Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman, Ph.D. is the author of eight books, including The Way Into the Varieties of Jewishness, and numerous articles discussing antisemitism and anti-Zionism, Israel-Diaspora relations, Jewish identity, the interplay of American and Jewish values, transformations in the American Jewish family, the impact of Jewish education, gender and sexuality in American Jewish life, and portrayals of Jews and Jewishness in fiction and film. She is an Emerita Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University and was the founding Co-Director of the Hadassah Brandeis Institute (HBI). Prof. Fishman is a Senior Research Fellow of ISGAP and serves on the Board of JOFA. Among other honors, Prof. Fishman received The Marshall Sklare Award from the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and the Belkin Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement from Yeshiva University (Stern College).
She details her research below:
“I’ve had research working groups during one of the upcoming fellows’ monthly meetings. In January and February 2021, I plan to revise my ISGAP Oxford Summer Fellows Talk into a paper, including some additional material. As you may remember from both this years’ and last years’ Oxford conferences, there were questions about defining the differences between antisemitic anti-Zionism on one hand, and legitimate criticism of some of Israel’s policies, on the other hand. There were also questions about alternative emerging Jewish organizations that are very critical of Israel, and how they fit into the spectrum. The paper that I will be crafting, with the hope of publication in an ISGAPseries, will describe and analyze these questions, in addition to other materials in my paper, “Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Contemporary Social Organizations.”In Spring 2021, I look forward to researching and writing about antisemitic stereotypes in British and American literature, film, and popular culture; again, two questions I’ll be dealing with is how to differentiate between legitimate social criticism and antisemitic rhetoric, and how to understand Jewish writers, filmmakers, and performers who seemingly present “antisemitic” materials. Hopefully, this new research project will result in both a paper for an ISGAP series and a talk for an upcoming institute.”