Saxe to be honored for studies of American Jewry
Cohen Center director cited for scholarship, impact and mentoring
Leonard Saxe, the Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis, has been selected to receive the 2012 Marshall Sklare Award from the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.
The award is given annually to a senior scholar who has made a significant contribution to the social scientific study of Jewry in the tradition of Marshall Sklare, primarily through publication of a body of research in books and articles or published work related to public policy.
Marshall Sklare, a leading authority on the sociology of American Jewry, led the effort to create the Cohen Center, which was the first research center on Jewish life in the United States. He preceded Saxe as Klutznik Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, and directed the Cohen Center from 1980-86.
Announcing the award, Harriet Hartman, president of the association, said: “Professor Saxe… he has made many inroads to understanding Jewry, through his own record of scholarship, his impact on public policy, his coordination of seminal conferences, his mentorship to young scholars and practitioners, and service to the field.”
She praised his research into the workings of Taglit-Birthright Israel, a program for fostering connections between young Jews in the Diaspora and the people and state of Israel. Saxe recently convened an international conference on the program at Brandeis.
Hartman said Saxe’s research on the size of the American Jewish population, Jewish education, and the methodological standards he exacts in his research “have been pivotal for our field.”
In accepting the award, Saxe will deliver the Marshall Sklare Memorial Lecture at the Association for Jewish Studies meeting in Chicago in December.