UW News

October 2, 2003

Burstein named chair of Jewish Studies

Paul Burstein, professor of sociology and adjunct professor of political science, has been named chair of the Jewish Studies Program. Burstein has taught in Jewish Studies since 1987.

Much of Burstein’s research focuses on discrimination, particularly discrimination in employment on the basis of religion. His study, “Religious Pluralism, Equal Opportunity, and the State,” was supported by the American Jewish Committee. Locally, he served on committees at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle that planned and oversaw the 1990 and 2000 demographic surveys of the Jewish population around Puget Sound.

“If the Jewish community is to flourish in the United States as a real community, not just a collection of individuals who happen to be Jewish, it is critical that Jews understand themselves,” Burstein says. “And if the Jewish community is to matter in the larger society, it is critical that non-Jews be provided the opportunity to learn about it as well. The Jewish Studies Program at the UW, through its faculty’s teaching and research, seeks to further such learning and understanding.”

Burstein earned his doctorate at Harvard, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Social Structure and Politics in Israel.”