Natan Meir

Professor Natan Meir

Lorry I. Lokey Chair in Judaic Studies


(503) 725-4038

Office UCB 465C








    Courses Taught

    JST 201: Introduction to Judaism

    JST/HST 318U: Jewish History II from the Middle Ages to the Present 

    JST/HST 380U: The Holocaust 

    JST/HST 381U: Kabbalah

    HST 405/407: Colloquium and Seminar in East European Jewish History (The Shtetl) 


    From his groundbreaking research on the Jews of Russia to his work as a consultant for Moscow’s Jewish Museum, Professor Natan Meir has earned an international reputation as a scholar of Jewish social, cultural, and religious history. His latest book, Stepchildren of the Shtetl, recovers the histories of Jewish Eastern Europe’s social outcasts: the disabled, the mentally ill, orphans, and beggars, and he is currently engaged in a new project on folklore, magic, and sexuality in European Jewish culture. Students praise his classroom as an inspiring intellectual space. He also speaks eight languages, leads study tours of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and is probably pondering questions of historical causality—and what to make for dinner—while trail-running.


    • Ph.D. Jewish History, Columbia University, 2004
    • M.Phil. Jewish History, Columbia University, 1999
    • B.A. History, Columbia University, 1994

    Research Interests

    • Social and cultural history of East European Jewry
    • Modern European Jewish history
    • History of subaltern and marginalized groups

    Representative Publications

    "Republic of Beggars": The Jewish Destitute, Disabled, and Dispossessed in Tsarist Russia (forthcoming).

    Kiev, Jewish Metropolis: A History, 1859-1914. (Indiana University Press, 2010).

    Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History, co-editor. (Indiana University Press, 2010).

    Public History Projects 

    Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow (member of academic advisory committee, author of all museum text)