Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Brian Horowitz

Fellow Brian Horowitz

April - August 2012

April - August 2012
Mail: horowitz2(at)gmail(dot)com

Brian Horowitz has been a Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg since April 2012. He is Professor of Jewish history at Tulane University since 2003. He holds the Sizeler Family Chair of Jewish Studies there. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a Fellowship at the Frankel Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan (2011-12), a Yad Hanadiv Fellowship at Hebrew University, Jerusalem (2002), and an Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship (2000-2001). His scholarly work pivots around Zionism and Eastern European Politics and Culture. His previous work was devoted to Jewish schools in the Russian Empire, Russian liberals and Jewish nationalism.

Research Project at the Kolleg

Eastern Europe as an Incubator of Russian Right-Wing Jewish Nationalism, 1914-1945

In the first half of the twentieth century in Eastern Europe Jews learned from their own situation as objects of persecution and imitated the non-Jewish right, creating a right-wing Jewish politics. However, Jewish rightists borrowed from the radical right selectively. It was not racism that inspired, but the concept of Gemeinschaft, a community grounded in traditions and culture (Hebrew, military discipline, and symbols from the religious tradition). Right-wing Jewish nationalists were attracted to expressions of strength and violence, rituals of identity (sport, paramilitary drills, parades), and an anti-democratic, pro-individual ideology regarding social life and the ultimate goals of society (not socialism, but capitalism; not equality, but the promotion of elites).
Although perhaps the vast majority of scholarship on Jews in Eastern Europe has been devoted to liberals and radicals, Jewish conservatives and rightists deserve greater scholarly attention. Jewish conservatives (Shtadlonim [Jewish intercessors]) remained prominent in the twentieth century, becoming transformed into industrialists and plutocrats. The Zionist Revisionists and their paramilitary youth groups were active in inter-war Poland and the Baltic states. Writers and historians, Micha Yosef Berdyczewski, Uri Zvi Greenberg, and Israel (Joseph) Klausner, were active spokesmen for a right-wing Jewish ideology.

Main areas of research

  •     Jewish nationalism in East Central Europe in the 20th Century
  •     Zionism, Palestine and Antisemitism
  •     Faschism and politics

Positions and Memberships

  • Series Editor of a Russian-Jewish Book Series in Slavica Press, 2006-present: Boris Koterman, Theater of Birobidzhan, 2009.
  • Member of the editorial board of: Center for Intercultural Russian Studies, Bar-Ilan University, 2004-present.
  • Amsterdam International Journal of Cultural Narratology, 2004-present.
  • Shibboleth: A Journal on Jewish  Literary Theory, 2007-present. Menorah Review, 1999-present.
  • Advisory Board for student-run World Affairs Forum at Tulane University, 2003-2007


Jewish Philanthropy and Enlightenment in Late-Tsarist Russia, Seattle 2009.

Empire Jews: Jewish Nationalism and Acculturation in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Russia, Bloomington 2009.

The Myth of Alexander Pushkin in Russia's Silver Age: M. O. Gershenzon-Pushinist, Evanston 1997.

Edited Volumes

together with: Ginsburg, Shai: Uneasy Relations, Russia/Israel, Culture and Politics, Bloomington, 2012.

together with: Grenspoon, L. J./ Simkins, R. A.: The Jews of Eastern Europe: Studies in Jewish Civilization, Craighton 2005.



The Russian Roots of Simon Dubnov's Life and Thought, in: Zion 2012.

Semyon An-sky-Dialogic Writer, in: 24 (Polin: A Journal Devoted to Polish-Jewish Relations (2011), S. 131-149.

Simon Dubnov's 'Dialogue' with Heinrich Graetz and Abraham Harkavy and the Struggle for the Domination of Russian-Jewish Historiography, 1883-1893, in: A. Greenbaum, I. Bartal, & D. Haruv (eds.): Sefera useefa, Shimon Dubnov: historion ve-ish tsibur, Jerusalem 2010, S. 49-70.

Maksim Vinaver and the First Russian State Duma, in: Dittmar Dahlmann & Pascal Trees (eds.): Von Duma zu Duma. Hundert Jahre Russischer Parlamentarismus, Bonn 2008, S. 115-131.

"How Jewish Was Odessa? The Society for the Promotion of Enlightenment among the Jews of Russia as an Innovative Agent of an Alternative Jewish Politics," in: Blair Ruble (ed.): Place, Identity and Urban Culture, Odessa and New Orleans, Occasional Papers of the Kennan Institute, Washington D.C. 2008, S. 9-18.

V ukor tsariu: Iakov Shiff, German Rozental' i amerikanskaia bor'ba s diskriminatsiei evreev pri tsarskom rezhime, in: Olga Belova (ed.): Jewish Immigration from Russia, 1881-2005, Moscow 2008, S. 96-119.

Partial Victory from Defeat: 1905, Jewish Liberals, and the Society for the Promotion of Enlightenment among the Jews of Russia, in: Mendelsohn and S. Hoffman (eds.): The Revolution of 1905 and Russia's Jews, A Turning Point? Philadelphia 2007, S. 117-41.

Both Crisis and Continuity: A Reinterpretation of Late-Czarist Russian Jewry, in: Vestnik Evreiskogo Universiteta 11, 29 (2006), S. 89-112.

Russian-Zionist Cultural Cooperation, 1916-1918: Leib Jaffe and the Russian Intelligentsia, in: Jewish Social Studies 13, 1 (2006), S. 87-109.


Deutsch, Nathanial: The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement, Cambridge: MA 2011, in: Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.

Meir, Nathan: Kiev, Jewish Metropolis: A History, 1859-1914, Bloomington, 2010, in: Slavonic and East European Review 90, 1 (2012), S. 155-156.

Avrutin, Eugene: Jews in the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia, in: Canadian Slavic Studies 53, 2 (2011), S. 590-91.