Religion Studies Department

image

JESSICA SARAH COOPERMAN

Assistant Professor
Department of Religion Studies
Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18104-5586
Phone: (484) 664-3957
Email: Cooperman@muhlenberg.edu

EDUCATION

New York University, New York, NY.    
Joint Doctoral Degree Program in European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Ph.D. in Modern Jewish History
Dissertation Title: “A Little Army Discipline Would Improve the Whole House of Israel:” The Jewish Welfare Board, State Power and the Shaping of Jewish Identity in WWI America        
Dissertation Advisor: Professor Hasia Diner

M.A. in Hebrew and Judaic Studies - Modern Jewish History     May 2001
M.A. in Modern European History     May 1999

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.    1987 - 1991
B.A. in Philosophy, Concentration in Art History

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Modern Jewish History, Modern European History, World War I, Progressive Era politics, diaspora studies, Zionism, nationalism, gender and masculinity, citizenship, interfaith movements, Holocaust Studies and military history.

CURRENT POSITION

Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA.
• Assistant Professor, Religion Studies Department     2013-Present

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA.
• Assistant Professor, Religion Studies Department    2012-2013

Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA.
• Posen Foundation Teaching Fellow in Jewish Studies    2006-2011
Designed and introduced new courses intended to expand Muhlenberg College’s program in Jewish Studies. Courses include: “Jewish Experience in a Secular Age” , “American Jewish Life and Culture” and “From Zion to Zionism: A History of Jewish Nationalism”. Sponsored and organized campus wide-lectures on Jewish history and secular Jewish culture.

•Instructor, History Department                         Fall 2010
"Creating the Nation: A History of Nations and Nationalism."

•Instructor, Religion Studies Department        2006-2010
“The Holocaust: History and Meaning.”

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.
•Instructor,                                                           2006-2007
“The Holocaust and Its Impact."

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.
•Adjunct Instructor,                                             Spring 2005
“The Holocaust.” Co-designed and taught advanced seminar on the Holocaust.
•Participant,                                                       Spring 2005
NEH Sponsored Educators’ Seminar on the Holocaust
•Lecturer/Guide                                                 March 2003
 “The Jews of East Central Europe.” Assisted in leading a student trip to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest and lectured on the history of the Jews of Central Europe.

The Center for Jewish History, Samberg Family History Program, New York, NY
•Program Manager                                                            2004 – 2005
Lead Instructor of intensive seminar on Jewish History and Genealogy for high school students. Taught and designed seminars on European and American Jewish history, assisted students in independent genealogical and archival research, organized evening programs, guest speakers, and student field-trips. Successfully implemented student outreach and recruitment.

New York University, New York, NY.
•Instructor,                                                                             Summer 2004
" “The Holocaust: The Third Reich and the Jews.”

•Instructor,                                                                             Summer 2001
"Western Civilization: European History from the French Revolution to 1945.” 

•Teaching Assistant to Professor Hasia Diner                 Spring 2001
“Human Migration.”

•Teaching Assistant to Professor Katherine Fleming      Fall 2000

“Conversations of the West: Antiquity and the Enlightenment.”

•Instructor,                                                                             1998 - 2000
“Expository Writing, Writing Workshop I & II.”

The Remarque Institute, New York University, New York NY     2001 - 2005  
Worked with Prof. Tony Judt to organize the Remarque Institute Forum, a meeting of cultural and intellectual leaders from across Europe and North America. Assisted Prof. Judt at Forums held in June 2003, on “The Future of the West”; and in November 2004, on “Faith and the State: The Politics of Religion Today.”

The Renaissance Society of America, New York, NY.      2000 – 2003
Copy editor for Renaissance Society publications, including “The Poetic Works of Helius Eobanus Hessus,” Harry Vredeveld, Ed., and “Renaissance Quarterly Journal.”

New York University Archives, New York, NY.                    Summer 2000
Archival Assistant at the NYU Archives; worked on cataloguing and processing special collections.

WNET Public Television, New York, NY.                               1997 - 1998
Researcher and writer for the PBS Heritage Series “Civilization and the Jews.”

Yad VaShem Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial     1995 - 1996
Jerusalem, Israel.
Instructor, Education Department. Worked with student groups studying the Holocaust and 20th century Jewish and Israeli history.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.                         1995 - 1996
Research Assistant to Prof. Yitzchak Reiter, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. Prepared maps and conducted research on Jewish holy sites in connection with Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian proposal for the future joint administration of holy sites in Jerusalem.

