Dissertation

Advisor: Caroline J. Acker

Committee: Joe W. Trotter, Rachel Kranson (University of Pittsburgh)

“Adjusting to Change: The Jewish Community Center Movement in Postwar Urban America, 1945-1980”

In the decades following World War II, urban American JCCs became more committed to promoting and fostering their members' Jewish identity and, at the same time, opened up their spaces and their programs to Americans of all religions and races; they simultaneously became more particularistic and more universalistic. This bifurcation, I will show, resulted from pragmatic needs as much as from ideological principles. Structural changes like postwar deindustrialization and suburbanization caused urban de-population, shrinking urban JCC's membership rolls and constraining their access to financial resources. Considerations about equal access and equal opportunity spurred by the Black Freedom Movement raised functional questions about the differences between being a member of an organization and being a participant in its programs. The economic and political instability of the 1970s, including the riots and financial collapse of large cities that characterized the urban crisis, had the combined effect of reducing JCC revenue and creating new federal antipoverty programs that JCCs could use to fund new services—thought it meant that the services, if not the agencies, had to implement non-sectarian enrollment procedures. In responding to all of these structural, functional, and financial changes, the JCC movement gradually opened up their agencies to non-Jews and, correspondingly, intensified their commitment to Jewish particularism. 



Education

Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Expected May 2017

Examination fields:  20th c. U.S. Social and Urban History; History of American Medicine, Public Health, & Health Policy; American Jewish History; Transnational Modern Latin America

Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA

M.A. in History, Department of History, 2012

Barnard College, Columbia University: New York, NY

Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, 2009

Major: Spanish and Latin American Cultures

Minor: History

Study Abroad: IFSA-Butler Cooperating Programs in the Americas: Buenos Aires, Argentina (July-December 2007) 


"The Venice Ghetto at 500: Site Based Approaches to Memory Studies"

Accepted for Publication, Graduate Journal of Social Science, Special Issue on Memory Studies, Nov/Dec 2017

Co-authored with Katherine G. Trostel, Doctoral Candidate, University of California-Santa Cruz

Publications


William S. Dietrich II Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon University

Dissertation Completion Fellowship, August 2016-May 2017

Charleston Research Fellowship, Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, College of Charleston

Fellowship to conduct research in the Jewish Heritage Collection, October 2016

Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Selected Participant, “Shaking Foundations” Advanced Summer School in Judaic Studies, Summer 2016

The Ghetto of Venice: The Future of Memory in the Digital Age, University of California, Santa Cruz Department of Literature

Selected Participant, Summer Workshop for Early Career Scholars, Summer 2016

Rabbi Joachim Prinz Memorial Fellowship, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center, American Jewish Archives

Travel Grant for four-week residency at Marcus Center, 2015-16 

Kevy Kaiserman Memorial Summer Fellow, Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Temple University

Travel Grant for Graduate Student Research, Summer 2015 

American Academy for Jewish Research

Travel Grant for Graduate Student Research, Summer 2015 

A.W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, Carnegie Mellon University

Predoctoral Fellow, Spring 2015 

GuSH Graduate Student Small Project Help, Carnegie Mellon University

Research Funding, Fall 2014 

Fellowships and Awards


Conference and Public Presentations

Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference

Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities Workshop, December 2016

The Venice Ghetto at 500

Panel Organizer, Jewish Communal Surveys in Postwar America, December 2015

The Janowsky Survey and the Postwar Purpose of the Jewish Community Center

Graduate Student Lightning Panel, December 2014

“Jewish Adjustment” and the Professionalization of Jewish Social Work

Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, College of Charleston

Public Presentation, October 2016

Adjusting to Change: Jewish Community Center Workers, Civil Rights, and the Open Membership Debate of 1968 

Jacob Rader Marcus Center, American Jewish Archives

Seminar Presentation, May 2016

Adjusting to Change: Jewish Community Center Workers, Civil Rights, and the Urban Crisis, 1960-1970

American Academy of Religion, Eastern International Region Annual Meeting

Panel, From Abraham to Black Jesus: Black Power and Monotheistic Religious Identity in Urban America,  May 2016

Looking Outward, Turning Inward: The Jewish Community Center's Response to Black Power, 1965-1970