Annabelle “Nonnie” Sinoff hails from Silver Spring, Maryland, and graduated in January 2021 with an English major, a double minor in Jewish studies and business administration, and as a member of the Honors College. For 2.5 years, Nonnie served as research assistant to Professor Rendsburg, in which capacity she served as the main point person for the nearly two-year project to digitize the Hebrew manuscripts collection held in Special Collections at Alexander Library, soon to be made publicly available at Ktiv, the database of the National Library of Israel. This work, in turn, generated Nonnie’s capstone project for the Honors College, though I will let her share all the details with you in her presentation. We wish Annabelle well as she graduates and embarks on the next phase of her journey, and we hope that she will stay in touch with the Jewish studies department.
Esther Martens hails from New Brunswick, New Jersey, and will graduate this year with a major in computer science and a longstanding love of Yiddish that she was able to explore and cultivate through the Jewish Studies Department at Rutgers. Esther not only took Yiddish language and literature classes offered by the department, but also pursued other exciting Yiddish immersion programs such as the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program at the Yiddish Book Center. Her work there transcribing and Romanizing the catalogue of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union’s Yiddish newspaper—which she will share with you in her presentation—led her to look for further opportunities to deepen her knowledge of Yiddish. We are delighted that the Bildner Center and the Department of Jewish Studies were able to support Esther’s Yiddish studies with the Leonard and Adele Blumberg Award for Research in Jewish Studies. The award provided funding for a Yiddish language course at the Yivo Institute this past semester, which Esther will tell you more about in her presentation. It has been a great pleasure to teach Esther and to watch her engagement with Yiddish blossom and evolve. We wish her all the best as her journey continues.
Christine Jensen hails from Neshanic Station, New Jersey, and will graduate this year with a double major in Jewish studies and religion and a minor in history. As part of the Religion Masters 4+1 Program at Rutgers, Christine will return to campus next year to complete her master’s degree in Religion with a focus on the Hebrew Bible. It has been a pleasure for us in the Departments of Jewish Studies and Religion to teach Christine over the years, as she has delved into the study of Ancient Israel, Second Temple Judaism, and both modern Hebrew and biblical Hebrew. We are delighted that she will present some of her academic research on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish sectarianism. We look forward to Christine’s continued presence at Rutgers next year and to her planned master’s thesis on female sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible.