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Professor Ari Y. Kelman appointed inaugural Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford

November 21, 2011
School of Education and Jim Joseph Foundation
Prof. Ari Y. Kelman
Prof. Ari Y. Kelman
Kelman will design and direct the new doctoral concentration.


CONTACT: Amy Yuen, Communications Manager, Stanford University School of Education/External Relations, (650) 724-9440,

COMMENT: Professor Ari Y. Kelman, Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies, (650) 723-0792.

The Stanford School of Education and the Jim Joseph Foundation are proud to announce the appointment of Professor Ari Y. Kelman as the inaugural Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies. Kelman will lead the new academic Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies.

Kelman comes to Stanford from the University of California at Davis, where he established himself as a leading scholar of contemporary Jewish life, with an emphasis on media, ethnic identity, and American religious culture.  Kelman has authored three books about American Jewish life and culture.  Sociologist Steven M. Cohen praised Kelman, saying, “We live in a time of fluid and hybrid identities, Jewish and otherwise. And we live in a time with equally fluid understandings of the character and methods of education, Jewish and otherwise. No one studies these issues as well, as insightfully, and as imaginatively as Ari Y. Kelman.”

Charles E. Ducommun Professor Emeritus of Education Lee Shulman observed, “The study of how personal and social identity develops and how it affects civic engagement, educational aspirations and group membership has become a central topic of educational research.  Kelman’s appointment strengthens ongoing work at Stanford on the interactions of religion, ethnicity, identity and education, and may well prefigure future growth in this area.

Dr. Kelman will design and direct the Concentration, which is integrated with existing programs for the preparation of education scholars. He will also facilitate collaborations between the School of Education and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.  Professor Steven Weitzman, Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies said, “Dr. Kelman's research places him on the cutting edge of Jewish thought today, and my colleagues and I are thrilled to be able to collaborate with him.  We are excited by what it means to have one of the world’s leading schools of education addressing such issues.”

The Chair and the Concentration are the result of a $12 million gift from the Jim Joseph Foundation.  The gift, the largest in the history of the School of Education, endowed the Chair and will provide fellowships for graduate students.