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Spring 2015: Click here to read the Spring 2015 newsletter [PDF].

 collindavis.vsm After earning his Associates Degree, Collin Davis, ’15, was looking into schools with religious studies and Hebrew programs. “Carolina clearly had the best programs, and once I started here I was able to become even more focused on Jewish studies.” This May, he completed the undergraduate B.A. degree program in Jewish Studies.
 Woelk.vsm As a Junior at Vassar, Emma Woelk intended to build a career in the biological sciences, but a study abroad experience in Germany served as the wake-up call that changed the course of her life. This May she became the first graduate of the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies and one of the first students to earn the graduate student Certificate in Jewish Studies.
Andrea Cooper.2014web Andrea Dara Cooper, the Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Fellow in Modern Jewish Thought, has already begun to shape Jewish studies on campus by creating four new courses within her first few months at Carolina.
cassen.web Flora Cassen, the JMA and Sonja van der Horst Fellow in Jewish History and Culture, created a new course titled: Antisemitism: History, Causes, Consequences. The undergraduates learned about the history of antisemitism from the middle ages to today and wrote in-depth research papers on a wide range of topics.
HSprintzik2014web Hanna Sprintzik, lecturer in Modern Hebrew in the Department of Asian Studies, taught a new First Year Seminar this semester which introduced undergraduates to the field of Israeli popular culture.
maxlazar.vsm In January, Max Lazar, a first year graduate student in the Department of History, traveled to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. to learn about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and materials available at the Museum’s library and archive. Lazar’s thesis examines Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union to Germany after WWII.
 CCJSblock3 This May, Elissa Sampson and Emma Woelk both  earned the graduate student Certificate in Jewish Studies. Sampson’s dissertation explored “Tenement Tales: The Fashioning of 97 Orchard Street” and Woelk’s research was titled “Folk Fiction: Yiddish and the Negotiation of Legacy in Germany after 1945.”
 Gil-Karenhigh-res.vsm On behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to thank you for your commitment to the work of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. Your support has contributed to its being a vibrant place for learning, discovery and engagement.
Ruth von Bernuth.2014web Nearly 1,300 students enrolled in 34 Jewish studies courses this academic year. For many students, it is their first encounter with aspects of Jewish culture, religion, and history, but for some others, it is their second, third, fourth, or maybe even tenth course.
CCJSblock3 This year, thanks to generous private support, the Center provided research and travel grants to undergraduates, graduate students and faculty, in addition to faculty course development grants, graduate student summer stipends, the graduate fellowship for dissertation completion, and several graduate student recruitment grants.


Click here to view the 2014-2015 event flyer.

Fall 2014: Click here to read the Fall 2014 newsletter [PDF].

 browning.vsm Professor Christopher Browning, distinguished professor and researcher of the Holocaust, retired this summer. To formally recognize his dedication and contributions to the field and to Carolina, the Center has created a new research grant for undergraduate and graduate students working in the field of Holocaust studies. The Christopher R. Browning Research and Travel Grant will be awarded for the first time this academic year. The new research grant will be funded through private gifts, including the Director’s Discretionary Fund and donations made specifically to support the grant.
 Andrea Cooper.2014web  Andrea Cooper joins the Center and Carolina’s Department of Religious Studies this semester as the Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Fellow in Modern Jewish Thought. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University. Joseph Lam has been promoted to a tenure-track assistant professor position in Classical Hebrew, Department of Religious Studies. He holds a Ph.D. from University of Chicago and joined Carolina in 2011 as lecturer for Classical Hebrew. Three of our faculty members— Ruth von Bernuth, Evyatar Marienberg, and Yaron Shemer— have recently gained tenure and have been promoted to Associate Professors.
 Ruth von Bernuth.2014web My “director’s desk” is currently a virtual one, since I am writing this while on my way to Chelm, the town in southeastern Poland whose inhabitants enjoy such notoriety in Jewish literature for their bottomless foolishness. But I am by no means the only member of the Center on the move this summer. Some of my colleagues are in Israel to give talks or to conduct research. Other Carolina faculty are in Europe, and elsewhere around the globe, Martin Sueldo is in Argentina, exploring the possibility of setting up a UNC summer program on South American Jewish culture in Buenos Aires.
Burney, far right,  in Huqoq, summer 2014.

