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Gabrielle A. Berlinger: Jewish Folklore at Carolina
“Believe it or not, my interest in Jewish ritual life and material culture has its roots in Vietnam,” said Gabrielle Berlinger. “While studying abroad in Vietnam as an undergraduate, I conducted a project on ancestor worship, specifically around the ancestor altars that families construct in their homes. There, I became interested in the intersection of sacred and domestic space—how ritual practice can transform ordinary space into extraordinary space.”

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Grad Students:

In 2009, Annegret Oehme was reading material for a research paper about medieval German literature, when a footnote about old Yiddish literature caught her attention. “Once I learned more about Yiddish literature, I considered pursuing a Ph.D. with that as a central topic. Now, Oehme is the newest graduate of the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies. Her doctoral research traces the story of a knight of King Arthur, called Wigalois, across different cultures and languages in order to show how this is a shared German-Yiddish narrative. Just a few months after graduating from Carolina, Oehme began her new position as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Germanics at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Averyl Edwards, ’17: Tikkun olam (repairing the world) has always been a guiding principle for me,” says Averyl “Avivi” Edwards, ’17. “It’s important to talk about inequality not just because we are Jews and we know what it’s like, but also because we’re commanded to take action to improve the lives of those around us.” Edwards is currently wrapping up her double major in Religious Studies/Jewish Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies and she sees her majors as two sides of the same coin—as part of her unwavering determination to fight injustice in the world.

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Eric Sklut’s love for Carolina began at an early age, when he told his parents after a trip to Chapel Hill at age 13 that UNC was where he was going to college. Five years later, during the summer before his first year, Sklut got another taste of the Carolina legacy when he witnessed the 1976 gold medal-winning Olympic basketball team on campus with Coach Dean Smith. Read more.



On September 22, 1951, Carolina junior Saralyn Bonowitz attended a party at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house after the first football game of the season. That day, Carolina beat N.C. State – and Saralyn met ZBT Gene Oberdorfer, who shared her class year and a Southern Jewish heritage.In 2012, as Gene and Saralyn Oberdorfer celebrated 59 years of marriage, they committed to contribute a deferred gift to the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. This gift will provide a versatile source of funding for the growing program and give Carolina students opportunities unavailable to the Oberdorfers in the 1950s.

Read the full article and about more of our donors: donorprofiles