Ilana Berkman is a classics major with a minor in Jewish studies, history, and religion. Last summer, as part of Rutgers’ Certificate Program in Public History, she was an intern at the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County and conducted research on the Jewish history of Western Monmouth County. When she graduates next year, she would like to work in the field of historical education, perhaps at a historical society or in a museum setting. Ilana is receiving the Dr. Benjamin F. Glasser and Lillian Glasser Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Ilana!
Spencer Brown, a sophomore in the Rutgers Business School, hopes to pursue a career in supply chain management in the healthcare industry. His involvement in Jewish studies courses has helped to deepen his understanding of Jewish history and his own roots and heritage. It has also complemented his personal interest in Jewish genealogical history. He is receiving the Betty and Julius Gillman Memorial Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Spencer!
Grace Herdelin, a chemical engineering major, has long had an interest in Jewish studies and plans to declare it as her minor. She would like to pursue a career as a process engineer when she graduates next year and hopes also to earn an MBA. She is receiving the Dr. Benjamin F. Glasser and Lillian Glasser Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Grace!
Christine Jensen, who spoke earlier, has a double major in Jewish studies and religion, and a minor in history. Christine will continue at Rutgers next year to complete her master’s degree in religion. She hopes, ultimately, to earn a Ph.D. and to work in a research setting with a focus on ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. She is receiving the Baruch S. and Pearl W. Seidman Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Christine!
Yebon Kim, a freshman majoring in history, has taken courses in Jewish history, languages, and the Bible. She is fascinated by the study of the Bible in the context of world history. After graduating, she hopes to become an educator. Yebon is receiving the Alexander and Ruth Seaman Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Yebon!
Samuel Lurie, a sophomore majoring in Jewish studies, chose to attend Rutgers largely because of its strength in Jewish studies. While at Rutgers, he has read and translated the Dead Sea Scrolls from the original Hebrew and analyzed textual variants of the Babylonian Talmud. A deeper understanding of Jewish history has heightened his sense of connection to modern Jewish politics and social challenges. Sam is receiving the Rudolph and Mary Solomon Klein Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Samuel!
Esther Martens, who spoke earlier, is a graduating senior with a major in computer science. This past fall, she received the Leonard and Adele Blumberg Award for Research in Jewish Studies, which enabled her to expand her knowledge of the Yiddish language through a course at the Yivo Institute. Congratulations, Esther!
Brianna Newman chose to attend Rutgers in part because of its Jewish Studies Department and declared her minor in the field as a freshman. She graduates this month with a major in political science and a double minor in Middle Eastern and Jewish studies. In her Middle Eastern Studies Senior Seminar, she focused on Iranian-Jewish participation in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She also researched the responses of Jewish community institutions to Covid-19 for her recent Jewish studies course on religion and media. She intends to apply to law school and pursue a career in human rights and labor justice. Brianna is receiving the Louis Fishman Memorial Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Brianna!
Brooke Ramos, a double major in Jewish studies and English with a minor in Holocaust studies, is receiving the Maurice Meyer III and Irma Meyer Award for excellence in Jewish studies. This award will help fund her participation in the Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, which offers immersion in Yiddish language and culture. She is also actively seeking online internship opportunities with a Jewish heritage or Holocaust museum. She hopes to attend graduate school for further study of Holocaust-era literature and media, with a focus on Yiddish-speaking communities. Her overarching goal is a career in Holocaust education and genocide prevention. Congratulations, Brooke!
Amy Rosen is a linguistics major with a double minor in Jewish studies and psychology. She is drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of Jewish studies and the ease with which she can apply her linguistics and psychology backgrounds to her studies in the field. For a recent Jewish studies course on religion and media, she explored how various synagogues in New Jersey have altered their worship practices during the pandemic and the concomitant effects on these communities. Amy is also an Aresty Research Assistant for the Laboratory of Developmental Language Studies, where she collects and analyzes linguistic data in order to better understand language acquisition in children. She hopes, ultimately, to become a clinical speech-language pathologist for children. Amy is receiving the Dr. Benjamin F. Glasser and Lillian Glasser Award for excellence in Jewish studies. Congratulations, Amy!
Steven Weinberg is a doctoral candidate in the German department. This past fall, he received the Deborah S. and Herbert B. Wasserman Award for Research in Jewish Studies in support of his dissertation on Franz Kafka’s use of Jewish humor. The funding has enabled him to study at Humboldt University in Germany with several prominent Kafka scholars. He is researching how and why Kafka’s work has largely been filtered through the prism of the Holocaust and how this has influenced its incorporation into the German high school curriculum. He is particularly interested in how Kafka’s Jewish identity and use of Jewish humor, which are key to appreciating his literary works, have largely been ignored. Congratulations, Steven!