Jack Nusan Porter

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Jack Nusan Porter is an American writer, sociologist, human rights and social activist, rabbi, treasurer and former 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 a research associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. 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 was active in Habonim Dror, a Labor Zionist Youth movement growing up. He left for Israel soon after high school and worked on Kibbutz Gesher Haziv and in Jerusalem. Porter eventually returned to Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Majoring in sociology, he was accepted in 1967 to Northwestern University. 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.

Also in the late 1960s 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.

In his forties Porter was ordained a rabbi by an Orthodox Vaad in New York City, 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 the U.S Congress for the 4th Congressional seat in Massachusetts. His run for office was mentioned briefly in The New Yorker article, April 9, 2012, "Talk of the Town: The campaign Trail: Write-In", pp. 23–24.

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

Published works[edit]

  • Jewish Radicalism with Peter Dreier (Grove Press, 1973)
  • The Sociology of American Jews (University Press of America, 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 (Garland Pub., 1982)
  • Genocide and Human Rights (University Press of America, 1982)
  • Handbook of Cults, Sects and Self-Realization Groups (Zalonka Publications, 1982)
  • Confronting history and Holocaust (University Press of America, 1983)
  • Sexual politics in the Third Reich (Spencer Press, 1995)
  • Women in Chains (J. Aronson, 1995)
  • L'Matara : For the purpose with Esther Ritchie (Spencer Press, 1997)
  • 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 (University Press of America, 2006)
  • Is Sociology Dead? (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 (29th Anniversary edition, The Spencer Press, 2011)
  • Jewish Partisans of the Soviet Union During World War II (The Spencer Press, new enlarged edition, 2013)
  • Kids in Cults (The Spencer Presss, 2014, with Irv Doress)
  • The Jew as Outsider (The Spencer Press, 2014)
  • Confronting History and Holocaust (The Spencer Press, 2014)


  • 2004: Distinguished Scholarly Career Award, American Sociological Association Section on the History of Sociology
  • 2006 Robin Williams Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association Section on War, Peace and Social Conflict


  • 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)