Graduate Students & Alumni

The Chicago Center for Jewish Studies was created as an inter-divisional center in the Divisions of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Divinity School whose aim is to nurture dialogue among the many disciplines, scholars, and students engaged in Jewish Studies at the University. Our students come from a wide range of departments. The following is a list of our current students (with their academic advisor) and their academic interest(s), as well as a list of our alumni.

Anthropology Department

Yaqub Hilal (Silverstein, Michael), Migratory Bedouin communities in Israel

Andrew Katzenstein (Agrama, Hussein Ali), U.S. and Israel/Palestine, religion and secularism, affect and embodiment, technological mediation, space and place, security

Committee on Social Thought

Daniel Watling (Tarcov, Nathan), Medieval philosophy, political theory, Maimonides

William Wood (Pippin, Robert)

Comparative Literature Department

Chloe Blackshear (Pavel, Thomas), Hebrew Bible narrative and rewritings

Yael Flusser, Israel/Palestine, Jewish and national identities

Michal Peles-Almagor, (Rokem, Na’ama), Modern Hebrew and German literatures

Divinity School

Miriam Bilsker (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish intellectual history

Ezra Blaustein (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish and Muslim intellectual history

David Cohen (Mendes-Flohr, Paul and Fishbane, Michael), Modern Jewish thought, Jewish reception of modern and medieval philosophy

Joshua Connor (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish thought, concepts of the soul, and the relation between science and religion

Matthew Creighton (Mendes-Flohr, Paul)

Raphael Dascalu (Robinson, James T.)

Jessie DeGrado (Chavel, Simi), Hebrew Bible

Jeffrey Fowler (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Doctrinal theology and Jewish-Christian theological relations

Kelli Gardner (Chavel, Simeon), Hebrew Bible, Wisdom Literature and gender

Mendel Kranz (Hammerschlag, Sarah), Modern Jewish thought

Dov Lerner (Fishbane, Michael), Midrash, Hermeneutics

Jacob Merlin (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish scriptural exegesis

Yiftach Ofek (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish thought, political theology, philosophy of history, Zionism, Hebrew literature

Yonatan Shemesh (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish thought

Sam Berrin Shonkoff (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish thought, including Hasidism; Jewish hermeneutics

Ori Werdiger (Mendes-Flohr, Paul)

Germanic Studies Department

Matthew Johnson, German-Jewish and Yiddish literature and cultural history

Bastian Reinert (Lüdemann, Susanne), Jewish-German literature: post-war poetry (Paul Celan); Holocaust testimony and (false) autobiography (Ruth Klüger, Binjamin Wilkomirski); posthumous voice in post-war drama (Elfriede Jelinek)

History Department

Anna Mahler Band (Auslander, Leora), Modern Jewish history

Benzion "Benny" Bar-Lavi (Nirenberg, David), Early modern intellectual history, conversos, the Western Sephardi Diaspora

Ilana Miller (Zahra, Tara), Central European Jewish history, life after WW II, relationships to Israel

Tali Winkler (Nirenberg, David), Early Modern Jewish history, history of the book  

Music Department

Mili Leitner (Bohlman, Philip), Ethnomusicology. Israel/Palestine, sub-Saharan African Jewry, conflict, race, identity, music as torture, sonic studies, hip hop, urban soundscapes. 

NELC Department

Annie Greene (Bashkin, Orit), Ottoman/Modern Iraqi history and Arabic-Hebrew literature

Charles Huff (Pardee, Dennis), Dissertation: “Sabbath in the Pentateuchal Priestly Literature”

Charles Joseph Otte III (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic philology

Pelle Valentin Olsen (Bashkin, Orit), Twentieth-century Iraqi history and literature and Iraqi Jewish history


Rachel Adelstein (2013: Bohlman, Philip), Music. Dissertation: Braided voices: Women cantors in non-Orthodox Judaism.

Iddo Aharony (2016; Ran, Shulamit), Jewish and Israeli music, literature and culture

Jessica Andruss (2015; Robinson, James T.), Divinity. Dissertation: Exegesis, homily, and historical reflection in the Arabic commentary on lamentations by Salmon ben Yeruhim, tenth-century Karaite of Jerusalem.

Aidan Beatty (Auslander, Leora), History. Dissertation: The life that God desires: Masculinity and power in Irish nationalism, 1884-1938.

Natalie Belsky (Fitzpatrick, Sheila), History. Soviet Jewish history

Anastasia Artemyev Berg (2013; Pippin, Robert), Dissertation: The Unity of Reason and Sensibility in Kant's Practical Philosophy

Lauren Butler Bergier (2018; Pavel, Thomas), Dreyfus Affair, Jewish history and culture in France, Jewish-Christian relations

Samuel Lanham Boyd (2014; Pardee, Dennis), NELC. Dissertation: Contact Linguistics and Textual Reuse in the Hebrew Bible: A Socio-linguistic Approach to the Comparative Method in the Hebrew Bible.

Samuel Brody (2013), Divinity. Dissertation: This pathless hour: Messianism, Anarchism, Zionism, and Martin Buber’s political theology reconsidered.

Aaron Butts (Hasselbach, Rebecca), NELC. Dissertation: Language Maintenance, Lexical Borrowing, and Grammatical Replication: The Case of Greek and Syriac.

