David Fishman

Professor of Jewish History

Department: Jewish History, Hebrew University, Project Judaica, Jewish Social Studies

Phone: (212) 678-8001

Email: dafishman@jtsa.edu

Building Room: Brush 411

Office Hours: By Appointment


BA, Yeshiva University; AM and PhD, Harvard University

David E. Fishman is a professor of Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in modern Jewish history. Dr. Fishman also serves as director of Project Judaica, JTS’s program in Ukraine, which is based at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy University. He directs its Jewish Archival Survey, which publishes guides to Jewish archival materials in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Dr. Fishman is the author of numerous books and articles on the history and culture of East European Jewry. His most recent book, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis, (ForeEdge, 2017) was winner of the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. Previous monographs include Russia’s First Modern Jews (New York University Press, 1996) and The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005). Dr. Fishman is the coeditor (with Burton Visotzky) of From Mesopotamia to Modernity: Ten Introductions to Jewish History and Literature (Westview Press, 1999), and edited two volumes of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Yiddish writings, Droshes un ksovim (Ktav, 2009 and Orthodox Union, 2021).

For 15 years (1988–2003), Dr. Fishman was editor in chief of YIVO-Bleter, the Yiddish-language scholarly journal of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and serves on the editorial board of the journal Polin. 

A native New Yorker, Dr. Fishman has taught at Brandeis University, Bar-Ilan University, Russian State University in Moscow, and Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He has been a fellow at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Advanced Studies and the University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Kronhill Visiting Scholar, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Spring 2015
  • Member, Academic Committee, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2014present
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Lithuania, 2007–2008
  • Lady Davis Visiting Professorship, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, May–June 2004 and May–June 2005



  • “Vilna: The Jerusalem of Lithuania”
  • “The Shtetl: Myth and Reality”
  • “Yiddish Words and Jewish Values”
  • “Hasidism and Its Opponents”
  • “The Rescue of Jewish Cultural Treasures During the Holocaust”
  • “The Rabbis and the Russian Revolution”
  • “Religion and Secularism in Early Zionism”
  • “The East European Roots of Modern Israel”
  • “The Jews and the Soviet Union: A Love-Hate Relationship”
  • “Contemporary Russian Jews: A Community on Three Continents”
  • Available to speak about Jewish history, Jewish religious and political movements, Yiddish culture, and Jews and Slavs