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Shaul Kelner

Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Sociology
Affiliated Faculty, American Studies, and German, Russian and East European Studies

Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies. He specializes in the sociology of American Jews. His first book, Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press), won the Association for Jewish Studies’ Jordan Schnitzer Book Award was named Honorable Mention for the American Sociological Association Culture Section’s Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book. His current research project is a National Endowment for the Humanities-supported study of the Cold War-era struggle to free Soviet Jews. Prof. Kelner has been a Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute for Advanced Studies and the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, as well as a visiting scholar in Tel Aviv University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He has served as a board member of the Association for Jewish Studies and the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry. He received his Ph.D in 2002 from the CUNY Graduate Center, which he attended as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science recognized him with an Innovative Teaching Award for Creating Engaging In-Person Learning Environments.