Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow Ms. Elana Jakel
Elana Jakel is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received an M.A. in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in history at Truman State University. For her Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship, Ms. Jakel is conducting research on her dissertation, “‘Ukraine without Jews’? The Soviet Jewish Experience after the Holocaust, 1943-1948.”
Ms. Jakel is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Ukraine and an award from the IREX Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program to support her research in Russia. She has presented her research at several conferences and workshops, including the Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, the SSRC Eurasia Program Dissertation Development Workshop, and the International Forum of Young Scholars on East European Jewry. Ms. Jakel has language skills in Russian, Ukrainian, and Yiddish.
During her tenure at the Center, Ms. Jakel is researching the experiences of Jews in Ukraine in the years immediately following the Holocaust. She is exploring the issues Soviet Jews faced during this time both as individuals and as a community, and what their responses to these challenges reveal about the place of Jews in postwar Soviet society. Her research focuses on four main categories of concern for Jews in the newly-liberated Ukraine: Jews’ attempts to (re)establish their homes; discriminatory employment practices targeting Jews; the visibility of the Jewish tragedy in local war crimes’ investigations and trials; and the parity of Jews with other “national minorities” in relation to material aid and recognition of wartime experiences. To complete her research, Ms. Jakel will use the Museum’s collections from the State Archive of the Russian Federation and the Central Archives of the Federal Security Services (former KGB) of the Russian Federation, as well as memoirs by and oral history interviews with Soviet Jews. She will also use sources available at the Library of Congress.