Nancy Sinkoff


Nancy Sinkoff, a historian of early modern and modern East European Jewry, was educated at Harvard-Radcliffe College, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Columbia University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Jewish History in 1996. She is currently Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Sinkoff was a Dorot Fellow in the Skirball Department of Judaic Studies at New York University.

Dr. Sinkoff has been the recipient of an IIE-Fulbright, a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, an Advanced Graduate Fellowship in East European Studies from the American Council of Learned Societies, a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Fellowship, among other awards. She has taught at New York University, Kazan State University, Russia, the International Cultural Center in Cracow, Poland, and has given lectures at the Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, and the Yarnton Center for Advanced Jewish Studies in Oxford, UK.

Dr. Sinkoff is author of Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands (Brown Judaic Studies, 2004), for which she was awarded a Korot Foundation Subvention Publication Prize. She has published articles in The Journal of the History of Ideas, The Association of Jewish Studies Review, Jewish Studies Quarterly, and American Jewish History. She has also contributed to theDictionary of Early Modern Europe, The YIVO Encyclopedia of East European Jewish History,Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd ed.), The Encyclopedia of the American Left, and has published book reviews in HABSBURG@H-NET.MSU.EDU (H-NET List for the study of East Central European History since 1500), Slavic Review, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, and theCanadian Slavonic Review.

Dr. Sinkoff is currently at work on a political biography of Lucy S. Dawidowicz, an American-born historian of East European Jewry best known as the author of The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945(1975), a seminal study of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and of the East European Jewish communal response to Nazi brutality. Dr Sinkoff recently published “Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz,” the preface to Dawidowicz’s reissued memoir, From That Place and Time: A Memoir, 1938-1947 (Rutgers University Press, October 2008) and her article, “The Polishness of Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s Postwar Jewish Cold War,” is forthcoming in the edited volume, The Jewish Feminine Mystique? Jewish Women in Postwar America.

At the Beinecke Library, Dr. Sinkoff will further her biography of Dawidowicz by working on the papers of John Hersey, the American journalist and novelist, in a project entitled “The Fiction of History: Jewish Politics and Resistance in John Hersey’s The Wall.” Hersey’s novel, The Wall (1950), which focused on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, was one of the first English language fictional representations of the Holocaust. To write the novel, Hersey employed Lucy S. Dawidowicz as his Yiddish translator.

Donald C. Gallup Fellowship in American Literature
The Fiction of History: Jewish Politics and Resistance in John Hersey's "The Wall"
Visiting Fellow


Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
Campus Map

Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

USPS: Mailing Address and Information


Beinecke events & news email list subscription



Monday 10 am - 7 pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 7 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 5 pm
Sunday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 4 pm

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule