RUTH ELLEN GRUBER
Writer, independent scholar, photographer. Focus on Jewish cultural heritage, as well as on “the imaginary Wild West” in Europe, including the European country music scene. Honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEH summer grant, Rockower Jewish journalism awards; fellowships/positions at the College of Charleston, Hadassah Brandeis Institute, and the Autry National Center; Poland’s Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit.
- Coordinator and co-developer of the web site jewish-heritage-europe.eu — a project of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe (current). In this role, lead or co- organizer of several international conferences on Jewish heritage (in 2013; 2015; 2017; 2022)
- Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies, College of Charleston, Spring semester, 2015
- Author of several books, mainly on Jewish culture and heritage topics; Editor, Collaborator or Contributor of chapters in over a score of other books. (See below)
- Articles & photographs published in newspapers, magazines, books, online publications, and scholarly journals.
- Member of the Scientific Committee, the Foundation for the Jewish Museum in Padova, Italy; Member of the Advisory Committee, Holocaust Memorials Database Project; Member of the International Editorial Board, Jewish Cultural Studies; Member of the International Advisory Panel, Foundation for Jewish Heritage; Member of Scholarly Board, Rassegna Mensile di Israel (Rome, Italy); Member of International Jury, International Competition for the Preservation of Jewish Sites in L’viv, Ukraine (2010); Member of the Advisory Board, The Vienna Project
- Advisor/Consultant/Onscreen protagonist: Banjo Romantika – American Bluegrass Music & the Czech Imagination (documentary film completed 2013)
- Public speaker/scholar in residence at many international conferences, universities, museums, synagogues & other venues – including Zoom webinars
- Foreign Correspondent for United Press International based in Rome, Brussels, London, Belgrade, Warsaw, Vienna; 1974-1984. Former Senior European Correspondent, JTA.
- Letters from Europe (and Elsewhere) (Krakow/Budapest: Austeria Press, 2008)
- National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe (Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2007) Previous editions: 1992/1994/1999.
- Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)
- Upon the Doorposts of Thy House: Jewish Life in East-Central Europe, Yesterday and Today (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994)
- Live at the Fillmore East, a Photographic Memoir, by Amalie R. Rothschild with Ruth Ellen Gruber (New York: Thunders Mouth Press, 1999)
- To Begin Again: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe Since the Fall of Communism in 1989. (Vienna: Centropa, 2009).
- 1990-2000: Ebrei Europei Dieci Anni Dopo la Fine del Socialismo Reale (1990-2000: European Jews Ten Years After the Fall of Communism). (Rome: UCEI, 2002) Co-edited with Laura Quercioli Mincer; the book is illustrated with my photographs.
- “ Jewish? ‘Jewish’ Jewish!” In Jewish Revival Inside Out Remaking Jewishness in a Transnational Age. (ed. Daniel Monterescu and Rachel Werczberger.) Wayne State University Press, 2022
- “Preservers/Rescuers/Keepers/Guardians of Memory: Recognizing non-Jewish Poles who preserve, protect, conserve, and promote Jewish history, heritage and memory.” In Jews and Slavs. Volume 27:Jewish-Slavic Cultural Horizons: Essays on Jewish History and Art in Slavic Lands ( Sergey R. Kravtsov, Polona Vidmar) Jerusalem, 2022
- “Foreword (Vorwort).” In Reiten Wir: Phantastikautoren für Karl May (ed. Alex Jahnke). Roter Drache, 2017.
