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AJS Member News

December 2021 Issue


We're so pleased to be celebrating the accomplishments of 50 members, and showcasing members and their work in the media.

We're also featuring the Annual Conference, with an article from the AJS Film Committee about this year's film series, as well as a series of articles from our archive on the conference experience.

Finally, we're thanking our 2021 donors for their support of Jewish Studies.


News from the AJS Film Committee

Navigating the AJS Conference

Congratulations to Our Members

AJS Members in the Media

Thank you 2021 Donors!

Share Your Accomplishments


News from the AJS Film Committee

The Yiddish Jazz Singer, Saul Bellow, and a Diverse Cast of Israeli Shorts in This Year’s AJS Film Program

Olga Gershenson, Dalit Katz, Daniel H. Magilow, and Catherine Portuges

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Dawit Tekelaeb, left, and Daniel Gad in White Eye

At the forthcoming AJS conference in Chicago, the Film Committee will host the annual film program and pedagogical session. As usual, filmmakers and scholars will introduce the screenings, which will take place during the first two days of the conference.

The first evening of the film series offers a program of five award-winning short narrative and documentary films presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest and the Office of Cultural Affairs in New York. Drawn from the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Israeli Cinema Film Festival “In Focus” (co-hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) and curated by Catherine Portuges for the AJS Film Committee, the program celebrates diversity, inclusion, and region, and highlights emerging and acclaimed talent onscreen and behind the camera. Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Dr. Daniel Aschheim will introduce the program....

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Navigating the AJS Conference:
Four Members Give Advice

From the AJS News Archive
December 2015: The Conference Issue


Advice to Myself
Lila Corwin Berman

I’m not a fan of advice giving, probably because I don’t want to be held responsible for any advice gone awry. Whether out of modesty or narcissism, I’ll turn the assignment inward: instead of telling you how to make your AJS conference better, I’ll tell you how I’m planning to improve my own conference experience this year....

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From the Archive: Getting the Most Out of the AJS Conference
Joshua Furman

For scholars interested in all things Jewish Studies, the AJS annual conference provides the single most important forum in the world for the exchange of research, ideas, and business cards. Even if you are not presenting your work or participating on a panel, attending the conference will give you insights into the newest trends in your field and enable you to network face-to-face with colleagues from around the globe who share your interests. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of your time at the conference ...

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You’ll Fit Right In
Josh Lambert

The first thing I'd tell people coming to the Association for Jewish Studies' annual conference in December for the first time is that if you're not sure where you'll fit in, you'll fit right in.

The field of Jewish Studies is, of course, riotously interdisciplinary; relatively few of the people who show up at the AJS conference, even those of us who go reliably every year, have PhDs in Jewish Studies, or teach primarily in a Department or Program of Jewish Studies....

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From the Archive: Making the Most of the AJS
Geoffrey Levin

If you are a graduate student presenting for the first time at AJS this year, you might be focused on perfecting your presentation. But remember, academic conferences offer far more than just feedback on your research. AJS represents an opportunity for you to contribute to the greater scholarly community while simultaneously broadening your intellectual and professional circles. As someone who attended several AJS conference while in graduate school, here are some of my recommendations for making the most of your conference experience ...

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Congratulations to Our Members

The following members have been selected as the 2022 lecturers for the New Directions in Jewish Studies program through the UC Davis Jewish Studies Program:

•    Ahuva Liberles (Yale University) for Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Vagabonds and Delinquents (Archi u-Parchi) in Late Medieval Ashkenaz

•    Ben Ratskoff for Demonic Grounds of Comparison: Black Writers on Nazism in Real-Time

•    Shulamit Shinnar (Columbia University) for Jewish Disability Discourse: Inventing the Rabbinic “Normate” Body in Late Antiquity

The following members have received grants for graduate student research funding from the American Academy of Jewish Research:

•    Amy Fedeski (University of Virginia) for What We Want To Do As Americans: Jewish Political Activism and United States Refugee Policy (1965-1989)

•    Steven T. Green (University of California, Santa Cruz) for Noshing in the Midwest: Foodways in Midwestern Jewish Communities

•    Hannah Zaves-Greene (New York University) for Able to Be American: American Jews and the Public Charge Provision in United States Immigration Policy (1891-1934)

•    Rachelle Grossman (Harvard University) for Cultural Capitals: Postwar Yiddish Publishing in Buenos Aires and Warsaw (1945-1984) 

