Student Awards

Vince BeilerVince Beiler 
Master of Arts in Jewish Studies ('19) 

The last two years have been, by turns, delightful, sustaining, surprising, enjoyable, yes, demanding, and in many ways the two best years of my life.

I came to Rutgers by way of preparation for an eventual Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible. This meant I needed to do the usual sorts of things that such a plan would require, like language acquisition, for instance. But in my very first semester, I enrolled in Professor Gary Rendsburg’s course “Scroll Down,” which consisted of an overview of classical Jewish texts, from the scroll to the internet. That class introduced me to the wonderful but often difficult-to-navigate websites where manuscripts could be viewed online. One search query led to another, and I found myself the following semester reading Dead Sea Scroll fragments from a now familiar website, and questioning some of the accepted transcriptions of several partial words from one of the scrolls. Attempting to resolve my difficulties soon led to an interest in paleography. With the assistance of the Department of Jewish Studies, I was able to attend a paleography seminar at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

This fall, I plan to begin a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. I will be working with Professor Geoffrey Khan, reading Cairo Geniza biblical materials. The last two years at Rutgers was time well spent, and I am grateful to all of you who made it possible.

Vince Beiler