Jack Nusan Porter

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Jack Nusan Porter is an American writer, sociologist, human rights and social activist, and former treasurer and vice-president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. He is a former assistant professor of social science at Boston University and a former research associate at Harvard's Ukrainian Research Institute. He is presently (2017-2020) a research associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, doing research on Israeli-Russian relations, especially the life of Golda Meir, as well as doing work on mathematical and statistical models to predict genocide and terrorism and modes of resistance to genocide. His most recent books are Is Sociology Dead?, Social Theory and Social Praxis in a Post-Modern Age, The Genocidal Mind, The Jew as Outsider, and Confronting History and Holocaust.


Nusia Jakub Puchtik was born December 2, 1944, in Rovno, Ukraine to Jewish-Ukrainian partisan parents Faljga Merin and Srulik Puchtik. The family emigrated to the United States on June 20, 1946 and their name was Anglicized to Porter.

Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Porter attended Washington High School and was active in Habonim Dror, a Labor Zionist Youth movement. He left for Israel soon after high school and worked on Kibbutz Gesher Haziv and studied in Jerusalem at the Machon L'Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz (a youth leaders institute). Porter eventually returned to Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee from 1963-1967, majoring in sociology and Hebrew Studies. Going for the Ph.D. in sociology, he was accepted in 1967 to Northwestern University, studying under Howard S. Becker, Bernie Beck, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Charles Moskos. In the late 1960s, Porter was an active leader in the moderate wing of Students for a Democratic Society. However, in response to the growing anti-Zionism emanating from the black and white leftist movements, Porter and other students at Northwestern founded in 1970 the activist Jewish Student Movement, a forerunner to all Jewish “renewal” groups and predecessor to Michael Lerner’s Tikkun movement.

In the 1980s, Porter founded The Spencer Institute For Business and Society; a new age think tank. Also incorporated into the Spencer Institute For Business and Society was the Ahimsa Project. He also set up the Spencer School of Real Estate in 1983 and became a real estate developer, building housing in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

In his mid-fifties, in mid-life, Porter was ordained a rabbi by an Orthodox Vaad in New York City in 2001, attending the trans-denominational Academy for Jewish Religion in Manhattan in the late 1990s; after which he served congregations in Marlboro and Chelsea, Massachusetts and most notably in Key West, Florida, where he led a controversial Jewish outreach program to native Key Westers known as “Conchs”, northeastern U.S. “Snowbirds”, Miami’s Jewish, Cuban, and intermarried “Jewban” populations, transvestites, gay and lesbian parishioners.

In the spring of 2012 Porter ran for U.S Congress for the 4th Congressional seat in Massachusetts against Joseph Kennedy III.[1]

In 2015, Porter was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize for his work on genocide, especially sexual and gender aspects of genocide, resistance to genocide, and denial of genocide as well as for his work fighting for the human rights of Kurds, Armenians, and Palestinians.

Published works[edit]