•    Tamara McCarty (The Ohio State University) for Marginalized Motion: Late-Medieval German Dance in Law, Practice, and Memory

•    Isabelle S. Headrick (University of Texas at Austin) for A Family in Iran: Networks of Love, Learning and Labor in the Alliance Israélite Universelle (1908-1978)

•    Aleksandra Jakubczak (Columbia University) for Protecting the Jewish Daughters: The Economics of Sex Work and Mobility between the 1870s and 1939)

•    Ellen Johnson (Clark University) for Encountering Others: Jewish Social Identity and Intergroup Relations in the Riga Ghetto

•    Rachel Smith (University of California, Los Angeles) for The Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Racial Politics of Ethnography

The following members have been awarded 2021-2022 fellowships through the Fordham University Center for Jewish Studies:

•    Emmanuel Bloch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) has been named associate fellow in Jewish Studies for Modesty: Halakhah, Meta-Halakhah and Historical Development in the Twentieth Century.

•    Ayelet Brinn (University of Pennsylvania) has been named associate fellow in Jewish Studies for Tailors, Old Jews, and Women: Gender, Mass Culture, and the Rise of the American Yiddish Press.

•    Daniella Farah (Rice University) is recipient of the 2021 Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies Award for Forming Iranian Jewish Identities: Education, National Belonging, the Jewish Press, and Integration, 1945-1981.

•    Jeremiah Lockwood (University of California, Los Angeles) is recipient of the 2021 Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies Award for Golden Ages: Chassidic Singers and Cantorial Revival in the Digital Era.

•    Ben Ratskoff has been named associate fellow in Jewish Studies for Waltzing with Hitler: Black Writers, the Third Reich, and Demonic Grounds of Comparison, 1936-1940.

•    Eli Rosenblatt has been named associate fellow in Jewish Studies for Enlightening the Skin: Travel, Racial Language, and Rabbinic Intertextuality in Modern Yiddish Literature.

•    Zohar Segev (University of Haifa) has been named Fordham-NYPL Short-Term Research Fellow in Jewish Studies for Philanthropy, Politics, and the Shaping of a Nation: The Nathan Straus Papers in the NYPL.

•    Ephraim Shoham-Steiner (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) has been named Fordham-NYPL Mid-Term Research Fellow in Jewish Studies for The “Holy Community of Cologne”: New Perspectives on the Medieval Jewish Community.

•    Samuel Shuman (University of Michigan) has been named Rabin-Shvidler Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Columbia University and Fordham University for Cutting Out the Middleman: The Diamond Industry & the Politics of Displacement in a European Port-City.

•    Sarah Zager (Yale University) is recipient of the 2021 Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies Award for “I Will Sing of Love and Justice”: Jewish Responses to the Theological Roots of Contemporary Virtue Ethics.

Daniel Magilow (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Helene Sinnreich (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) have been appointed coeditors-in-chief of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies journal from the United States Holocaust Museum.

Michelle Campos (Pennsylvania State University) and Lior Sternfeld (Pennsylvania State University) have received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the project Reimagining Jewish Life in the Modern Middle East, 1800 - Present: Culture, Society, and History.

A.J. Berkovitz (Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion) has been awarded the 2021 CRINT Essay Prize from the Compendia Rerum ludaicarum ad Novum Testamentum (CRINT) for his paper “Psalm 45 Between Abraham and Jesus: A Polemic and Its Shelf Life.”

Robin Buller (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is the new book review editor at H-Judaic.

Chad Gibbs (College of Charleston) has joined the College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program as assistant professor and director of the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies.

Amelia Glaser (University of California San Diego) was named 2021-2022 fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, where she will study contemporary literature and art in Ukraine to better understand collective identity throughout a political upheaval.

Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah (University of Groningen) has been appointed assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Shay Hazkani (University of Maryland, College Park) has had his book, Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War, placed on the Cundill History Prize 2021 longlist spotlight.

Isabelle S. Headrick (University of Texas at Austin) has been awarded a Chateubriand Fellowship to conduct dissertation research in France. She studies the interactive histories of Jews in Iran and the global France, education, the family, and women.

Ilana Horwitz (Stanford University) has joined the Jewish Studies faculty at the Tulane University Grant Center for the American Jewish Experience as assistant professor and as Fields-Rayant Chair in Contemporary Jewish Life.

