Ruth Ellen Gruber


Ruth Ellen Gruber is an award-winning writer, researcher, photographer and public speaker. She is an expert on Jewish heritage and other contemporary Jewish issues in Europe and has carried out extensive research on European country music and the “imaginary Wild West." Her books include the influential “Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe” — in which she coined the term “virtually Jewish” to describe the way the so-called “Jewish space” in Europe is often filled by non-Jews -- and "Jewish Heritage Travel,"  the first Jewish guidebook to post-communist east-central Europe. She has lectured widely and is the coordinator of, a web site project of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe that serves as an on-line clearing house for news, information,  insight, and expertise regarding Jewish historic monuments in 48 countries. Ruth's honors and awards include Poland's Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit -- one of Poland’s highest honors granted to foreigners,  a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, the Michael Hammer Tribute Research Award from the Hadassah Brandeis Institute (HBI), and other honors, including a Scholar in Residence fellowship at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, a Visiting Scholar fellowship at the Autry National Center/Institute for the Study of the American West in Los Angeles, and three Simon Rockower awards for excellence in Jewish journalism. In Spring 2015 she was the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston (South Carolina).