  • The University and its Community: White Paper for De Paul University (Chicago: De Paul University, 1968)[2]
  • Student Protest and the Technocratic Society: The Case of ROTC (Chicago: Adams Press, 1973 and based on his sociology Ph.D. dissertation from Northwestern University, June 1971)
  • Jewish Radicalism with Peter Dreier (Grove Press, 1973)
  • The Study of Society (Guilford, CT: Dushkin Publishing Group, 1974, co-contributor)
  • Teachers Guide for The Study of Society (Dushkin Publishing Group, 1974)
  • Sociology Reader (Dushkin Publishing Group, 1974, co-editor)
  • The Sociology of American Jews (University Press of America, 1978, 1980)
  • Notes of a Happy Sociologist (Zalonka Publications, 1980)
  • The Jew as Outsider (University Press of America, 1981)
  • Jewish Partisans (University Press of America, 1982)
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution: An Historical Bibliography (Garland Publishing, 1982)
  • Genocide and Human Rights: A Global Anthology (University Press of America, 1982)
  • Jews and the Cults (Biblio Press, 1981)
  • Handbook of Cults, Sects and Self-Realization Groups (Zalonka Publications, 1980, 1982, ISBN 9780932270030)
  • Confronting history and Holocaust (University Press of America, 1983)
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution: A Sociological Bibliography (University Press of America, 1987, with Ruth Taplin)
  • Sexual Politics in Nazi Germany: The Persecution of the Homosexuals during the Holocaust: A Bibliography and Introductory Essay (Newton, Mass: The Spencer Press, 1991)
  • Sexual politics in the Third Reich: The Persecution of the Homosexuals During the Holocaust (The Spencer Press, 1991, with Rudiger Lautmann and Erhard Vismar)
  • The Sociology of Genocide: A Curriculum Guide" (American Sociological Association, 1992)
  • The Sociology of Jewry: A Curriculum Guide" (American Sociological Association, 1992)
  • The Sociology of Business: A Curriculum Guide (American Sociological Association, 1992)
  • Foreclosed Real Estate: Your Profit Opportunity (The Spencer Press, 1992, with Gerry Glazer)
  • Women in Chains: On the Agunah (Jason Aronson, 1995)
  • L'Matara: For the Purpose: Jewish Partisan Poems and Stories from the D. P. Camps of World War II (The Spencer Press, 1998, translated by Esther Ritchie)
  • A Life of Mitzvah : Rabbi Joseph Mayer Jacobson and his family (Spencer Press, 1997)
  • Urban Sociology : the case of Lowell. Massachusetts and environs (Spencer Press, 2001)
  • The Genocidal Mind: Sociological and Sexual Perspctives (University Press of America, 2006)
  • Is Sociology Dead? Social Theory and Social Praxis in a Post-Modern Age (University Press of America, 2008)
  • Happy Days Revisited: Growing Up Jewish in Ike's America (The Spencer Press, 2010, with Gerry Glazer and Sandy Aronin)
  • Milwaukee Memories: Milwaukee and Hollywood and Small Town Secrets (The Spencer Press, 2011)
  • Sexual Politics in Nazi Germany (20th Anniversary edition, The Spencer Press, 2011)
  • Jewish Partisans of the Soviet Union During World War II (The Spencer Press, new enlarged one-volume edition, 2013)
  • Kids in Cults" (The Spencer Press, 2014, new edition, with Irv Doress, originally published in 1980)
  • The Jew as Outsider" (The Spencer Press, new edition, 2014)
  • Confronting History and Holocaust, with a Complete Listing of His Writing and Lectures, 1967-2014" (The Spencer Press, new edition, 2014)
  • 21 Screen Treatments (The Spencer Press, 2018) includes screen treatments of "Key West Rabbi" created with Harvey Rochman and Dave Tyson; "Partisans" based on his Jewish Partisan books, created with Dave Tyson and others; and outlines for biographies of

C. Wright Mills, Mo Berg, Ty Cobb, Magnus Hirschfeld, Gregory Hemingway, James Dean, Wilhelm Reich as well as for Washington High School: The Musical, WW II spies, Russian women, the Kissing Sailor of Times Square, German U-Boats near Maine, and LA Noir and the Chicago/LA Bauhaus Movement for Hollywood, Broadway, TV, or for graphic novels.


  • 2004: Lifetime Achievement Award, American Sociological Association Section on the History of Sociology for his founding of the Journal of the History of Sociology, 1977-1982. He shared the award with Glenn Jacobs and Alan Sica. Other winners include Susan Hoecker-Drysdale, Michael J. Hill, Irving Louis Horowitz, Robert Alun Jones, Edward Tiryakian, Jennifer Platt, Don Levine, Steven Lukes, and Hans Joas.
  • 2009 The Robin Williams Award for Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship, Teaching, and Service from the American Sociological Association, Section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict (for his work in genocide and Holocaust studies). Others who have received the award include Herbert C. Kelman, Louis Kreisberg, Gene Sharp, Elise Boulding, Mary Jo Deegan, Gordon Fellman, Randall Collins, Charles Moskos, and Janet Abu-Lughod.


  1. ^ McGrath, Ben (April 9, 2012). "The Campaign Trail: Write-In". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ Volume 24, Part 1, Issue 1 of Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1970: January-June. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. 1972. p. 1029. 
  • Danielson, Aliza. "Jack Nusan Porter: Journey Through the Woods". Lifestyles Magazine, Fall 2001.
  • Kimball, MacKenzie C. "Never Again for Anybody". Newton Magazine, September 2008.
  • Turpin, Andrew. Armenians and the Left 2007 Conference Summary. 2007.
  • The New Yorker, April 9, 2012, "Talk of the Town: The campaign Trail: Write-In", pp. 23–24.
  • "Armenian Issue Presents a Dilemma for US Jews", New York Times, October 19, 2007.
  • "Why Wisconsin was a Great State to grow Up Jewish", The Forward, January 12, 2015
  • "Turkey Will Never Mature as a Nation", Boston Globe, March 16, 2015.
  • "Interview on the Paris Massacres", New England Cable News, Friday, November 13, 2015 (video)