Emory University
Golub Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Jewish Conversion in an Imperial Context: Confessional Choice and Multiple Baptisms in Nineteenth-Century Russia


Ellie Schainker is the Arthur Blank Family Foundation Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Emory University. She researches modern Jewish history, religion, and empire, and focuses on the experience of Jews in the ethnically and religiously diverse Russian empire.

Schainker received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She was previously a fellow at the YIVO Institute. 

Selected publications

  • "A Grass Widow in Odessa: Gender and Jewish Law on the Russian Frontier," Jewish Quarterly Review 109.2 (2019) 
  • Confessions of the Shtetl: Converts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906 (Stanford University Press, 2016)



Examining the boundary between Judaism and other religions with a concurrent study of parallel social and religious phenomena and historical contexts.