 

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

Association for Jewish Studies      2008

Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant for 40th Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

The Posen Foundation for Secular Jewish Culture     2007-2009

Awarded a teaching fellowship designed to introduce three new courses in Secular Jewish Culture into the Jewish Studies curriculum at Muhlenberg College, to work with librarians to expand library collections in Jewish Studies, and to organize lectures and events to increase the visibility of Jewish studies on the Muhlenberg campus.

The German Historical Institute, Washington, DC.     Spring 2004

Awarded a fellowship for dissertation research at National Archives and NY Public Library.

The America Jewish Archives, Hebrew Union College Cincinnati, Ohio     2003-2004

Received a Jacob Rader Marcus Fellowship to conduct dissertation research using the extensive collection of materials on American Jewry at the American Jewish Archives.

The Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture,     January 2004
University of Leipzig, Germany.

Invited to the Simon Dubnow Center as a visiting Graduate Student Fellow (declined).

Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute, University of Minnesota,     Summer 2003
Ludwig Maximilian Universität, Munich, Germany, DAAD.

Invited to Munich to participate in a seminar on German Citizenship in the 20th Century.

The Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.     2002 - 2003

Granted a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to conduct research at the archives of the American Jewish Historical Society and the Leo Baeck Institute.

The Remarque Institute, New York University, New York, NY.     2001 – 2003

Awarded a Graduate Student Fellowship to support dissertation research and to assist in the organization and selection of participants for the Remarque Institute Forum.

The Remarque Institute, New York University, New York, NY.
Summer Travel Grant      Summer 2003

To conduct dissertation research at the Neue Synagogue, Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, and the Militärgeschichtliche Forschungsamt in Potsdam, Germany. 

American Academy of Jewish Research     June 2001

Graduate Student Summer Seminar at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.       June 1991

Philip Goldfein, Class of 1926 Prize for best student paper on Shakespeare.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Book Manuscript in Progress: Serving Our Boys: World War I Jewish Soldiers’ Welfare Services and the Making of American Religious Pluralism

“World War I Jewish Soldiers’ Welfare Services and the Origins of American Religious Pluralism.” American Jewish History (forthcoming).

“Jewish Immigration 1870-1940,” co-authored with Shira Kohn, in Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration, ed. Elliott Barkan (ABC–Clio, 2013).

“The Great Migration and the transformation of American Jewry,” in History of Jews and Judaism, ed. Alan Levenson (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Review of Louis Marshall and the Rise of Jewish Ethnicity in America, by M. M. Silver, Journal of Jewish Identities (forthcoming)

Review of Henry Ford’s War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech, by Victoria Saker Woeste, American Studies, Vol.52, no.3 (Fall 2013).

Review of Translating a Tradition. Studies in American Jewish History, by Ira Robinson, The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Vol. 11, issue 2 (July 2012).

Review of Jewish Preaching in Times of War, 1800-2001, by Marc Saperstein, American Jewish Archives Journal, Vol. 62, no.1 (October 2010).

Review of Forward: Immigrants, Socialism and Jewish Politics in New York, 1890-1917, by Ehud Manor, American Jewish History, Vol. 95, no.3 (September 2009).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

“State Power and the Shaping of American Jewish Identity in the Twentieth Century.” Conference on Religion and the State, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, April 2013.

“Jews and the Creation of the USO.” Presentation to the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, New York, NY, June 2012.

“World War I Jewish Soldiers’ Welfare Services and the Origins of American Religious Pluralism." Conference on the Politics of Military Service in Jewish History, Emory University, May 2012.

“Gearing Up for a Fight: the JWB and Jewish Preparation for WWII.” Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, MA, December 2011.

“The Faiths of Democracy: World War I and the Origins of a “Judeo-Christian” America.” Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, MA, December 2010.

“The Same Ideal that was handed down to us from Mt. Sinai”: The Jewish Welfare Board, Progressive era Politics, and the Discourses of Democracy. Conference of the Organization of American Historians, Washington, DC, April 2010.

The Representative of the Jewry of America: The WWI Jewish Welfare Board and the Power of the State. Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Los Angeles, CA, December 2009.

“‘Some Army Discipline Would Improve the Whole House of Israel’: World War I and the Boundaries of “Jewishness” in the American Military,” Conference of the American Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 2009.

