As an American writer, editor and researcher in Europe, I’ve published and lectured widely and won awards for my work on Jewish heritage and contemporary Jewish issues in Europe, as well as my work on the European fascination — and embrace — of the American Wild West, its mythology and its music.
I’ve chronicled Jewish cultural developments and other contemporary European Jewish issues for 25 years — I coined the term “Virtually Jewish” to describe the way the so-called “Jewish space” in Europe is often filled by non-Jews. I’m also an authority on European country music and the American frontier & Wild West in the European imagination — I had a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on my project “Sauerkraut Cowboys, Indian Dreams: Imaginary Wild Wests in Contemporary Europe.”
My latest books are National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe, Letters from Europe (and Elsewhere), and Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe.
I’m an active freelance journalist, lecturer and writer — and the Coordinator of the web site www.jewish-heritage-europe.eu – an online resource for Jewish heritage issues in 48 European countries that is a project of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.
In September 2011, I was awarded Poland’s Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit, one of the highest awards that Poland grants to foreign citizens. And I’ve been named the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston, SC, for Spring Semester 2015.