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Elissa Bemporad
Position: Professor, History
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center|Queens College
Phone: 718-997-5365
Office Hours: by appointment
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in History, Stanford University
Research Interests: Elissa Bemporad is a social and cultural historian focusing on the Jews of Russia and Eastern Europe in modern times. She is interested in questions of mass violence, gender, and trauma. Her most recent work explores antisemitism and Jewish responses to (and involvement in) violence under the Soviet regime.

Elissa Bemporad holds the Ungar Chair in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust and is Professor of History at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She is the author of Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk (2013), and Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms, and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets (2019). Elissa is the co-editor of two volumes: Women and Genocide: Survivors, Victims, Perpetrators (2018); and Pogroms: A Documentary History (Oxford University Press, 2021). She serves as editor of Jewish Social Studies. Elissa is currently finishing the first volume of the Comprehensive History of Soviet Jewry (forthcoming with NYU Press), and is at work on a biography of Ester Frumkin.
Awards and Grants
  • Two-time Winner of the National Jewish Book Award in 2019 and 2014
  • Finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in 2013
  • Winner of the Feliks Gross Endowment Award, CUNY 2014
  • Winner of the Frankel Prize in Contemporary History, 2013, for outstanding work in 20th century history
  • American Academy for Jewish Research
  • Israel Institute Faculty Development Grant
  • ARC Distinguished Visiting Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center
  • Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
  • Editor of Jewish Social Studies
Courses Taught
  • Modern Jewish history
  • Jews and the Left
  • Jewish Responses to the Holocaust
  • Genocide in Modern Times
  • History of Antisemitism
  • Modern European history
  • Soviet History
  • Women and Gender in Jewish History

Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk, Indiana University Press (2013).

The Russian-language translation of Becoming Soviet Jews, Prevrashenie v sovetskikh evreev: bolshevitskii eksperiment v Minske, Moscow: ROSSPEN, Series “History of Stalinism” (November 2016).

Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets (Oxford University Press, November 15, 2019).

The Italian-langauge translation Eredita’ di sangue, Roma: Castelvecchi, 2021.

A Comprehensive History of the Jews in the Soviet Union, vol. I (NYU Press).

Volumes Edited

Co-Editor, Co-Author of Introduction: Pogroms: A Documentary History of Anti-Jewish Violence (With Eugene Avrutin). Oxford University Press, 2021.

Co-Editor, Co-Author of Introduction: The Pogroms of the Russian Civil War at 100: New Sources, New Trends (With Thomas Chopard). Special Issue of Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History. August 2019.

Co-Editor, Author of Introduction: Women and Genocide: Survivors, Victims, Perpetrators (With Joyce Warren). Indiana University Press, 2018.  

Racconti di Y. L. Peretz (Stories by Y. L. Peretz) Book Series in Yiddish Literature and Culture, Elissa Bemporad and Margherita Pascucci eds., Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, May 2014.

Trit nokh trit, Step By Step: An Anthology of Contemporary Yiddish Literature, Book Series in Yiddish Literature and Culture, Elissa Bemporad and Margherita Pascucci eds., Firenze: Quodlibet, 2009.