- “Real Imaginary Spaces and Places: Virtual, Actual, and Otherwise.” In Space and Spatiality in Modern German-Jewish History (ed. Simone Lässig and Miriam Rürup). Berghahn Books, 2017
- “Beyond Virtually Jewish: Monuments to the Jewish Experience in Eastern Europe.” Main Forum essay (and response) – Chapters 13 & 17. In Simon Bronner, ed. Jewish Cultural Studies 4: Framing Jewish Culture: Boundaries and Representations. (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2014)
- “Post-trauma ‘Precious Legacies’: Jewish Museums in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust and before the Fall of Communism.” In Richard I. Cohen, ed. Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
- “George Oppen and Ted Berrigan, with the Novelist Marvin Cohen, Interviewed by Ruth Ellen Gruber, London, June 11, 1973.” in Richard Swigg, ed. Speaking with George Oppen: Interviews with the Poet and Mary Oppen, 1968-1987. (Jefferson, NC: 2012)
- Introduction to A Second Soul: 20 Jewish Culture Festivals in Krakow, by Anna Dodziuk. (Krakow: Czarna Owca, 2010)
- “Non-Jewish, Non Kosher, Yet Also Recommended.” In Philo-Semitism in History, Adam Sutcliffe and Jonathan Karp, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
- Foreword to Jewish Cemeteries of Bucovina, by Simon Geissbuehler. (Bucharest: 2009)
- Introduction to Lost World of Small-town Jewish Cemeteries, by Tomasz Wisniewski. (Bialystok: Kreator, 2009)
- “Juedische und ‘juedische’ Cafés.” In Michal Friedlander and Cilly Kugelmann, eds. Koscher & Co. Ueber Essen und Religion. (Berlin: Nicolai, 2009)
- Photographs — illustrations and cover — for The Verse Within: Conversing with the Hasidic Tales, poems by Lois Roisman. (Enfield, 2008)
- Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations. (National Geographic, 2008)
- “Beyond Virtually Jewish…Balancing the real, the surreal and real imaginary places.” In Monika Murzyn-Kupisz and Jacek Puchla, (eds.) Reclaiming Memory: Urban regeneration in the historic Jewish quarters of Central European cities. (Krakow: International Cultural Center, 2009)
- “Kitschy Jews,” in Hanno Loewy (ed.), Gerüchte über die Juden. Antisemitismus, Philosemitismus und aktuelle Verschwörungstheorien. (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2005)
- “The Jewish Culture Festival, Krakow,” in Polin (Oxford: Littman Library, 2003)
- “A Virtual Jewish World,” in Jewish Studies Program Yearbook (Budapest: 2002)
SELECTED SPECIAL (& SCHOLARLY) ARTICLES
- “Reportage: Beyond Prague’s ‘Precious Legacy’: post-communist Jewish exhibits and synagogue restorations in the Czech Republic.” In East European Jewish Affairs, vol. 45; 2-3. 2015
- “Dark Tourism: a Comparative Perspective.” The Drayton Hall Diaries, April 28, 2015
- (Candle)sticks on Stone: the Representation of Women in Jewish Tombstone Art. Working paper, Hadassah Brandeis Institute, 2011. A version was published in Juden in Mitteleuropa 2011 — “Ostjuden” Geschichte und Mythos. St. Pölten: Institut für Jüdische Geschichte pp 60-6
- “Scenes from a Krakow Café.” Moment, January-February 2010
- “Beyond Virtually Jewish: New Authenticities and Real Imaginary Spaces in Europe.” The Jewish Quarterly Review vol. 99 no. 4 (Fall 2009) Virtually Jewish meets the Imaginary Wild West!
- “Virtual Judaism.” Jewish Quarterly (London), no. 214 (Winter 2009)
- “Sturm, Twang and Sauerkraut Cowboys.” Western Way magazine, Summer 2009
- “The West in the World.” Convergence (magazine of the Autry National Center) Summer 2005 issue.
- “Un Mondo Ebraico Virtuale,” Lettera Internazionale 68, June 2001
- “European Jewry Is Redefining Itself,” in Das Jüdische Echo: Europäisches Forum für Kultur und Politik, vol. 49, October 2000
- “The Renaissance Of Jewish Media,” in Media Studies Journal, vol. 13, No. 3, Fall 1999
- “In the Labyrinth of Polish-Jewish Relations,” in East European Jewish Affairs, vol. 28. No. 1, Summer 1998
- The Jewish Heritage of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Report to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Washington DC, 2002
- The Jewish Heritage of Croatia, Report to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Washington DC, 2002
- The Jewish Heritage of Yugoslavia, Report to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Washington DC, 2002
- Jewish Monuments of Slovenia(with Samuel D. Gruber), Report, including photographs, to the U. S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Washington DC, 1996/2002.
- Filling The Jewish Space In Europe, monograph, International Perspectives series (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1996)
- The Struggle Of Memory: The Rehabilitation Of Fascist Heroes In Europe, monograph, International Perspectives series (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1995)
- Rightwing Extremism In Western Europe, monograph, International Perspectives series (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1994)
- Songs by the Czech singer-songwriter Robert Krestan of the “Czechgrass” band Druha Trava; featured on the 2011 CD Shuttle to Bethlehem (also liner notes for the CD)
AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, SPECIAL POSITIONS, AND GRANTS:
- Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies, College of Charleston, Spring semester 2015
- Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland (awarded September 2011)
- Scholar in Residence, Hadassah Brandeis Institute, January-March 2011
- Michael Hammer Tribute Research Award, Hadassah Brandeis Institute, 2009
- Guggenheim Fellowship, 2006 (taken in 2007)
- National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend 2006 (taken in 2007)
- Writing/Research grant, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles (2005)
- Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Autry National Center, Institute for the Study of the American West, Los Angeles (December 2004)
- Lucius N. Littauer Foundation research grant (1998/9)
- Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture research grant (1998/9)
- Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism (various categories), First Place (with team of reporters) 2016; Third Place, 2007; Honorable Mentions, 2000 and 1997
- Distinguished Graduate Award, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Oberlin College, BA (Fine Arts)