Theodore Sasson, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
On leave 2016-17
Theodore Sasson is Senior Research Scientist (on-leave) at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Steinhardt Social Research Institute. He is also Professor of Jewish Studies at Middlebury College and Visiting Research Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University. During an extended leave from his academic positions, Professor Sasson is Director of Programs for the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.
Trained as a sociologist, Prof. Sasson has written widely in the fields of diaspora studies, heritage tourism, Israeli politics, American Jewish opinion, American Jewish demography and criminology. He is author, most recently, of The New American Zionism (New York University Press, 2014) and “The Politics of Israel in the American Jewish Community” (in Frederick Greenspahn, editor, Contemporary Israel: New Insights and Scholarship, New York University Press, 2016). He is co-author of Millennial Children of Intermarriage: Touchpoints and Trajectories (Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, 2015).
Prof. Sasson’s previous books include The Politics of Injustice: Crime and Punishment in America (co-author, Sage Press, 2004) and Crime Talk: How Americans Construct a Social Problem (Aldine, 1995). He is author of dozens of scholarly articles and research monographs and his essays have appeared in The Forward, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Week, The Jerusalem Post, Sh’ma Magazine, and other periodicals.
Prof. Sasson is co-principal investigator of evaluation research for the educational program Birthright Israel and co-principal investigator for the Jewish Futures Project, a longitudinal study of Jewish young adults. He is a past chair of the social science division of the Association of Jewish Studies, a past board member of the Association of Israel Studies and a past board member of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.
Prof. Sasson’s recent scholarly articles include: Does Taglit-Birthright Israel Foster Long-Distance Nationalism? (co-author, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 2014); “Understanding Young Adult Attachment to Israel: Period, Lifecycle and Generational Dynamics" (co-author,Contemporary Jewry, 2012); “Guest-Host Encounters in Diaspora-Heritage Tourism (co-author, Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education, 2011); "Framing Religious Conflict: Popular Israeli Discourse on Religion and State" (co-author, Journal of Church and State, 2010); "Trends in American Jewish Attachment to Israel: an Assessment of the ‘Distancing' Hypothesis" (co-author, Contemporary Jewry, 2010); "From Mass Mobilization to Direct Engagement: The Changing Relationship of American Jews to Israel" (Israel Studies, 2010); and "Converging Political Cultures: How Globalization is Shaping the Discourses of Israeli and American Jews" (co-author, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 2010).