Joshua Rubenstein has been professionally involved with human rights and international affairs for over forty years as an activist and independent scholar with particular expertise in Russian affairs.
He was on the staff of Amnesty International USA from 1975 to 2012 as the Northeast Regional Director, overseeing Amnesty’s work in New England, New York and New Jersey. His responsibilities were wide-ranging. They included acting as an official Amnesty spokesman on radio, television and in the print media; organizing public forums and benefits; managing extensive press contacts and conducting editorial board meetings on breaking human rights stories; establishing Amnesty chapters in high schools, in colleges, and within the general community; managing a portfolio of major donors; and participating in numerous human rights activities at the national and international level.
Mr. Rubenstein is also a recognized scholar of literature, dissent, and politics in the former Soviet Union. A long-time Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, he has made many research trips to Moscow and other Russian cities. He is now Associate Director for Major Gifts at Harvard Law School.
He is the author of Soviet Dissidents: Their Struggle for Human Rights and Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg a biography of the controversial Soviet-Jewish writer and journalist. He is the co-editor of Stalin’s Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. He is the co-editor of The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov. He also helped to edit and translate The Unknown Black Book: the Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Teritories.
As Scholar-in-Residence at Facing History and Ourselves in Brookline, Massachusetts, he wrote and edited the eBook Shot by Shot: the Holocaust in German-Occupied Soviet Territory.
Mr. Rubenstein contributed Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life to the Jewish Lives series at Yale University Press.
Mr. Rubenstein’s latest book is The Last Days of Stalin for Yale University Press; it is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2016.
Mr. Rubenstein has also contributed articles and reviews on Soviet and international affairs to many national publications, including Art News, Commentary, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and The Boston Globe.
Joshua Rubenstein grew up in New Britain, Connecticut. He studied philosophy and Russian language and literature at Columbia, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. In addition to his Russian language expertise, Mr. Rubenstein speaks and reads French and Hebrew.
Mr. Rubenstein lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and son.
Awards and Grants
Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University, 2011.
Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Fellowship to support work on The Unknown Black Book, 2005.
National Jewish Book Award for 2001-2002 in the category of Eastern European Studies for Stalin’s Secret Pogrom.
Lucy Dawidowicz Prize in History, the Forward Foundation, 1999.
1998 Leadership Award by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.
The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation. Research grant to support work on Stalin’s Secret Pogrom, 1996.
Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Program.
Finalist Award in Non-Fiction. 1989.
American Council of Learned Societies. Research fellowship for biography of Soviet writer and journalist Ilya Ehrenburg. 1985.
Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights of the American Jewish Committee. Grant to complete new edition of Soviet Dissidents . 1984.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Worcester State College, Worcester, Massachusetts. 1982.
Articles and Interviews
Jewish Advocate (2010/10/08)
Boston Globe (2012/11/01)