Chaeran Freeze, associate professor, has focused her research on the history and culture of the Jews in Russia, Jewish family history and women’s and gender studies. Her first book, "Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia" (Waltham: Brandeis University Press, 2001) examines the impact of modernization on Jewish family practices and patterns in Imperial Russia based on newly-declassified archival materials from the former Soviet Union. It received the Koret Foundation Publication Award and the Salo Baron Award for the Best First Book in Jewish Studies. The book will be published in Hebrew by the Zalman Shazar Center (2009).
Freeze also edited "Polin (Volume 18): Jewish Women in Eastern Europe" (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2005) with Paula Hyman and Antony Polonsky. This volume is the first collection of essays devoted to the study of Jewish women’s experiences in Eastern Europe. Her most recent book, "Everyday Jewish Life in Imperial Russia, 1825-1914: Select Documents" (coauthored with Jay Harris) documents the “everyday” (Alltags) as a site of interaction with modernity where Jews confronted the unfamiliar, and negotiated their environment in strategic and creative ways. It represents the first effort to combine archival sources (from 10 central and provincial archives in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania) with traditional Jewish sources such as responsa literature, memoirs and letters. This project received a Collaborative NEH Grant, and will be published by the Brandeis University Press (2009).
In 2007-08, she worked on her new book, "Sex and the Shtetl: Gender, Family, and Jewish Sexuality in Tsarist Russia" as the Alan M. Stroock Fellow for Advanced Research in Jewish studies at Harvard University. In addition to her research awards, she also received the Michael Walzer Award for Teaching in 2002.