Robin Judd (The Ohio State University) has been appointed to the Ohio Holocaust & Genocide Memorial & Education Commission for a three-year term.

Alexander Kaye (Brandeis University) was been awarded the American Academy for Jewish Research Salo Baron Prize for best first book in Jewish Studies and is the inaugural recipient of the Leon Charney Book Award from the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies for his book The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel.

Cecile E. Kuznitz (Bard College) has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Patricia Ross Weis '52 Chair in Jewish History and Culture at Bard College.

Jessica Lang (Baruch College, CUNY) has been appointed dean of Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.

Nancy Levene (Yale University) been appointed the Yale University Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Religious Studies.

Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) has joined Hartford Seminary as the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies.

Orit Malka (Stanford University) is the David S. Lobel Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies.

Tova Markenson (Academy for Jewish Religion) was appointed assistant professor at the Academy for Jewish Religion.

Devin E. Naar (University of Washington) was appointed to the Isaac Alhadeff Professorship in Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies.

Eli Rosenblatt was appointed visiting assistant professor in Religious Studies at Northwestern University.

Esther Schor (Princeton University) has been appointed chair of Princeton University’s Humanities Council.

Karen Skinazi (University of Bristol) has been selected as one of ten emerging writers selected as part of the first cohort of the Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme by the international literary festival Jewish Book Week.

Lea Taragin-Zeller (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) has been appointed assistant professor of Cultural Studies and Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Magda Teter (Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus) won the George Mosse Prize from the American Historical Association for her book Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth.

Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan) has been elected chair of the Center for Jewish History’s Academic Advisory Council.

Melissa Weininger (California State University, Northridge) has been hired as a permanent faculty member of the California State University, Northridge, Jewish Studies Program.

Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh University) has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

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AJS Members in the Media

“Think of yourself as an entrepreneur of ideas.” 

Ilana Horwitz opines that PhD students should think like entrepreneurs. Read more.

David Biale is cofounder of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Free Lehrhaus, a San Francisco area adult learning center, which began offering lectures, courses, and workshops this fall. A number of other members are involved in the project, including teaching courses and serving as Board members. Read more.

“I teach a class on Judaism and food, I teach a class on religion and food in America, so this is actually my words sort of colliding.” 

Nora Rubel and her husband have opened a vegan butcher shop in Rochester, New York. Rubel studies food, culture & ethnicity in her role as  Jewish Studies professor at the University of Rochester. Read more.

AJS members Tobin Belzer, Tory Brundage, Vincent Calvetti, Gabriella Silva Gorsky, Ari Y. Kelman, and Dalya Perez made up the research team for the study Beyond the Count: Perspectives & Lived Experiences of Jews of Colors. Read the complete report.

“My vision of a Jewish movie is eclectic and pluralist…I think of Jewish diversity as a real strength in the community and in cinema.” 

Helene Meyers is interviewed on what makes a movie Jewish in Alma. Read more.

AJS members Janet Aronson, Matthew Boxer, and Leonard Saxe served as the study directors of the largest ever Chicago Jewish population study, which found that the community is “growing and diversifying.” AJS member Matthew A. Brookner was also on the research team. See the study.

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Thank you 2021 Donors!

