Rachel B. Gross
Associate Professor, John and Marcia Goldman Chair in American Jewish Studies
Phone: (415) 338-1316
Location: Humanities 446
- Ph.D., Religion, Princeton University, 2014
- M.A., Religion, Princeton University, 2011
- M.A., Religious Studies, University of Virginia, 2008
- B.A., Jewish Studies, University of Virginia, 2007
- American Jewish history
- Religion in America
- Visual and material culture
- Public history
- Food studies
- JS 280 Introduction to Jewish Studies
- JS 301 Judaism: An Introduction
- JS/HIST 449 American Jewish History
- JS/HIST 421 Food Fights: The Politics of American Jewish Consumption, 1654–present
- JS/HIST/HUM 441 American Jews and Popular Culture
- Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice. New York: New York University Press, 2021. Finalist, 2021 National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies, awarded by the Jewish Book Council. Honorable mention, 2021 Saul Viener Book Prize, awarded by the American Jewish Historical Society.
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Feeling Jewish: Nostalgia and American Jewish Religion.” CrossCurrents 71, no. 1 (April 2021): 19–33.
- “Memory.” In “A Universe of Terms” series, edited by Mona Oraby and Daniel Vaca. The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere. May 29, 2020.
- “Jews, Schmaltz, and Crisco in the Age of Industrial Food.” In Feasting and Fasting: The History and Ethics of Jewish Food, edited by Aaron S. Gross, Jody Meyers, and Jordan D. Rosenblum. New York: New York University Press, 2020.
- “Table Talk: American Jewish Foodways and the Study of Religion.” Religion Compass 13, no. 4 (March 2019).
- "Moving Parts: Contraptions and Jewish Traditions." In Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists, edited by Renny Pritikin and Mark D. Johnson. Munich, Germany: Hirmer Publishers, 2018.
- "People of the Picture Book: PJ Library and American Jewish Religion." In Religion and Popular Culture in America, 3rd edition, edited by Bruce David Forbes and Jeffrey H. Mahan, University of California Press, 2017.
- "Field Trip to the Kosher Kitchen: Religion and Politics in the University Dining Hall." Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 25, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2014), 128–137.
- "‘Draydel Salad’: The Serious Business of Jewish Food and Fun in Postwar America." In Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, edited by Benjamin E. Zeller, Marie W. Dallam, Reid L. Neilson, and Nora L. Rubel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014
- “Is American Girl a Religious Authority?” Society for U.S. Intellectual History Blog. November 22, 2021.
- “If You’re Asking American Jews If They’re Religious, You Don’t Understand American Jews.” Jewish Telegraphic Agency. May 11, 2021.
- The Politics of Nostalgia.” Religion & Politics. February 2, 2021.
- “How Children’s Books Keep the Jewish American Immigrant Story Alive.” Alma. January 13, 2021
- “How to Pick the Fictional Bubbe and Zayde Who Are Right for You.” In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. December 1, 2020.
- “Crisco and Jews: A Story ‘4,000 years’ in the Making.” J. The Jewish News of Northern California. March 2, 2020.
- "A Million Matzo Balls." Co-authored with Jessica Kirzane. The Yiddish Book Center's Great Jewish Books Teacher Resources. March 30, 2018.
- "Jewish Food Does Not Begin and End with Kosher." JTA, February 15, 2018.
- "'An Unjustified S(ch)mear Campaign': Narratives of American Jewish Food." Stroum Center for Jewish Studies E-Journal, University of Washington, November 16, 2017.
- “Is the Statue of Liberty a Jewish Woman?” J. The Jewish News of Northern California, July 3, 2017.
- “‘Anne ♥ Peter’ and the Rise of Anne Frank Fan Videos.” The Jewish Daily Forward, The Sisterhood blog, November 17, 2015.
- “Who Counts as a Jew?” Religion & Politics, October 8, 2013.
Selected Media Appearances
- Podcast interview: Judaism Unbound. Episode 278, “The Deli Is My Synagogue.” June 11, 2021.
- Podcast interview: New Books Network. “Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice.” April 19, 2021.
- Newspaper interview: Andrew Silow-Carroll. “Is the Jewish Deli the New Synagogue?” Jewish Telegraphic Agency. February 11, 2021.
- Magazine interview: Briallen Hopper. “11 Questions: Beyond the Synagogue by Rachel B. Gross.” Killing the Buddha. February 8, 2021.
- Public conversation: The Great Big Jewish Food Fest. “What We Talk About When We Study Jewish Food: Scholarly Perspectives.” In conversation with Dr. Jordan Rosenblum. May 20, 2020.
- Radio interview: Deena Prichep. “How A Corporation Convinced American Jews to Reach for Crisco.” NPR Weekend Edition Sunday. December 2, 2018.
- American Academy of Religion
- American Jewish Historical Society
- Association for Jewish Studies