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AJS Member News

July 2022 Issue


This month, we're excited to be focusing on members in the media. You and your colleagues represent the field of Jewish Studies as you write op-eds, give interviews, and see the diversity of your work highlighted everywhere from the Forward to the New York Times.

We're also pleased to be celebrating the accomplishments of 55 members, sharing pieces from our archive on making the most of summer, and thanking our 2022 donors for their support of Jewish Studies.


AJS Members In the Media

Demonstrating the Diversity of Jewish Studies

Focusing on US News & US History

Research Studies

From the Archive

Tips for Archival Summer Research

Academic Summer's Double-Edged Sword

Making the Most of Summer

Congratulations to Our Members

Thank you 2022 Donors!

Share Your Accomplishments

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AJS Members in the Media:
Demonstrating the Diversity of Jewish Studies

“This literature has been hiding in plain sight, but we all assumed it wasn’t there.”

Madeleine Cohen, Jessica Kirzane, & Anita Norich are featured in a New York Times article on Yiddish novels written by women. Read more.

“The experience of being Jewish in the South—I think it is distinctive.”

Josh Furman writes for Texas Monthly on the history of Jews in Texas. Read more.

“If you’re in religious studies, your job isn’t deciding if a religion is real or not.”

Jodi Eichler-Levine discusses Disney and religion, after she tweeted about a Disney-based Reddit question. Read more.

“Traditionally, Americans have seen manliness as uncharacteristic of, if not antithetical to, Jewish identity,”

AJS member Miriam Eve Mora writes in the Washington Post about how Volodymyr Zelensky could help change stereotypes about Jewish men. Read more.

AJS member Tamar Herzig discovered documents from 1610 which uncovered the treatment of Jewish slaves in Renaissance Italy, which used the rape of enslaved women as a bargaining tool to extort money from the local Jewish community. Read more.

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AJS Members in the Media:
Focusing on US News & US History

"There can be no complete reckoning with the ills of American democracy without addressing antisemitism.”

James Loeffler, who was among the courtroom observers - and live tweeted - during the Charlottesville rally trial, was interviewed in the Forward. Read more.

“...visual records of atrocity serve as some of the most powerful teaching tools available.”

Jennifer Caplan writes in an op-ed about the banning of Maus by a Tennessee school board. Read more.

“Might the constitution guarantee abortion access as a first amendment, religious right?”

Rachel Kranson considers the history and future of potential abortion protections through the first amendment in this Washington Post op-ed. Read more.

“Removing the artists with Confederate ties rewrites art history.”

Samantha Baskind served as curator of an exhibit of 19th-century American Jewish art at Princeton University, which was canceled because two of its artists supported the Confederacy. Read more.

AJS member Shaul Kelner created a pop-up art installation of Vanderbilt University’s “Anchor Down, Step Up” COVID-19 campaign in recognition of its historical importance. Read more.

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AJS Members in the Media:
Research Studies

“As a South Asian Jew, I want to talk about what happens if you are somebody who has a foot in both worlds where you experience racism in one world and antisemitism in the other.”

Samira Mehta is the principal investigator of a new initiative entitled Jews of Color: Histories & Futures, which will seek to recover, study, and elevate the voices and experiences of Jews of Color in the US. Read more.

“Religious boys are more than twice as likely to earn grades that help them be competitive for college admissions and scholarships."

Ilana Horwitz writes in an essay for the New York Times on religion and education. Read more.

Sergio DellaPergola was part of a study which looked at more than 16,000 European Jews across 12 countries, which ​​was intended to“create a thorough description of the Jewish identity of European Jews, by employing a methodology not attempted before, and by exploring what Jews across Europe think about their Jewishness in multiple ways.” Read more.

"Girls raised by Jewish parents articulate a self-concept marked by ambitious career goals and an eagerness to have new experiences"

AJS member Ilana Horwitz was the lead author on a paper which showed, among other findings, that girls raised by Jewish parents are 23% more likely to graduate college.

