Dr. Jarrod Tanny

Associate Professor 


Block Distinguished Scholar 

in Jewish History

 University of North Carolina 


About Me

I am Associate Professor of History and the Charles and Hannah Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before coming to UNCW, I was the Schusterman post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Ohio University. I received my PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, focusing on Russian and Jewish history. I did an MA in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Toronto and a BA at McGill University in History with a minor in Slavic Studies. I’m originally from Montreal (the one in Canada).

My first book, City of Rogues and Schnorrers (Indiana University Press, 2011), examines how the city of Odessa was mythologized as a Jewish city of sin, celebrated and vilified for its Jewish gangsters, pimps, bawdy musicians, and comedians. Since then, I have published many essays on Jewish Humor.

I am currently writing a larger study on Jewish humor in post-World War II America and its place within the larger context of the European Jewish past.

Given my academic work on Jewish humor, I just published a book titled The Seinfeld Talmud (Academica Press, 2023) – now available in paperback! – a satiric take on the hit TV series, in which the great rabbis of the Talmudic era gather in the Yeshiva to discuss and debate the issues raised in each Seinfeld episode weighed against Judaic law. Is it Permissible to double dip a chip? Do the Houses of Hillel and Shammai agree? Read The Seinfeld Talmud and find out.

I have also published numerous op-eds on antisemitism in The Forward, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Journal, Tablet Magazine, and the Jewish Review of Books.

My growing alarm over the rise of antisemitism on college campuses and the seeming indifference of faculty led me to establish the Jewish Studies Zionist Network, an association for Jewish studies scholars who are pushing back against the demonization of Israel and its supporters in the academy. Jerry Seinfeld once said, if “somebody asks me which way is Israel, I don’t fly off the handle.” Unfortunately, many academics do fly off the handle today.

I am also the co-host of a video podcast called “Kvetching with Adam and Jarrod” on YouTube.

For my complete CV, click here 

I’m available for public presentations and webinars in person and over Zoom. Have your people call my people! Actually I don’t have people. Just get in touch with me.

Contact me at tannyj@uncw.edu

Scroll to Top