Jan joined the Institute in October 2021 as an Early Career Research Fellow. His work centres on the Jewish experience in Eastern and Central Europe during the ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ and the shaping of a new Europe in the aftermath of the First World War. He is particularly interested in questions of emancipation, collective responses to antisemitism and violence, and the formation of social and political movements. His current research project analyses Jewish armed self-organisation and self-defence from the Second Partition of Poland to the violence that followed the end of the First World War.
He is the author of Everyday Zionism in East-Central Europe: Nation-Building in War and Revolution, 1914–1920, published by Oxford University Press in 2021. The book analyses the day-to-day activism of Zionists in Poland, the Baltics, and the Habsburg Empire during the First World War. It shows how local conditions shaped Zionists’ strategies, and how, through social welfare and relief, childcare, education, and sometimes armed self-defence, they managed to win support from the community and establish themselves as the strongest Jewish political movement in the interwar period.