Prof. Nissim Mizrachi

Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Challenge of Shared Life Cluster

Nissim Mizrachi is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University and served as department chair in 2013–2016. He completed his PhD with a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his postdoctoral studies at Harvard. His areas of interest include the sociology of knowledge, medicine and culture, social boundaries, moral identity, liberalism and ethnic studies, and stigma.

Prof. Mizrachi has received many prizes and awards, including the Clifford Geertz Prize for best article in the sociology of culture from the American Sociology Association; the award of the Israel Sociological Society for best article in 2012; and the rector’s prize for excellence in teaching at Tel Aviv University. He was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

His previous studies dealt with mind-body relations in history and in modern medical practice. Starting in the second decade of the 2000s he has studied the crisis of liberalism as a moral and political vision, and its limitations as a critical theoretical stance, and he has published many articles in Hebrew and in English that propose a post-liberal approach for research and criticism. Concurrently, he has conducted international studies on ways of coping by people who belong to stigmatized minority groups. In 2012 he was the guest co-editor of a special issue of the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies with Prof. Michel Lamont of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. Their book, Getting Respect, written with an international team of scholars, appeared in 2016 (Princeton University Press).

Prof. Mizrachi’s new book, Beyond Suspicion: The Moral Clash Between Rootedness and Progressive Liberalism, to be published by the University of California Press, deals with the roots of the clash between the liberal grammar of the contemporary critical discourse and the “rooted” grammar characteristic of most communities in Israel and elsewhere.

At the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Prof. Mizrachi heads the Challenge of Living Together cluster. In 2022, a special issue of The American Sociologist appeared that was the work of members of the research group From a Sociology of Suspicion to a Sociology of Meaning, which was active at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute under the direction of Prof. Mizrachi.  In 2024 the Van Leer Jerusalem Press will publish a multidisciplinary anthology edited by Prof. Mizrachi and Dr. Kineret Sadeh, titled Beyond the Liberal Imagination of the Critical Research in Israel. Prof. Mizrachi has also lectured in two programs at the Institute since their inception: the Intellectual Journeys summer program for young intellectual leadership, and the MUSA program for second-degree law students, a joint program of the Institute and the College of Management Academic Studies.

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