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How the Soviet Jew Was Made: A new book by Sasha Senderovich

June 2, 2022

How the Soviet Jew Was Made by Sasha Senderovich, May 2022
New book "How the Soviet Jew Was Made" by faculty Sasha Senderovich (Photo by Meryl Schenker)

Assistant Professor Sasha Senderovich’s new book, “How the Soviet Jew Was Made,” published by Harvard University Press in May, delves into post-revolutionary Russian and Yiddish literary, cinematic, and journalistic sources and recasts the Soviet Jew as a novel cultural figure, not just a minority but an ambivalent character navigating between the Jewish past and Bolshevik modernity.

“How the Soviet Jew Was Made,” was one of four books featured in an article by UW News on July 12.

A scholar of Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish literature and culture, Senderovich looks at how the Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the Jewish community of the former tsarist empire. Through the lens of characters whose lives are disrupted by the march of technological, political, and social change following the revolution, from a pogrom survivor to an émigré who repatriates to the USSR from the U.S. to a folkloric trickster, he urges the world to see the Soviet Jew anew.

Senderovich, faculty at both the Jackson School and Slavic Languages and Literatures, holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. In addition to his academic work, he has published journalism and public scholarship in the Los Angeles Review of BooksLiliththe Forwardthe New York Timesthe New RepublicThe New Yorker’s Page-turner blog, Jewish Currents, and Seattle’s The Stranger.

“How the Soviet Jew Was Made” is his first book.