hebrew], Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, May-June, 2008.

“Everything Entered My Heart and Scratched it”: A Review of Haim Sabato’s Come O Wind, Ha’aretz Literary Supplement, April 2008. 

“Welcome to Yiddishland” (a review of Davka), Ha’aaretz Sfarim [Hebrew and English Edition], March 2008.


Yiddish Stories: Yossl Birshtein “The Letter,” Zvi Eisenman, “Where the Sky and Sea Meet” Isaiah Shpigel, “Grapes on the Mountain”

Hebrew Essay by Anne Kleiman “On Anda Pinkerfeld and her Poetry”

Encyclopedia Entries:

Entries on Y.Kh. Ravnitski and the Zeitlin family, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).

Entries Lexicon of Israeli Literature (Hebrew, 2014)




2021-               Elected as a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research

2019-2020       National Endowment for Humanities Collaborative Research Grant (Co-Director)

2019                Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies for the best book in Jewish Literature

2019                Mini MCubed grant to support “Urban Jewish Cultures Across the Globe”

2019                Finalist for the Jewish Book Award, 2018.

2018-2019       Special Initiatives Grants, American Academy for Jewish Research (Co-Director)

2018                New-Model Humanities Publication Grant Program, Institute for Humanities, University of Michigan

2017                Mini MCubed grant to support “Mapping Modern Jewish Diasporic Cultures,” University of Michigan

2016-2017       Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, Head Fellow

2014                Media Support Grant from Language Resource Center, University of Michigan

2013                Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies Fellowship, University of Michigan

2012                LSA Associate Professor Support Fund, University of Michigan

2011                Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies for the best                             book in Jewish Literature

2011                Goldreich Institute Visiting Professor, Tel Aviv University

2011                Lady Davis Visiting Professor Fellowship, Hebrew University

2011                Yad Hanadiv Rothschild visiting fellowship, Hebrew University

2009-2010       Hadassah-Brandeis Institute ResearchAward

2010                Fritz Halbers Fellowship, Leo Baeck Institute

2008                Global Ethnic Literatures Seminar Fellow (Fall Semester), Comparative                                             Literature, U of Michigan 

2008                Spring/Summer Research Grant, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan

2007                Frankel Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Fellowship, University of Michigan

2007                The Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Faculty Support for Scholarly Activities, University of Michigan

2006                Summer research visiting fellowship, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies

2006                Summer research grant in Israel, CMENAS, University of Michigan

2005                Summer Research Grant and Faculty Award, Rackham School, U of Michigan

2005                Interdisciplinary Faculty Associates Award (to develop a new interdisciplinary course), Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, U of Michigan

2004                Faculty Development Award (to develop new technology based content/language materials, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, U of Michigan

2004                Koret Foundation Jewish Studies Publication Grant

2002-2003       Kreitman Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ben-Gurion University

2001-2003       Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Academy for Jewish Research                                                          (declined)

2000-2001       Dissertation Fellowship, National Foundation for Jewish Culture

2000                Newhall Fellowship for excellence in teaching, GTU, Berkeley.

1998                Benjamin Goor Prize, best graduate paper in Jewish Studies, University of                                     California, Berkeley.

Recent Scholarly Papers and Presentations:

A Rich Brew: Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture, University of Louisville, October 2014. University of Chicago, October 2016, University of South Florida, February 2017, Harvard University, Fordham University 2018, Rice University, University of Toronto, NYU, Skidmore College, 2019

Yiddish Needs No Mercy, AJS Annual Conference, San Diego, 2019

Why Feuilleton? Jewish Literature, Journalism, and the Public Sphere, Hebrew University, 2019

How to Write a Feuilleton in Hebrew: Literature, Journalism, and the Public Sphere, Johns Hopkins University, November, 2017 (invited lecture)

Occupying the Space “Below the Line”? The Feuilleton in Jewish Literature, AJS Conference, San Diego, December 2016

The Place of Hebrew in Early 20th Century Berlin, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, June 2015

New York City Cafés as Spaces of Jewish Masculinity, Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Baltimore, December 2015

Urban Cafés and the Spatial History of Jewish Modernism, ACLA conference, New York City, March 2014.

