Dylan Kaufman-Obstler

Email: kaufmanobstl@wisc.edu

Title: Julie A. and Peter M. Weil Distinguished Graduate Fellow
Advisor: Tony Michels

Dylan Kaufman-Obstler


My primary field is American Jewish history, specifically the Jewish labor movement in the twentieth century. My dissertation is an examination of Yiddish Communist schools and the Jewish cultural world around them. It explores how Yiddish Communist education was integral to the history of immigrant education and Jewish secularization in the United States. It further engages the ethical dilemmas posed by the Jewish encounter with Communism and the tensions between Communist internationalism and Jewish nationalism. My work weaves together histories of education, U.S. and Soviet politics, the American labor movement, and Yiddish intellectual culture. In the classroom, my teaching has focused on U.S. history, contemporary history, and Jewish history.


B.A., Hampshire College (2013)
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2017)


  • U.S./North American History

M.A. Title

  • “‘Hush Hush,’ Out Loud: Jewish Communists, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and Contested Solutions to Antisemitism in America”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Language for a Revolution: Yiddish Schools in the United States and the Making of Jewish Proletarian Culture”


  • David Sorkin Award for Research Travel, UW-Madison Center for Jewish Studies
  • Lipton Scholarship for International and Domestic Study, UW-Madison Center for Jewish Studies
  • Weil Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, UW-Madison History Department

Courses Taught as TA

  • History 102 – American History from the Civil War Era to the Present (Fall, 2016 and Spring, 2018)
  • History 213 – Jews in American Popular Culture (Spring, 2017)
  • History 219 – American Jewish Experience (Fall, 2017)
  • History 221 – “A History of Your Parent’s Generation, the 1970s-1990s” (online course)

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • History 306 – History of the United States Since 1945