Dr Marina Sapritsky-Nahum

Dr Marina Sapritsky-Nahum

Visiting fellow

Department of Anthropology

English, Russian, Ukrainian
Key Expertise

About me

Marina Sapritsky-Nahum’s work focuses on post-Soviet Jewish communities, religion, migration, philanthropy, and urban culture. Her research brings together anthropology, history, and Jewish studies, and concentrates geographically on Ukraine and its diaspora communities abroad. She is particularly interested in the process of religious revival and community-building in the aftermath of state socialism, and how these changes affect social relations and city life. She has written about concepts of home and diaspora; morality and return migration; cosmopolitanism; religious adherence; philanthropy; and heritage travel. 

Marina’s initial research was based in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa, a historically “cosmopolitan” city affected by nationalism, globalisation, mass migration, and international development. There she studied the transformation of Jewish practices and the everyday lives of remaining and returning Jewish residents. She has published several articles and chapters based on this research and is currently completing a manuscript provisionally entitled Negotiating Traditions: Jewish Life in Contemporary Odesa.   

She has also conducted research on Russian-speaking Jewry and global Judaism in London, UK.  Her project “New Directions in Transnational Jewish Identity: Russian-Speaking Jewry in London” was sponsored by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Her new research looks at Ukrainian Jewish heritage as part of a larger project: “Knowledge Architectures: Mapping Structures of Jewish Heritagization Processes on Communal, Organizational and Academic Levels in Post-1945 Europe.”This work is funded by the German Academic Research Council.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Marina has been writing about the effects of war on the everyday lives of Ukrainian Jews who remain in the country, and of those who have fled to Europe and the UK, as well as the fragmentation and remaking of historical narratives. 

Marina has also applied anthropological methods to her work as a volunteer consultant for international and local Jewish outreach programmes in Ukraine and the UK. Keen to engage with the wider public, she contributes regularly to the LSE blog and others and writes for international newspapers and magazines.

Expertise Details

Ukraine; Jewish identity; religion; migration; philanthropy; urban culture


Selected Publications

Forthcoming: Negotiating Traditions: Transformation of Jewish life in post-Soviet Odessa, Ukraine.   Bloomington:  Indiana University Press.

Forthcoming  “Fragmented Histories, Fragmented Lives.” In Catherine Wanner, ed., Dispossession: Imperial Legacies and Russia’s War on Ukraine. London: Routledge. 


2022 “Germany Wants Jews.” Tablet Magazine, 26.04.2022.

2022  “The Ukrainian War Tears Apart the Russian-speaking Jewish World.” Haaretz Newspaper, 14.04.2022.

2022 “Putin’s War and the Making of a Ukrainian Jewry.” LSE Religion and Global Society Blog.

2020 “Publicising the Miracle of Chanukah:  Celebrating in COVID-19.” 

 2020 “This Night is Different From All Others’:  Passover in London and Celebrating Liberation in Isolation.”

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

2018 ‘Between a Home and a Homeland:  Experiences of Jewish Return Migrants in Ukraine’ in Tom Selwyn and Nicola Frost eds., Traveling Towards Home, New York: Berghahn Books, pg. 55-76.

2016 ‘Home in the Diaspora? Jewish Returnees and Transmigrants in Ukraine’ in Zvi Gitelman ed. The New Jewish Diaspora, Rutgers University Press, pg. 60-75.

2015 From Evrei to Eudei:  Turning or Returning to Faith?  State, Religions and Church, Special Issue Judaism after USSR: Old and New, Religious and National. 3(33): 224-255. Moscow (in Russian). 

2013 ‘Returnees or Immigrants: Anthropological Analysis of “Russian” Israelis in Odessa’ Special Issue of Diasporas Journal Israeli Diasporas:  Where, How and Why. Diaspora 2013 (2): 47-66. Moscow (in Russian).

2012 ‘Negotiating Cosmopolitanism: Migration, Religious Education and Shifting Jewish Orientations in post-Soviet Odessa’ in Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja eds., Explorations of the Post-Cosmopolitan City, New York: Berghahn Books, pg. 65-93.

2006 ‘Tuda ili Obratno?’ Moria Almanac 6: 12–20 (in Russian).               

Book reviews

2011 Book Review ‘Communities of the Converted: Ukrainians and Global Evangelism by Catherine Wanner,’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 17 (2) 431-432.