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From the Archive


Tips for Archival Summer Research
AJS News, July 2016 Issue
Tanya Elder

Preparation is the primary key for the archival researcher during the summer. Prior to heading to an archive, spend time looking at and searching through the organization's websites, online public access catalog (OPAC), and individual topical finding aids, as well as speaking or emailing with their research librarians and archivists....

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Academic Summer's Double-Edged Sword
AJS News, June 2017 Issue
Kirsten Fermaglich

I remember my introduction to the double-edged sword of academic summer. At lunch my very first week on campus, my search committee chair (now a good friend) asked me excitedly: “How was your summer? Did you get a lot of work done?” Internally, I reeled: I had gotten married, gone on a honeymoon, and relocated to Michigan that summer. I had gotten no work done. It had not occurred to me to get work done. Was I expected to work while I was dancing or hiking or swimming or sightseeing?

Read more

Laura Arnold Leibman

Making the Most of Summer
AJS News, August 2015 Issue
Laura Arnold Leibman

Summer: that glorious time when everything seems possible. Freed from the pressures of daily teaching and endless committee meetings, I can travel to archives, visit family, and finish the article I’ve dreamt of all spring term.

Yet more often than not, summer disappoints. ....

Read more

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Congratulations to Our Members

Eugene M. Avrutin (University of Illinois) & Elissa Bemporad (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY) were awarded the Association of Jewish Libraries Reference Award for their co-edited book, Pogroms: A Documentary History.

Samantha Baskind (Cleveland State University) has been recognized as the school’s first-ever Distinguished Professor for her contributions to the Department of Art & Design, the College of Liberal Arts, and the university.

Noah Benjamin Bickart (John Carroll University) has been appointed the John Carroll University inaugural Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Chair in Jewish Studies.

Canan Bolel (University of Washington) has been awarded the New Horizons in Jewish Studies Graduate Essay Prize from the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Irvine for the essay “Jewish Body, Jewish Quarter, Jewish Disease: Spatialization of Cholera in Late Ottoman Izmir.”

Jennifer Caplan (Towson University) has been appointed the new Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair in Judaic Studies in the University of Cincinnati Department of Jewish Studies.

Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg (Colgate University) has been appointed Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Colgate University.

Mikhal Dekel (The City College of New York, CUNY) has been appointed a CUNY Distinguished Professor of English at City College of New York.

Robert Erlewine (Illinois Wesleyan University) has been appointed director of the Eastern Michigan University Center of Jewish Studies and a full professor with tenure in the Department of History and Philosophy.

Sarah Greenberg (Cornell University) has been selected as a 2022 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation fellow for “The Law is not in Heaven”: Authority and Covenant in Jewish Political Thought.

Sarit Kattan Gribetz (Fordham University) received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanties for the project, Jerusalem: A Feminist History.

Sara Halpern (St. Olaf College) received the 2022 Best Dissertation Award from the Ohio Academy of History Dissertation for her dissertation, Saving the Unwanted: The International Response to Shanghai's Jewish Refugees, 1943-1949.

Dana Herman (American Jewish Archives) is the 2022 recipient of the Women of Reform Judaism HUC Faculty Award.

Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College) received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Alexander Kaye (Brandeis University) was a finalist for the Concordia University Library-Azrieli Institute Award for Best Book in Israel Studies for the book The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel.

Yael Landman (University of Pennsylvania) has been appointed assistant professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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

Martina Mampieri (The Hebrew University in Jerusalem) has won an Alberigo Award Special Mention of Excellence by the European Academy of Religion for her monograph Living under the Evil Pope.

Miriam Eve Mora has been appointed Director of Programs at the Center for Jewish History.

Anita Norich (University of Michigan) has been appointed Academic Advisor to the Center for Jewish History Fellowship Program.

Haggai Ram (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) was the co-winner of the Concordia University Library-Azrieli Institute Award for Best Book in Israel Studies for the book, Intoxicating Zion: A Social History of Hashish in Mandatory Palestine and Israel.

Marina Rustow (Princeton University) has been awarded the 2022 Haskins Medal by the Medieval Academy of America for her book The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue.

Esther Schor (Princeton University) was awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of intellectual and cultural history.

