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Exploring Options: Career Planning


The Center’s affiliated graduate students have been very successful in gaining coveted positions after they complete their Ph.D. programs. Many go on to hold tenure-track faculty positions at peer institutions, while others leave Carolina for post-doc fellowships, lectureships and adjunct teaching positions. Some graduating students instead looked outside of the university environment and have landed positions at museums, non-profits and secondary education. Last year, the Center teamed up with Jewish studies centers across the country—and internationally—to help students with career planning and networking.

In March, the Center’s Graduate Student Network hosted Noam Pianko, past president of the Association for Jewish Studies and the Samuel N. Stroum Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, to talk about the future of Jewish studies as an academic discipline and as a career goal. At the meeting, students asked questions on how to diversify their portfolio, how to prepare syllabi for teaching applications, and where to find non-faculty opportunities on, and off, university campuses.

A few weeks later, in April, the Center hosted several center directors who met with our graduate students to talk about the various career paths available. This networking opportunity allowed students to ask very specific questions about their interests and preparation for the job market. Special thank you to the Center directors for joining our graduate students: Moderator: Laura Lieber, Duke University. Participants: Steve Weitzman, University of Pennsylvania; Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University; Eva Mroczek, UC Davis; Anna Shternshis, University of Toronto.

This upcoming year, the Center will continue to work with the Graduate Student Network members to ensure they feel prepared for life after Carolina and their graduate programs.


Creating Options: Post-Doctorate Fellowships


In the upcoming years, the Center hopes to create opportunities for recent Jewish studies graduates to continue their work at Carolina by way of post-doctorate fellowship positions. Many of the Center’s graduate students have moved on to other universities for post-doc positions, but the Center does not offer any of these transitional fellowships. This type of position is a win-win, as it gives the scholar time to further develop teaching and writing skills before applying for tenure-track faculty positions, and it gives the hosting institution, and its students, exposure to new research and teaching interests. Some peer institutions offer one or two fellowships each year but a few institutions have created a comprehensive program that allows them to recruit a cohort of post-doc fellows each year.

“Creating opportunities for recent graduates to come to Carolina to further their training is an important goal for not only our Center, but for Jewish Studies academic programming worldwide,” said Ruth von Bernuth, director. “As our Center continues to grow and take a leadership role in Jewish studies, it’s important for us to create these training programs. Aside from preparing future leaders in the field of Jewish studies, this also will enhance the course offerings for Carolina’s undergraduates and will give the entire Carolina community access to new research and academic subfields.”

Post-doc fellowships are not new to Carolina, but they currently are not offered specifically in the field of Jewish studies. The Center seeks a permanent endowment or long-term expendable fund to support a post-doc program. Please contact us for additional information at

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