Edna Nahshon

Professor of Jewish Theater and Drama

Department: Hebrew, Drama, Theater, Jews, Media, and Religion

Phone: (212) 678-8860

Email: ednahshon@jtsa.edu

Building Room: Kripke 301

Office Hours: By Appointment


Dr. Edna Nahshon is professor of Theater and Drama at JTS. Her specialty is the intersection of Jewishness, theater, and performance, and she has written extensively about Yiddish theater. Her most recent book is Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to “The Merchant of Venice” (with Michael Shapiro).

In 2016, Dr. Nahshon curated the highly successful exhibition “New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway” for the Museum of the City of New York (March 7–August 14, 2016). The exhibition was accompanied by a book of the same title, with Dr. Nahshon as contributing editor. It was selected as the recipient of the 2016 George Freedley Award Special Jury Prize for an exemplary work in the field of live theatre or performance.

Dr. Nahshon is a member of the editorial board of All About Jewish Theater, an electronic database. She has served as consultant and reader for academic periodicals and publishers, among them Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, and serves as theater editor for Brill Publishers series Jews, Judaism, and the Arts.

Dr. Nahshon has regularly organized panels and delivered papers at conferences and congresses organized by the Association for Jewish Studies, the World Congress of Jewish Studies, the European Association of Jewish Studies, and the International Federation for Theatre Research. She has been invited twice to present her work at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. She also organized the groundbreaking, three-day conference Jews/Theatre/Performance in an Intercultural World at JTS in 2009.

Dr. Nahshon has written numerous articles and reviews. Academic venues include American Jewish History, AJS Review, Print Quarterly, the Jewish Quarterly, the Kurt Weill Newsletter, Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe, and TDR (The Drama Review). Hebrew venues include Qesher, Zmanim, and Bamah. She has also written for the popular press in the United States and Britain, notably Renaissance, Tablet magazine, and the Jewish Daily Forward; and in Israel, Davka and Ha’aretz.

Dr. Nahshon’s theatrical contributions have included serving as producer and dramaturg of JTS’s milestone production Bratslav-Beethoven-Bratslav, directed by Yossi Yizraely, and serving as the historical advisor to the television project The Life and Death of the Federal Theatre.

Dr. Nahshon has been a guest professor at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine, and the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. She served for many years as senior associate at Oxford University’s Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, where she was Visiting Skirball Fellow in 1999. She was also a member of the New York University Center for Religion and Media’s Jews, Media, and Religion group.


American Academy for Jewish Research

American Council of Learned Societies

Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford, Britain—Skirball Fellowship

From the Ghetto to the Melting Pot (Wayne State University Press, 2005): Honored by the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies as a 2009 Notable Selection in the category of Jews and the Arts.

Lucius N. Littauer Foundation

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway: Contributing editor. Recipient of the 2016 George Freedley Award Special Jury Prize for an exemplary work in the field of live theater or performance.



Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to “The Merchant of Venice.” Cambridge University Press, 2016/17.

New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context. Editor and contributor. Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012.

Jewish Theatre: A Global View. Editor and contributor. Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009.

Jews and Shoes. Oxford, UK: Berg, 2008.

From the Ghetto to the Melting Pot: Israel Zangwill’s Jewish Plays. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005.

Yiddish Proletarian Theatre: The Art and Politics of the Artef, 1925–1940. Westwood, CT: Greenwood, 1998.


“Jewish American Drama.” In The Cambridge History of Jewish American Literature, edited by Hana Wirth-Nesher (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“Always Habima: The Artistic Path of Benno Schneider” (in Hebrew). In Habima: 90 Years On. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, forthcoming 2015.

“Anne Frank from Page to Stage.” In Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, and Memory, edited by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler, 59–92. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.

“Going Against the Grain: Jews and Passion Plays in America, 1879–1929.” In Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context, edited by Edna Nahshon. Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012.

“Philosemitism on the London Stage: Sydney Grundy’s An Old Jew.“ In Jewish Theatre: A Global View, edited by Edna Nahshon. Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009.

“What Is Jewish Theatre?” Jewish Theatre: A Global View. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009.

“Maurice Schwartz Presents: The Dybbuk (1921)” (in Hebrew). In Al Na Tegarshuni: A Collection of Essays on S. An-ski’s The Dybbuk, edited by Shimon Levy and Dorit Yerushalmi. Tel Aviv University Press, 2009.


From the Bowery to Broadway: New York’s Yiddish Theater. New York: Museum of the City of New York / Columbia University Press, forthcoming 2016.

“Shylock and His Daughter at the Yiddish Art Theatre,” in Being Shylock, ed. Werner Hanak-Lettner. Vienna: Jewish Museum Vienna, 2009.

Stars, Strikes, and the Yiddish Stage: The Story of the Hebrew Actors’ Union, 1899–2005. New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 2009.


“Revoicing the Forbidden: The Yishuv, Yiddish Films, and Hebrew Dubbing.” AJS Review, 2023.

“Behind the Backstage Hotel Lie the Dreams of Israel’s Socialist Past.” Renaissance (UK), Spring 2023.

“The Revolutionary Spirit of the Dybbuk.” Renaissance (UK), Summer 2022.

“Entre el Arte y la Política: El Repertorio del Teatro ARTEF de Nueva York (1925–1940), Estudios Progresistas en las Américas.” CEHTI-Imago Mundi, 2022.

“Tevye der Shvartzer Khazn.” Tablet, June 17, 2022. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/tevye-der-shvartzer-khazn

“Theater.” In Legacy, edited by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Tamara Sztyma, 177–201. Warsaw: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, 2021.

“Maurice Schwartz.” Oxford Bibliographies (online), 2019.

“A Hebrew Take on Shylock on the New York Stage.” European Judaism 51:2 (Autumn 2018): 159–164.


Yiddish theater, American theater, Israeli theater, and drama

See citations of Dr. Nahshon’s work.