“When I get down South”: Training for the WWI Military in the American South.” Conference of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, New Orleans, LA, October 2009.

“A Home Away from Home: Soldiers’ Welfare huts and Jewish “homes” in the WWI American Military.” Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Washington DC, December 2008.

“The Jewish Welfare Board and ‘Non-Sectarian’ Soldiers’ Services in the WWI American Armed Forces.” Biennial Scholars Conference on American Jewish History, Los Angles, CA, June 2008.

“The Jewish Welfare Board, the YMCA, and the Provision of “Morally Uplifting” Soldiers’ Welfare Services during the First World War.” Conference of the Western Jewish Studies Association, Los Angeles, CA, April 2008.

“American Maccabees: Patriotic Service and Recruitment for the World War I Jewish Legion,” Conference for the Association of Jewish Studies, Chicago, IL, December 2004.

“The Jewish Welfare Board, World War I and the Battle for American Jewry,” Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, MA, December 2003.

“Preaching Politics: The National Jewish Welfare Board and the Politics of Jewish American Identity,” The Center for Jewish History, October 23, 2003.

“Being the Same but Different: Jewish Masculinity, the American Jewish Chaplaincy and WWI,” Yale University Conference on Diaspora, October 2002.

“Theorizing the Jewish Diaspora,” Europeanists Colloquium, NYU, 2000.

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project and the Association of Jewish Studies         
2012
Awarded a grant to create a year-long series of events and lectures at Muhlenberg College and throughout the Lehigh Valley. This grant is part of a national program intended to promote on-going Jewish studies programming in small to mid-sized cities, and to foster creative and productive relationships between Jewish Studies scholars and the wider communities in which they work.

Association for Jewish Studies                                                December 2008
Graduate Student Conference Travel Grand for 40th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Posen Foundation for Secular Jewish Culture                   2007-2011
Awarded a teaching fellowship designed to introduce three new courses in Secular Jewish Culture into the Jewish Studies curriculum at Muhlenberg College, to work with librarians to expand library collections in Jewish Studies, and to organize lectures and events to increase the visibility of Jewish studies on the Muhlenberg campus.

The German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.                   Spring 2004
Awarded a fellowship for dissertation research at National Archives and NY Public Library.

The America Jewish Archives, Hebrew Union College,            2003-2004
Cincinnati, Ohio
Received a Jacob Rader Marcus Fellowship to conduct dissertation research using the extensive collection of materials on American Jewry at the American Jewish Archives.

The Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture,  January 2004
University of Leipzig, Germany.
Invited to the Simon Dubnow Center as a visiting Graduate Student Fellow (declined).

Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute, University of Minnesota,      Summer 2003
Ludwig Maximilian Universitat, Munich, Germany, DAAD.
Invited to Munich to participate in a seminar on German Citizenship in the 20th Century.

The Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.                                2002-2003
Granted a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to conduct research at the archives of the American Jewish Historical Society and the Leo Baeck Institute.

The Remarque Institute, New York University, New York, NY.    Summer 2003
Awarded a Graduate Student Fellowship to support dissertation research and to assist in the organization and selection of participants for the Remarque Institute Forum.

The Ramarque Institute, New York University, NY.                        Summer 2003
Summer Travel Grant
To conduct dissertation research at the Neue Synagogue, Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, and the militargeschichtliche Forschungsamt in Potsdam, Germany.

American Academy of Jewish Research                                          June 2001
Graduate Student Summer Seminar at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.                                 June 1991
Philip Goldfein, Class of 1926 Prize for best student paper on Shakespeare.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus of the Association for Jewish Studies

ADDITIONAL EDUCATION

Columbia University, New York, NY.                                                  Summer 2001
Uriel Weinreich / YIVO Institute Yiddish Language Summer Program.

Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont.                                       Summer 1999
German language immersion program.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.              1994 - 1996
Master’s program in European History.

Nishmat College for Women, Jerusalem, Israel.                             1999 -1993
Text-based study of Jewish law and philosophy.

Kings College, London, England.                                                       1989 -1990
College courses in English and Continental philosophy.

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCIES

Hebrew – fluent
Yiddish – reading knowledge
German – reading knowledge
French – reading knowledge


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Association for Jewish Studies, American Historical Association, American Studies Association, Organization of American Historians, Women and Gender Studies reading group at Muhlenberg College.