New Approaches to Russian and East European Jewish Culture Series

The New Approaches to Russian and East European Jewish Culture Series aims to bring to the public the finest scholarship on Russian and East European Jewish culture. Drawing on Yiddish, Hebrew, and Slavic studies, the series emphasizes questions of the culture and intellectual history of the Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe. Of particular focus are the unexplored relationships between Jews and their neighbors and among Jews themselves.

The editor hopes to publish works that challenge conventional or simplistic ideas regarding the role of Jews in the relevant literatures (Russian, Polish, Czech, etc...), cosmopolitanism and national identity, and the intersection of religious and secular conceptions of self. This series has the goal of becoming a central location for the development of new approaches, including work on the history of ideas, postmodernism, and gender issues.


Series General Editor

Marat Grinberg Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities, Russian Department, Division of Literature and Languages
Reed College, USA


A Ukrainian Chapter: A Jewish Aid Worker’s Memoir of Sorrow
lxvi + 114

Eli Gumener’s 1921 Yiddish memoir, A Ukrainian Chapter, is a rare historical source about relief work spanning the two most devastating years of the pogroms in the Russian Civil War. He concentrates on the collapse of Jewish communities in Podolia, a region in southwest Ukraine. Gumener worked for the major Russian and American organizations that were active in providing aid to Jewish victims...

Yakov Leshchinsky, translated by Robert Brym

xiv + 139

At the turn of the 20th century, the Russian Empire's 5.2 million Jews were in crisis. Having quintupled in number since 1800, they were substantially impoverished and crammed into Russia's 25 westernmost provinces. Some pinned their hopes on emigration, others on being granted permission to live in the Russian interior. Some labored with hand tools in dingy workshops, but most...

xii + 272

World War I’s Eastern Front was located in the midst of the Russian Pale of Settlement, where up to a third of the urban population was Jewish. The war resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and severe damage to the entire region’s economy. Urban populations suffered the worst from artillery shell-ing, requisitions, and outright robbery. In addition, each retreating army...


A simple tailor, the protagonist of the great Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem’s last theatrical drama, suddenly becomes rich, but loses his money on account of an obscure cinema deal. The author’s son-in-law and assistant, Y.D. Berkowitz, insisted that the issue of moviemaking be removed from the plot. It seems he tried, among other things, to conceal his father-in-law’s “cinema obsession,”...

by Seth L. Wolitz Edited by Brian Horowitz & Haim Gottschalk


Yiddish Modernism: Studies in Twentieth-Century Eastern European Jewish Culture is a presentation of what enters into the construction of Yiddish modernism, with “Yiddish modernism” being a working term. In 25 articles published over the course of more than three decades of research, Seth L. Wolitz engagingly illustrates the renaissance of Jewish plastic arts, literature, poetry, drama, and music through a...

Horowitz, Brian and Ginsburg, Shai

vi + 204

In Bounded Mind and Soul, twelve leading scholars grapple with questions about the complex relationship between Israel and Russia. What are their mutual interests? What are the areas of conflict? And how has the immigration of more than one million Jews from the former Soviet Union affected Israeli culture, society, and politics? These essays range from studies of literature and...