Meager Gifts from Dessert Island, Association for Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 2013


The Language that Was Lost on the Roads: Discovering Hebrew through Yiddish in Aharon Appelfeld’s Fiction, University of Toronto, November 2012

David Fogel and Jewish Modernism in Vienna, Tel Aviv University, June 2011.

I Saw My God in the Café: Lea Goldberg and the Urban Coffeehouse, Tel Aviv and Hebrew University, June 2011.

Yiddish in Israeli Literature, Tel Aviv University, May 2011.

To Fly in Yiddish on the Roofs of Tel Aviv: Ya’acov Shabtai’s Stories, Ben Gurion University, February 2011.

New Directions in the Study of Jewish Modernism, AJS Conference, Boston, December 2010. (Session organizer and discussant)

Urban Cafés as Spaces of Jewish Modernism, Stanford University, October 2010 (invited lecture)

Yiddish as a Double Agent in Israeli Literature and Culture,” Johns Hopkins University,    March 2010 (invited lecture).

The Urban European Cafés as Spaces of Jewish Modernism, UC Berkeley, February 2010 (Invited lecture).


Hebrew Culture in Weimar Berlin, at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, December 2009 (invited lecture).


Berlin as a Space of Hebrew and Yiddish Modernism, invited lecture at the international conference “Transforming Berlin’s Urban Space: East European Jewish Migrants in Charlottengrad and the Scheunenviertel, 1918-1939,” Freie Universität and Jüdischen Museum Berlin, (October 2009).





PhD Candidates in Progress:


·       Nadav Linial, Middle East Studies (Dissertation Committee Chair), expected completing date: 2022

·       Omri Senderowicz, History and Anthropology (Member of Prelims and Dissertation Committee)

·       Marina Mayorsky, Comparative Literature (Member of Prelims and Dissertation Committee)

·       Denisa Galcova, Middle East Studies


PhD Completed:


·       Yaakov Herskovitz, Near Eastern Studies (Dissertation Committee Chair). Completed in 2018.

·       Sara Feldman, Near Eastern Studies (Dissertation Committee Chair). Completed in 2013.

·       Efrat Bloom, Comparative Literature (Dissertation Committee Member). Completed in 2013.

·       Orian Zakai, Comparative Literature (Dissertation Committee Member). Completed 2012.

·       Oren Segal, Near Eastern Studies (Dissertation Committee Chair). Completed 2012.

·       Rami Kimchi, Near Eastern Studies (Dissertation Committee Chair). Completed 2008.




Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Associate Director, 2020-

MES Executive Committee, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2017-2019

Frankel Center for Judaic Studies Executive Committee, 2004-2006, 2014-2016, 2017-2019

Chair of MES Graduate Student Teaching Innovations, 2018-2019

MES Graduate Student Diversity Ally, 2018-2019

Head Fellow, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, 2016-2017

Chair of Tenure Review Committee, 2016

Chair of Hebrew Coordinator Review Committee, 2015-2016

NES, Search Committee 2013-2014

NES Undergraduate Committee Chair, 2011-2012

NES Graduate Committee, 2010

Search Committee, Modern Hebrew and Jewish Culture, 2008-2009

Curriculum Committee, 2008-2009

Search Committee, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, 2008-2009

NES Undergraduate Committee, 2004-2007

Coordinator of Hebrew Language Program, 2003-2006

Undergraduate Advisor for HJCS concentrators, 2004-2007

Steering Committee of “The Place and Displacement of Yiddish” conference, Frankel Center for

Judaic Studies, 2007

Steering Committee for “The Changing Face of Israeli Society” series of lecture at the University of Michigan, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, 2004-2005

University of Michigan:

LSA Humanities Divisional Evaluation Committee, 2020-

Rackham Pre-doctoral Fellowship Committee, 2019

FLAS committee, 2006-2007, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies Executive Committee, 2004-2006

FLAS committee 2004-2005, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Service to the Academic Community:

MLA Committee Hebrew, (2020-)

Associate Editor, Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History (2019-)

Member Editorial Board for Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies (2017-)

Division Chair of Modern Hebrew Literature, Association for Jewish Studies (2012- 2014)

Member of the Association for Jewish Studies Board (2011-2013)

Member of the NAPH Advisory Board (2013-)

Book Review Editor for the journal Hebrew Studies (2009-2018)

Editor of Hebrew translations, The Birstein Project,

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