Sam Shuman (Fordham University) has been awarded the Michael Bernstein Dissertation Prize in Judaic Studies.

Rachel Smith (UCLA) has been selected as a 2022 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation fellow for The Jews of Yesteryear: Ethnography and the Politics of Representation in the Late Ottoman World.

Ilana Szobel (Brandeis University) was a finalist for the Concordia University Library-Azrieli Institute Award for Best Book in Israel Studies for the book Flesh of My Flesh: Sexual Violence in Modern Hebrew Literature.

Jeffrey Veidlinger’s (University of Michigan) book, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, has been shortlisted for the 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize.

David Wolpe (Sinai Temple, Los Angeles) will be serving as visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School for the 2023-2024 year.

Oren Yirmiya (University of California, Berkeley) was recognized as runner-up for the New Horizons in Jewish Studies Graduate Essay Prize from the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Irvine for the essay “Forgetting the Words of the Wise: Tradition, Wisdom, and Crisis in Franz Kafka’s ‘On Parables’ and Talmud Bavli M. Shabbat 138b-139a.”

The following AJS members are among the 2021 National Jewish Book Award Winners:

•    Simon J. Bronner (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jewish Cultural Studies, winner in the Education & Jewish Identity category

•    Justin D. Cammy (Smith College), editor & translator of Abraham Sutzkever’s From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony, finalist in the Holocaust category

•    Charles Dellheim (Boston University), Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern, finalist in the History category

•    Nathaniel Deutsch (University of California, Santa Cruz), A Fortress in Brooklyn: Race, Real Estate, and the Making of Hasidic Williamsburg, winner of the American Jewish Studies Celebrate 360 Award

•    Federica Francesconi (University at Albany, SUNY), Invisible Enlighteners: The Jewish Merchants of Modena, from the Renaissance to the Emancipation, finalist in the Writing Based on Archival Material category

•    Federica Francesconi (University at Albany, SUNY) & Rebecca Lynn Winer (Villanova University), Jewish Women’s History from Antiquity to the Present, finalists in the Women’s Studies category

•    Sonia Gollance (University College London), It Could Lead to Dancing: Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity, finalist in the Modern Jewish Thought and Experience category

•    Jaclyn Granick (Cardiff University), International Jewish Humanitarianism in the Age of the Great War, winner in the Writing Based on Archival Material category

•    Rachel B. Gross (San Francisco State University), Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice, finalist for the American Jewish Studies Celebrate 360 Award

•    Laura Arnold Leibman (Reed College), Once We Were Slaves, finalist for the American Jewish Studies Celebrate 360 Award

•    Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan), In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pograms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, finalist in the History category

The following AJS members are 2022-2023 University of Pennsylvania Katz Center Fellows, who will focus on the theme of Jews and Modern Legal Culture:

•    Emmanuel Bloch (University of California Berkeley) for The Tsni’ut Laws: Halakhah and Metahalakhah in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

•    Yonatan Y. Brafman (Tufts University) for Jewish Law, Philosophy, Systematicity

•    Julie Cooper (Tel Aviv University) for Legal Foundations of the Diasporic Jewish Nation Noëmie Duhaut (Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz) for French Jews, Legal Practice, and the Construction of Empire

•    Ayala Fader (Fordham University) for Haredi Jews, Health, and Legal Cultures

•    Elisabeth Gallas (Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow) for “We Accuse!”: History of Jewish Indictments in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

•    Tafat Hacohen-Bick (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) for Yirah, Law, and the Birth of Modern Hebrew Literature

•    Dana Hollander (McMaster University) for German Legal Comparatism and the Modern Understanding of Jewish Law

•    Tamir Karkason (Martin Luther University of Halle – Wittenberg) for Translating Citizenship: Jews and Ottoman Law in the Nineteenth Century

•    Sarah Zager (St. Olaf College) for Deontology and Virtue Ethics in Halakhah

The following members recently received National Endowment for the Humanities grants:

•    Sharon Avni (CUNY Research Foundation, Manhattan Community College) for the project “Speaking of Hebrew: Language and identity in contemporary American Judaism”

•    Shira Klein (Chapman University) for the project “Jews and Race in the Italian Colonization of Africa, 1890-1945”

•    Laura Leibman (Reed College) for the project “The Fabric of Belonging: Jews and Textiles in the Age of Empire”

•    Amy Kerner (University of Texas, Dallas) for the project “Yiddish in Argentina from Mass Migration to the Dirty War (1890-1982)”

AJS Institutional Member News

The University of Michigan’s Frankel Center for Judaic Studies received a $1M+ gift, which will endow the Stuart B. and Barbara Padnos Professorship in Jewish Thought.


