Bio


Professor Kelman's research focuses on the forms and practices of religious knowledge transmission. He holds a specific research interest in American Jewry.

He is the author of Shout to the Lord: Making Worship Music in Evangelical America (NYU 2018) and Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio (California, 2009). He is also the co-editor (with Jon Levisohn) of Beyond Jewish Identity (2019: Academic Studies Press), the editor of Is Diss a System?: A Milt Gross Comic Reader (NYU, 2010), co-author of Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (Alban Institute, 2011). Together with research partners at Stanford and elsewhere, he maintains an active research agenda and publishes regularly in venues both scholarly and popular.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Director, Undergraduate Honors in Education Thesis Program (2019 - Present)
  • Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Associate Director, American Religions in a Global Context (2019 - Present)
  • Director, BJPA@Stanford (2019 - Present)
  • Director, Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies (2012 - Present)
  • Affiliate, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (2012 - Present)
  • Affiliate, American Studies Program (2012 - Present)
  • Core Faculty, Center for Jewish Studies (2012 - Present)
  • Interim Director, Taube Center for Jewish Studies (2017 - 2018)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Editor, Jewish Social Studies (2020 - Present)
  • Chair, Network for Research in Jewish Education (2019 - Present)
  • Board Member, Network for Research in Jewish Education (2016 - 2019)
  • Board Member, Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (2015 - 2019)
  • Board Member, Association for Jewish Studies (2015 - 2018)
  • Associate Professor of American Studies, UC Davis (2009 - 2011)
  • Assistant Professor of American Studies, UC Davis (2006 - 2009)
  • Scholar-in-Residence, American Jewish Historical Society (2005 - 2006)
  • Historian, National Museum of American Jewish History (2003 - 2005)

Professional Education


  • BA, UC Santa Cruz, Sociology (1994)
  • PhD, New York University, American Studies (2003)

Research Interests


  • Religion
  • Sociology

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Professor Kelman's research focuses on the forms and practices of religious knowledge transmission. His work emerges at the intersection of sociocultural learning theory and scholarly/critical studies of religion. Methodologically, he draws on social scientific and historical approaches to the study of these phenomena.

His interests have drawn him to research phenomena as diverse as Yiddish radio, Evangelical worship music, Jewish online learning, release time programs, religious dictionaries, Jewish identity, ritual, Google algorithms about religion, Jewish students and antisemitism, citational research networks, campus chaplaincy, and the educational dimensions of the ongoing tension between church, state, and schooling. All of these organize around the question of how religious knowledge is constructed, encoded, transmitted, understood, and practiced.

At present, he as work on a handful of projects ranging from a synthetic work about Jewish education, the study of religious education in the post-war period, studies of Google's algorithmic definitions of religion, and intersections between AI and religion.

2020-21 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    jem Jebbia
  • Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
    Sandy Fox, Ilana Horwitz, Daniela Weiner
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Abiya Ahmed, Jeremiah Lockwood, Marva Shalev Marom
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    David Song
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Abiya Ahmed, Jon Ball, Jorge Garcia, Rafa Kern, Hannah Kober, Jeremiah Lockwood, Marva Shalev Marom

All Publications


  • From Aesthetics to Experience: How Changing Conceptions of Prayer Changed the Sound of Jewish Worship RELIGION AND AMERICAN CULTURE-A JOURNAL OF INTERPRETATION Kelman, A. Y., Lockwood, J. 2020; 30 (1): 26–62

    View details for DOI 10.1017/rac.2020.4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000535284400002

  • Forum RELIGION AND AMERICAN CULTURE-A JOURNAL OF INTERPRETATION Holscher, K., Ebel, J., Riess, J., Edmonds, J., Heo, A., Kelman, A. Y. 2019; 29 (1): 1–35
  • Learning and Learning about Religious Knowledge RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Kelman, A. Y. 2019
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Research in Jewish Education: How References Produce a Field JOURNAL OF JEWISH EDUCATION Kelman, A. Y., Marom, M., Keep, B. 2019; 85 (3): 240–67
  • Traditional Judaism: The Conceptualization of Jewishness in the Lives of American Jewish Post-Boomers JEWISH SOCIAL STUDIES Kelman, A. Y., Belzer, T., Horwitz, I., Hassenfeld, Z., Williams, M. 2017; 23 (1): 134–67
  • Learning History Through Culture The Krakow Jewish Festival TEACHING AND LEARNING THE DIFFICULT PAST: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES Kelman, A. Y., Gross, M. H., Terra, L. 2019: 274–89
  • Introduction, The Jewish 1968 and its Legacies AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY Kelman, A. Y., Michels, T., Prell, R. 2018; 102 (1): 1–4
  • The Political Economy of Day Schools American Jewish History Kelman, A. Y., Bordelon, J. 2018; 102 (1): 59-84
  • Shout to the Lord: Making Worship Music in Evangelical America Kelman, A. Y. NYU Press. 2018
  • The Political Economy of Day Schools AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY Kelman, A. Y., Bordelon, J. 2018; 102 (1): 59–84
  • Golem: Modern Wars and Their Monsters (Book Review) JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Kelman, A. Y. 2017; 104 (2): 527–28
  • Encountering the past in the present: An exploratory study of educational heritage tourism International Review of Education Gross, M. H., Kelman, A. Y. 2017; 63 (1): 51-70
  • Traditional Judaism: The Conceptualization of Jewishness in the Lives of American Jewish Post-Boomers Jewish Social Studies Kelman, A. Y., Belzer, T., Horwitz, I., Hassenfeld, Z., Williams, M. 2017; 23 (1): 134-167
  • HOW COME BOYS GET TO KEEP THEIR NOSES (Book Review) SHOFAR-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF JEWISH STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Kelman, A. Y. 2016; 35 (1): 119–20
  • Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (Book Review) MIDDLE EAST JOURNAL Book Review Authored by: Kelman, A. Y. 2016; 70 (4): 682–83
  • Learning Across Church and State: Student Experience of a Released Time Program RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Kelman, A. Y., Wolford, Z. 2016; 111 (1): 49-74
  • Spirits Rejoice!: Jazz and American Religion. (Book Review) JOURNAL OF POPULAR MUSIC STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Kelman, A. Y. 2015; 27 (4): 530–32

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jpms.12156

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366578500013

  • The Present in Future Tense JOURNAL OF JEWISH EDUCATION Kelman, A. Y. 2012; 78 (4): 302–4