Professor • Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History • Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in Jewish Studies


Ph.D., History, University of California Berkeley, 2001
M.A., History, University of California Berkeley
B.A., History and Slavic Languages and Literature, University of California Berkeley, 1994

Regional and Thematic Interests



Called a "taboo-breaking scholar" by Tikkun magazine, Professor Shneer's work concentrates on modern Jewish society and culture, modern Russian and Jewish history, and the history of Jews and sexuality. His books include Queer Jews, finalist for the Lambda Literary award, Yiddish and the Creation of Soviet Jewish Culture, finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora. His newest book project, tentatively titled Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust, looks at the lives and works of two dozen World War II military photogrpahers to examine what kinds of photographs they took when they encountered evidence of Nazi genocide on the Eastern Front. He has lived and worked as a scholar and writer in Russia, Germany, and Israel and has written for the New York Times, Huffington Post, Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post as well as magazines dedicated to Jewish life and culture, including Forward, Pakntreger, Jewcy, and Nextbook. Dr. Shneer has taught or been a scholar-in-residence at the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis, and at the University of Illinois, the National Yiddish Book Center, the University of Wisconsin, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Graduate Theological Union. He now serves as the director of education for the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which supports programs to build Jewish identity among global Russian Jewry, and consults to numerous Jewish agencies on questions of contemporary Jewish identity. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association for Jewish Studies. He can be reached at David.Shneer at and his website is currently at In addition to being History faculty, Prof. Shneer will head the Jewish Studies program at UCB.