Jeremy Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University, where he also serves as director of its Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and teaches in the American Studies program. He received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Harvard and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. His previous books include In the Demon’s Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern and Antonio’s Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature; his new book, The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem, a biography of the Yiddish writer who invented Tevye, is coming out from Random House in two weeks; the Huffington Post called it one of the fall’s hottest biographies. He frequently lectures on topics related to Jewish literature, history, humor, and popular culture at the 92nd St Y and other venues throughout the United States.
Jeremy grew up about ten minutes away from the George Washington Bridge, in a modern Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey; went to Harvard, where, upbringing notwithstanding, read authors like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Philip Roth for the first time and got hooked; went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and wrote about Hebrew and Yiddish literature – and while there, wrote the libretto for an opera that played in Boston and a movie that screened at the Cannes market (you can still find it bouncing around the lower cable channels late at night); came back to America and took a job at Columbia, where he now teaches about, among other things, Dostoevsky, Mel Brooks, graphic novels, and Sholem Aleichem. He used to write a column for the Christian Science Monitor on TV and movies that was recognized, a few years back, by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.