The Stotsky Professor in Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies was established at Northeastern University in 1991 as a result of a generous gift from Dr. Bernard A. Stotsky.
The professorship is intended to support a faculty member who pursues research on broad ethical, cultural, and social issues arising out of the suffering and heroism of the Holocaust, as well as to encourage new approaches to the problem of social justice and modern Judaism.
The current Stotsky Professor is Dov Waxman. When asked to describe his work he wrote:
“My research will examine contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States and the debates surrounding it. Far from fading into historical memory, anti-Semitism has, in fact, become an increasingly salient issue in recent years in both Europe and the United States. The electoral success of far-right, neo-fascist parties in some European countries, a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in France and Britain, and high-profile terrorist attacks by jihadists against Jews and Jewish institutions in France, Belgium, and Denmark have all focused a lot of attention on the problem of anti-Semitism in Europe. While European Jewry is believed to be particularly at risk from rising anti-Semitism, American Jews are also not safe from the threat, so we are told. Although American Jews have long prided themselves on escaping the fate of European Jews and regarded the United States as a country uniquely immune to widespread anti-Semitism, there is a growing concern in some quarters of the American Jewish community, including within its major organizations, that anti-Semitism is also on the rise here. Domestically, the threat is perceived to come less from murderous jihadists or fascist politicians, and more from misguided activists and leftist intellectuals whose anti-Israel and anti-Zionist politics has become infected (whether they know it or not) with anti-Semitic beliefs and tropes. American college campuses are now seen by many as incubators of anti-Semitism, and Jewish students are regarded as victims of it. Concerns over anti-Semitism, therefore, in Europe and in the United States have significantly escalated in recent years, but how well founded are they? Is anti-Semitism as great a danger to European Jews as many now believe it to be? How big a role does it actually play in pro-Palestinian activism and left-wing anti-Zionism in the United States? Are Jewish college students really being intimidated and harassed if they have pro-Israel opinions? My research will address these pressing, controversial questions.”