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Faculty members

Ari Y. Kelman

Ari Y. Kelman
Ari Y. Kelman
Academic Title 
Associate Professor
Other Titles 

The Jim Joseph Professor of Education and Jewish Studies

Member of the Center for Jewish Studies

Associate Professor of Religious Studies (by courtesy)

Affiliate of the American Studies Program

Affiliate of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

Contact Information
(650) 723-0792
EDUC 323
by appointment
Program Affiliations 
SHIPS (PhD): Anthropology of Education
SHIPS (PhD): History of Education
SHIPS (PhD): Social Sciences in Education
SHIPS (PhD): Sociology of Education
Education and Jewish Studies

Professor Kelman is wrapping up a co-edited volume (with Jon Levison @ Brandeis), entitled "Beyond Jewish Identity." He is also working on a pair of books that take reciprocal approaches to the production of knowledge about Jews.  One is tentatively entitled "Learning to be Jewish," and the other will likely be called "Knowing Jews."  He is is starting research on a project in which he will learn to play jazz bass and is also nursing a burgeoning interest in the religious and secular investments in the Voyager Golden Record.  Meanwhile, he is working on a variety of projects with his research group, looking at students in Jewish high schools, travel to Israel, citational practices, and questions about the relationship between learning religion and learning about religion.

Ari is interested in research at the intersection of Education and Jewish Studies, with an emphasis on the myriad ways in which people cultivate deep commitments His research focuses on questions of culture in all its manifestations including the material, aural, visual, and ideological. He is the coordinator of the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies.

He is the author of Shout to the Lord: Making Worship Music in Evangelical America (NYU 2018) Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio (California, 2009).  He is also the editor of Is Diss a System?: A Milt Gross Comic Reader (NYU, 2010), and a co-author of Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (Alban Institute, 2011). He is also the author of a number of articles about contemporary Jewish identity and culture, among other things.

PhD (American Studies): New York University (2003)

BA (Sociology): UC Santa Cruz (1994)

Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis: 2009 - 2011

Assistant Professor of American Studies at UC Davis: 2006 - 2009

Scholar-in-Residence, American Jewish Historical Society: 2005 - 2006

Historian, National Museum of American Jewish History: 2003 - 2005

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