David M. Calabro (2014; Pardee, Dennis), NELC. Dissertation: “Doing Things with Hands: The Ritual Use of Hand Gestures in Northwest Semitic Literature and Iconography”

Igor H. De Souza (2014; Robinson, James T.), Divinity. Dissertation: Medieval Jewish philosophy, hermeneutics, and literary genres in medieval Jewish philosophical writing.

Erik Dreff (2017; Mendes-Flohr, Paul),"On God, Humankind, and Well-Being: The Intellectual Love of God in Spinoza"

Vincent Johannes van Exel (2010; Schloen, David), Ancient Near East history, specifically Syria-Palestinea-Palestine

Michael Figueroa (2014), Music., Music of the Middle East, Jewish music, historiography, cultural geography, postcolonial studies, history of ethnomusicology

David Gottlieb (2018; Mendes-Flohr, Paul)

Humphrey (Chip) Hardy (2014; Pardee, Dennis), NELC. Dissertation: Diachronic Development in Biblical Hebrew Particles: A Case Study in Grammaticalization

Elizabeth Hopp-Peters (2012; Fishbane, Michael), Divinity. Dissertation: "Breaking Pots, Making Metaphors: Prophetic Action Narratives in the Book of Jeremiah"

Avner Inbar (2009; Pippin, Robert)

Anna Jabloner, (Masco, Joseph), Genetics, kinship, capitalism, identity, biopolitics

Joela (Zeller) Jacobs  (Wild, Christopher), German-Jewish literature

Eric Paul Jobe (Golb, Norman), NELC. Dissertation: Innovation in Post-Biblical Hebrew Poetry: A Stylistic Analysis of Qumran, Hekhalot, and Payyetanic Poetry

Ruchama Johnston-Bloom (2013; Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Divinity. Dissertation: Muhammad, the Qur’an and German-Jewish modernities: Gustav Weil, Josef Horovitz and Muhammad Asad.

Liane Marquis (2018; Stackert, Jeffrey and Chavel, Simeon), Hebrew Bible priestly literature, narrative theory, ritual studies

Nathan Mastnjak (2015; Pardee, Dennis), NELC/Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Dissertation: The Prophet Who Was before Me: Allusions to Deuteronomy in the Book of Jeremiah.

Matthew James McAffee (2008; Pardee, Dennis), NELC. Dissertation: A Lexical and Literary Analysis of Life and Mortality in Ugaritic.

Meredith Aska McBride (2015), Music. 2012 American Jewish popular music (20th and 21st centuries), critical whiteness studies and Euro-American ethnic cultures, musical transnationalism and American immigration history, diaspora studies, urban cultural geography of Jewish music

Katharine Mershon (2018; Rosengarten, Richard A.), American Jewish literature

Joanna Nemeh. (2016; Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Committee on Jewish Studies. Dissertation: Jewish Feminism: Quest and Answerability.

James Nemiroff (2016; de Armas, Frederick), Romance Languages and Literatures. Dissertation: Comedias judaizantes: Performing Judaism in Lope de Vega´s Toledan Plays (1590-1615)

Chaim Neria (2015; Robinson, James T.), Divinity. Dissertation: It Cannot be Valued with the Gold of Ophir (Job 28:16): Rabbi Joseph B. Shem-Tob's Commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Sources and Analysis

Alexander Orwin (2015), Committee on Social Thought.

William Douglas Pickut (2017; Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “Literary Genres in Poetic Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Johanna Theresa Semler (2012; Meltzer, Francois), Dissertation: Bare Life and Metamorphic Being: Nazi Propaganda, Agamben, Coetzee and Kafka.

Uri Shachar (2013; Nirenberg, David), Ideologies of holy warfare; intellectual encounters between Jews, Christians & Muslims during the time of the crusades, with a focus on France and the Crusading Near East

Jordan Skornik (2018; Stackert, Jeffrey), Biblical and ancient Near Eastern thought and poetics

Min Won Song (2009; Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic philology

Michael Tymkiw (2013; Mehring, Christine), Art History. Dissertation: National Socialist Exhibition Design, Spectatorship, and the Fabrication of Volksgemeinschaft.

Jacqueline Eliza Vayntrub (2015; Pardee, Dennis), NELC. Dissertation: Proverbs and the Limits of Poetry.

Monique Denise Vincent (Schloen, David), NELC. Dissertation: Households, Communities, and Dimensions of Social Identity in the Early Iron Age at Tall al-‘Umayri

Andrea Wald (2015; Wellbery, David), Dissertation: Discourses of Surface and Ornament in Literature, Art, and Psychoanalysis ca. 1900

Lillian Wohl (2015; Bohlman, Philip), Music. Dissertation: Mucho Ojo! Spectacles of Jewish Memory, Ethnicity and Religion in Contemporary Musical Performance in Buenos Aires.

Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg (2015; Robinson, James T.), Divinity - History of Judaism. The history of the Jewish book, Jewish-Christian relations, and the reception history of the Hebrew Bible

Liran Yadgar (Lewis, Frank), NELC. Dissertation:  Judaism and Islam

Sarah Yardney (2017; Stackert, Jeffrey), Hebrew Bible

Ori Yehudai (Wasserstein, Bernard), Emigration from Palestine and Israel 1881-1951

Shayna Zamkanei (Robert Gooding-Williams and Orit Bashkin), Jewish refugees from Arab countries

Alexandra Zirkle (2016; Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Divinity - History of Judaism. Dissertation: Modeling the Temple: The Politics of German Jewish Biblical Hermeneutics.