Community Briefs: Professor Honored, VFI Hires Locally, More

Nancy Sinkoff     Courtesy of Rutgers University

Rutgers Professor Nancy Sinkoff Wins National Jewish Book Award
Nancy Sinkoff won a 2020 National Jewish Book Award in the category of biography for her book “From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History” (Wayne State University Press, 2020).

The book is a biography of Dawidowicz (1915–1990), a pioneer historian in the field now known as Holocaust studies, and it chronicles Dawidowicz’s story as a window into 20th-century Jewish life. The book was named a Natan Notable Book by the Natan Fund and Jewish Book Council in fall 2020.

Sinkoff is a professor of Jewish studies and history and the academic director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Sinkoff’s research interests include early modern and modern Jewish history with a focus on East European Jewish intellectual history, the Enlightenment, politics and gender.

VFI Hires Local Resident as Campus Director
Volunteers for Israel announced March 4 that it hired Philadelphia resident Mallory Kovit as the director of its campus program.

The program brings Birthright Israel alumni from colleges across the United States back to Israel to volunteer on Israel Defense Forces bases. Founded in 1982, VFI partners with the Israeli organization Sar-El to recruit, process and prepare American volunteer.

During the pandemic, IDF bases have been closed to foreign volunteers, but VFI has allowed students to apply without signing up for specific dates.

Kovit is the program director at Greater Philly Hillel’s Jewish Graduate Student Network and was previously Hillels of Westchester’s program and engagement director. She earned her master’s in nonprofit management from Gratz College and holds a bachelor’s from Stony Brook University.

“I love learning through experiences, especially when it comes to Israel,” Kovit said. “I love VFI’s mission and their commitment to bringing people to Israel to volunteer, especially young people. It is important to have these meaningful personal experiences with Israeli soldiers and to build relationships.”

Genealogy Conference Slated for August Opens Registration
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ 41st annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, which is slated for Aug. 2-5 in Philadelphia, announced that event registration is now open.

The conference will feature more than 100 speakers, with more than 250 sessions covering virtually every aspect of Jewish genealogy. There will be a virtual component to the event as well.

The keynote speaker will be Michael Hoberman, professor of American literature at Fitchburg State University and author of “New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America” and “A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literature.”

Due to social distancing restrictions, conference attendance will be limited, so a waitlist will be created. Registration and conference program details are posted on the conference website at

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb


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