  1. Jeffrey Abt

  2. Howard L. Apothaker

  3. Alan Appelbaum

  4. Ari Ariel

  5. Donny Ariel

  6. Dianne Ashton

  7. Zachary M. Baker

  8. Lawrence & Bonnie Baron

  9. Mara Benjamin

  10. Sarah Bunin Benor

  11. Yitzhak Berger

  12. Joel Berkowitz

  13. Lila Corwin Berman

  14. David & Rachel Biale

  15. Michael Bierman

  16. Rene Bloch

  17. Matthew Boxer

  18. Francesca Bregoli

  19. Adriana Brodsky

  20. Flora Cassen

  21. Michael D. Comins

  22. Jessica Cooperman & Hartley Lachter

  23. Dina Danon

  24. Deborah Dash Moore

  25. Erez Degolan

  26. Hasia & Steve Diner

  27. Jodi Eichler-Levine

  28. Todd & Judith Endelman

  29. Noah Fabricant

  30. Harriet A. Feinberg

  31. Seymour N. Feldman

  32. Adam & Naomi Ferziger

  33. Robert E. Fierstien

  34. Gabriel Natan Finder

  35. Joshua J. Furman

  36. Jane S. Gabin

  37. Gregg E. Gardner

  38. Stephen Garfinkel

  39. Mordecai Genn

  40. Jane S. Gerber

  41. Olga Gershenson

  42. Judith Gerson

  43. Shirli Gilbert

  44. Geoffrey Goldberg

  45. Dara Ellen Goldman & Itai Seggev

  46. Arthur Green

  47. Daniel Gross

  48. Judith Gross

  49. Christine Hayes & Michael Della Rocca

  50. Joel Hecker


  1. Lynne E. Heller

  2. David Herszenson

  3. Ellen Hertzmark

  4. H. Susannah Heschel & James Aronson

  5. Warren Hoffman

  6. Alfred L. Ivry

  7. Jessica & Daniel Kirzane

  8. Willa M. Johnson

  9. Alison L. Joseph

  10. Robin E. Judd

  11. David Zvi Kalman

  12. Jason Kalman & Dana Herman

  13. Edward & Janna Kaplan

  14. Ethan Katz

  15. Martin Kavka

  16. Ari Y. Kelman

  17. Hillel J. Kieval

  18. Helen Kim

  19. Melissa Klapper & Noah Gradofsky

  20. Debby Kohn

  21. Ken Koltun-Fromm

  22. Israel Koren

  23. Matthew A. Kraus

  24. Miriamne Ara Krummel

  25. Ruth Langer & Jonathan Sarna

  26. Phyllis & Jacob Lassner

  27. Lisa Moses Leff

  28. Laura Leibman

  29. Paul Frederick Lerner

  30. Nancy Levene

  31. Jon A. Levisohn

  32. Laura S. Levitt

  33. Andrea Lieber & Ted Merwin

  34. Lital Levy & Kenneth Reisman

  35. Judit & Daniel Liwerant

  36. James Loeffler

  37. Asher Lubotzky

  38. Lynn Kaye & Alexander Lewis Kaye

  39. Susan Marks & Bruce Black

  40. Adam Mendelsohn

  41. Michael A. Meyer

  42. Douglas Morris & Marion Kaplan

  43. Devin Naar

  44. Pamela S. Nadell

  45. Ruth Olmsted

  46. Alexander Orbach

  47. William Plevan


  1. Hannah Pollin-Galay

  2. Riv-Ellen Prell

  3. Moria Ran Ben Hai

  4. Yosef Dov Robinson

  5. Sara Ronis

  6. Daniel Rosenberg

  7. Lilach Rosenberg

  8. Moshe & Lynne Rosman

  9. Anne Rothfeld

  10. Richard Sarason & Anne Arenstein

  11. Allison Hope Schachter

  12. Carsten Schapkow

  13. Andrea Schatz

  14. Ismar Schorsch

  15. Jason Schulman

  16. Shuly Schwartz & Eric Fishman

  17. Kenneth R. Seeskin

  18. Naomi Sheindel Seidman

  19. Sanford Seltzer

  20. Joshua Shanes

  21. Susan Ellen Shapiro

  22. Jeffrey Shoulson

  23. Maeera Shreiber

  24. Noam Sienna

  25. Lisa Silverman

  26. Nancy Sinkoff

  27. Stanley & Susan Sokoloff

  28. Haim Sperber

  29. Nanette Stahl

  30. Max Strassfeld

  31. Lauren B. Strauss

  32. Mira Sucharov

  33. Lance J. Sussman

  34. Michael D. Swartz

  35. Michael Taub

  36. Joshua Teplitsky

  37. Magda Teter

  38. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

  39. Jeffrey Veidlinger

  40. Joseph Jacob Weinstein

  41. Herbert and Judy Weisberg

  42. Ruth Weisberg

  43. Chava Weissler

  44. Steven Weitzman & Mira Wasserman

  45. Beth S. Wenger

  46. Avishalom Westreich

  47. Sebastian Wogenstein

  48. David J. Wolpe


Support Jewish Studies and your fellow members with a donation to the AJS.

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Share Your Accomplishments

Submission Guidelines for Announcements in AJS Member News

AJS Member News welcomes announcements about members' special accomplishments, such as book awards, national fellowships and scholarships, teaching awards, election to national/international academic societies, and new appointments and promotions. Unfortunately, we do not have space to post announcements about publications or conference presentations.