Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies
Fellow, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, 2016
B.A.(George Washington University 1992)
M.Phil, Ph.D. (City University of New York 2000, 2002)
Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, Tel Aviv University (2008-2009)
Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (2004)
Shaul Kelner specializes in the sociology of contemporary Jewish experience. His research analyzes how culture and politics intersect to shape Jewish life. His first book, Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010), examines how modern mass travel is being drafted into the service of Jewish nationalism and transnationalism. With the support of Vanderbilt, the NEH, and the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, he is currently writing his second book, a study of social movements as agents of cultural change, focusing on the American mobilization to free Soviet Jews (1964-1991). Other work has focused on the environmental movement in Israel and shifting power dynamics in American Jewish philanthropy. Prof. Kelner received his Ph.D in 2002 from the City University of New York, which he attended as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
For his book, Tours That Bind, he is the recipient of the Association for Jewish Studies’ 2010 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Social Science, Anthropology and Folklore. The book was also named Honorable Mention for the American Sociological Association Culture Section’s 2011 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book.
Professor Kelner has been a Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and a visiting scholar in Tel Aviv University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He lectures widely on the sociology of American Jews, and is speaker in the Association for Jewish Studies’ Distinguished Lectureship Program.