 Directed by Professor Jodi Magness, excavations in the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee, have brought to light stunning mosaics which decorated the floor. In 2012, a mosaic showing Samson and the foxes (Judges 15:4) was discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle. In summer 2013, a second mosaic was found which shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3). This summer, a third mosaic was discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle, which includes a scene of soldiers and elephants. The identification of the figures in this mosaic is unclear because there are no stories in the Hebrew Bible involving elephants.  A group of seven students, shown at left, participated in the dig with the assistance of research and travel grants from the Center, including, from left to right: Lauren Garrett, Austin Andrews, David Culclasure, Daniel Schindler, Brian Coussens, Bradley Erickson, and Jocelyn Burney. Photo by J. Haberman.
 lilliana1.web Undergraduate Student Profile:  Liliana Gregory, ’15: “What drove me to declare the Jewish Studies minor was Professor Ewa Wampuszyc’s 20th Century Polish Literature and Culture course. It showed me how integrated Central European Studies and Jewish Studies are. I wanted to take this academic knowledge and somehow turn it into practical experience. This led me to an internship at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Poland during summer 2013.”
 guy.shalev1.web  Graduate Student Profile:  Guy Shalev: After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in Israel, Shalev developed a commitment to an anthropological study in healthcare settings. This directed him to the medical anthropology Ph.D. program at Carolina.
 hannah2.web The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia, By Hannah Nemer, ’14: “I spent this past spring break traveling through Ethiopia, visiting with members of the Beta Avraham Jewish community to record their stories of faith, oppression, and resilience. The funding I received from the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies has proven invaluable during this process.”
 CCJSblock3  Graduate Student Recruitment: This past spring the Center offered recruitment grants and “top-up” grants to prospective outstanding graduate students with an interest in a field related to Jewish Studies. Applicants to Carolina were nominated by their academic departments. This fall, Carolina welcomes Tine Rassalle, in the Department of Religious Studies, who received the Tau Epsilon Phi Graduate Student Fellowship in Jewish Studies, which includes a stipend, full tuition, fees, and health insurance for the first and fifth year of study, and Robin Buller and Max Lazar, both in the Department of History, who received $7,000 top-up grants.
 ferris cover The Edible South: Marcie Cohen Ferris. associate professor, Department of American Studies, has a new book being published this fall titled: The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region. For more information, visit the UNC press.  Jewish Studies Faculty News: Flora Cassen, the JMA and Sonja van der Horst Fellow in Jewish History and Culture and assistant professor, Department of History, will serve as faculty liaison to the Center’s advisory board for this coming academic year. David Lambert, assistant professor, Department of Religious Studies, will serve the Center as curriculum advisor this year. Joseph Lam, shown at left,will serve as undergraduate student liaison.
kessler Archival Work at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, By Samuel J. Kessler, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies: “For anyone who spends even a little time in Jewish studies, one quickly learns that the National Library in Jerusalem is full of characters and an endless number of anecdotes about them. What I came to the NLI to find is contained in 82 folders spread over three boxes. To start my work each morning I sit at a desk and am handed a folder—I began with number one and will end with number 82. The excitement of this life is in the minutia: I never quite know what I will find when I open each new folder.”


July 2014: A team led by our archaeologist Jodi Magness has discovered a third mosaic in ongoing synagogue excavations at Huqoq, in Lower Galilee. This new mosaic is the first time a non-BiHuqoqstudents14 habermanblical story has been found decorating any ancient synagogue. UNC students participated in the dig, including seven who were supported by grants from the Center, shown at right.

Summer 2014 interviews with Professor Magness:

WUNC, July 2014
Biblical Archaeology, July 2014


Spring 2014 Click here to read the full story in our newsletter [PDF]

karen_auerbach  “The House at Ujazdowskie 16” by Karen Auerbach, Carolina’s newest Jewish studies faculty member, tells of the personal journey of post-World War II Jewish families. The book is also the result of Auerbach’s own journey, which began as a simple desire to learn more about her grandmother’s life but then evolved into a major career change, years of living abroad, and an intensive research project.
Professor Jodi Magness and UNC Chapel Hill students with the Sam Student Profiles: Jocelyn Burney, ’14, had a childhood dream of being an archeologist and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Religious studies. Tony Botros, ’14, is a chemistry and biology double major who plans on enrolling in medical school this fall. For very different reasons, both participate in the summer excavations in Huqoq.
GilKaren.vsm With your support, the Carolina Center has made remarkable gains. Jewish Studies now has an outstanding assemblage of faculty, a robust public lecture series, two successful academic minors (Jewish Studies and Modern Hebrew), and an exciting new undergraduate major. As a result, Carolina is becoming a leader in the field, by enhancing understanding of Jewish history and culture on campus and in the world.
von bernuth.vsm This year, the Center also continued to reach out to new academic fields, and a remarkable 10 new courses in Jewish Studies were submitted to the Undergraduate Bulletin in the fall, including courses on Arab-Jews, the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and Urban Life in East European Jewish History. We are able to support our undergraduate, graduate students, our faculty and to invite so many speakers due to your ongoing support. Thank you for your continued interest in, and support of, the Center.
ccjs-logo Thanks to generous private support, this year the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies was able to offer more funding awards than ever before to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. Funding for these awards was made possible by the Frenkel Foundation, the Joseph Kittner Endowment Fund, the Howard R. Levine Student Excellence Fund, the Shapiro/ZBT Undergraduate Research Fund, the Rhonda A. and Robert Hillel Silver Fund for Graduate Support, the Jack O. Spies and Family Jewish Studies Fund, the Advisory Board Director’s Expendable Fund, and the Fund for Jewish Studies.
200px-Anne_Frank The Uhlman Family Seminar is offered by the UNC Program in the Humanities, in collaboration with the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and Raleigh’s Burning Coal Theatre. The 2014 seminar, was held April 12, 2014, and was titled: Diaries, Dreams, and Desires: Anne Frank and Jewish Private Life. Presentations explored the domestic worlds that Anne Frank and millions of Jewish families enjoyed before the war, how they’ve been portrayed, and the disruption wrought on them by the Holocaust. The seminar was capped with a presentation from Burning Coal Theatre on producing the “Diary” as a play, and included performances of key scenes from the production.



imaxA new IMAX film featuring our own Jodi Magness is coming to Raleigh’s Marbles Museum. Filmed in 3D for the giant screen, Jerusalem immerses audiences into one of the world’s most beloved cities. Discover why this tiny piece of land is sacred to three major religions through the stories of Jewish, Christian and Muslim families who call Jerusalem home. Join renowned archaeologist and UNC Distinguished Professor, Dr. Jodi Magness, as she travels underground to solve some of this city’s greatest mysteries. Unprecedented access to the city’s holiest sites, as well as rare and breathtaking aerial footage of the Old City and the Holy Land, combine to make Jerusalem a unique and stunning cinematic experience. The Raleigh opening: Saturday, February 22, 2014. Length: 40 minutes. Visit Marbles Museum for screening details. On March 2nd, the alumni association is hosting a talk by Professor Magness and film screening. For details, and to register, please visit the alumni association.