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Thank you 2022 Donors!


American Society for Jewish Music
Charles Grunfeld Foundation
Dennis Schuman Charitable Foundation
Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Family Foundation
Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
Knapp Family Foundation, Inc.
Koret Foundation

Lehigh University Berman Center for Jewish Studies
Lucius N. Littauer Foundation
Maurice Amado Foundation
Michael H. Baker Family Foundation
Rice University Program in Jewish Studies
Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation
Saramar Charitable Fund
Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture
Yale University Judaic Studies Program
YIVO Institute


Jeffrey Abt
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Andrea Cooper
Jessica Cooperman and Hartley Lachter
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Shirli Gilbert
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Dara Ellen Goldman and Itai Seggev
Brian Goodman
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Judith S. Greenblatt
Ronnie Avital Grinberg
Daniel Gross
Judith Gross
Aaron Hahn Tapper
Sara Halpern
Christine Hayes and Michael Della Rocca
Jonathan and Gladys Hecht
Joel Hecker
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David Herszenson
Ellen Hertzmark
H. Susannah Heschel and James Aronson
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Warren Hoffman
Ilana Horwitz
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Norma Joseph
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Jason Kalman and Dana Herman
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Ethan Katz
Meyer Katzper
Debra and Michael Kaufman
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Ari Y. Kelman
Eitan Kensky
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Reuven and Hava Kimelman
Melissa Klapper and Noah Gradofsky
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Israel Koren
Hannah Kosstrin
Matthew A. Kraus
Joshua Krug
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Ruth Langer and Jonathan Sarna
Phyllis and Jacob Lassner
Lisa Leff
Marjorie Lehman
Laura Leibman
David Levine Lerner
Paul Lerner
Nancy Levene
Jon A. Levisohn
Arielle Levites
Laura S. Levitt
Justin Lewis
Andrea Lieber and Ted Merwin
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Judit and Daniel Liwerant
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Asher Lubotzky
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Susan Marks and Bruce Black
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Phillip and Kathleen Munoa
Patricia and David Munro
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Alexander Orbach
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William Plevan
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Daphne Lazar Price
Moria Ran Ben Hai
Joyce Rappaport
Michal Raucher

Dorothy Richman
Yosef Dov Robinson
Cara Rock-Singer
Oded Ron
Sara Ronis
Judith Rosenbaum
Stanley Rosenbaum
Daniel Rosenberg
Lilach Rosenberg
Neal Rosenberg
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Moshe and Lynne Rosman
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Elizabeth and Elias Sacks
Richard Sarason and Anne Arenstein
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Ismar Schorsch
Jason Schulman
Daniel B. Schwartz
Shuly Schwartz and Eric Fishman
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Naomi Seidman
Robert M. Seltzer
Sanford Seltzer
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Susan Shapiro
Kay K. Shelemay
Dina Shiner
Sam S. B. Shonkoff
Jeffrey Shoulson
Maeera Shreiber
Sean Sidky
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Sari Siegel
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Lisa Silverman
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Carlie Snyder
Stanley and Susan Sokoloff
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Nick Underwood and Annabel Kaplan
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Chava Weissler
William Weitzer
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Beth S. Wenger
Avishalom Westreich
Rebecca Winer and Julian Yates
Sebastian Wogenstein
David J. Wolpe
Sunny S Yudkoff
Saul Zaritt
Gary P. Zola

The AJS Legacy Society

Zachary M. Baker
Judith R. Baskin
Shaul and Pam Kelner
Ruth Langer and Jonathan Sarna
Michael A. Meyer
Magda Teter

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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.