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 casualpimichaelf Michael Figueroa grew up surrounded by music and knew he wanted to base his life around it in some way or another. He entered college as a double major in guitar performance and music composition but instead ended up with a degree in musicology. Regarding his new course, offered in spring 2015, he said, “I created the ‘Hearing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’ course because studying the region’s music allows students to learn about the various cultures involved in the conflict from a much different perspective than mainstream outlets, such as cable news, print, and social media. It is important to me that students grasp the human side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and learning Israelis’ and Palestinians’ musical cultures is a powerful way to accomplish this.”
Read the profile.  Publish Date: Fall 2015
Andrea Cooper.2014web In the midst of her first year on the faculty at Carolina, Andrea Dara Cooper, the Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Fellow in Modern Jewish Thought and Culture, has had four new academic courses approved by the College that she will begin teaching in the next academic year. “My interests in Jewish studies began quite early on. Since my time at Hebrew Day School in Toronto, I have been driven to explore a rich tradition of Jewish thought through a modern academic lens,” said Cooper.
Read the profile.  Publish Date: Spring 2015
karen_auerbach  Karen Auerbach, Department of History.
“The House at Ujazdowskie 16” by Karen Auerbach, 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. “I am thrilled to be at Carolina, where there are distinguished History and Slavic studies departments, plus a rapidly growing Jewish studies program,”
Read the profile.  Publish Date: Spring 2014
JosephLam Joseph Lam, assistant professor, Department of Religious Studies, grew up in a multilingual household and has always been fascinated with languages—he is a native speaker of Cantonese and can read and/or converse in about 15 modern and ancient languages. He has recently led the effort to transform Carolina’s Classical Hebrew program, leading to a significant increase in the number of students enrolled. “I enjoy those moments when a student learns something truly new or discovers a different perspective on a familiar topic. Being able to facilitate and witness those ‘aha!’ moments is one of the privileges of teaching,” said Lam.
Read the profile.  Publish Date: Fall 2013
magness.vsm.2012 Jodi Magness, Professor, Department of Religious Studies.
Professor Magness has been on more than 20 different archaeological excavations in her career, but this summer’s findings at Huqoq still managed to deliver a few surprises to this veteran. Namely, the discovery of stunning mosaics on an ancient synagogue’s floor. “My move to Carolina gave me two new experiences. First, I suddenly had many colleagues working in archaeology. Second, Carolina’s Ph.D. program gave me the opportunity to work closely with outstanding graduate students.”
Read the profile.  Publish Date: Fall 2012
ariel.vsm Yaakov Ariel Professor, Department of Religious Studies
A prolific scholar with a diverse body of interests, Professor Ariel’s work has addressed the enigmatic relationship between the Jews and the Evangelicals.  “I learn from anthropologists, from scholars of literature, from Holocaust scholars. I learn all the time. I’m not just a teacher or scholar – I’m a student.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2012
cassen.vsm Flora Cassen JMA and Sonja van der Horst Fellow in Jewish History and Culture, assistant professor, Department of  History
As a child growing up Jewish in Belgium, Flora Cassen was naturally curious about European history. She now explores the rich history of Jews in Europe. “I am interested in how Jews lived during the 15th and 16th centuries. They were subjected to a whole series of religious and legal restrictions, but in spite of that, they achieved remarkable success. Their resourcefulness was very impressive.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2011
ferris.vsm Marcie Cohen Ferris Associate professor, Department of American Studies. Professor Ferris’s academic and research contributions have helped create Carolina’s expertise in the history of the Jewish South.  “By tracing the history of Jewish southerners from the colonial era to the present, we’re exploring Jewish contributions to the intellectual, political, economic, artistic and religious culture so we can better understand what it means to be Jewish in this unique American region.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Winter 2010
lambert.vsm David Lambert Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, Department of Religious Studies. For Professor Lambert, studying the Hebrew Bible means much more than simply reading the ancient text. He extends his study to explore how the Bible is interpreted through the ages, and how different cultural assumptions alter how people approach the Bible.  “My hope is that students in my classes will learn to identify some of the different ways in which our cultural background affects how we read the Bible and to contrast our initial, instinctual readings with possible alternatives.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2010
marienberg Evyatar Marienberg E.J. and Sara Evans Assistant Professor of Jewish History and Culture, Department of Religious Studies. A historian of religions, with a particular focus on the study of the beliefs and practices of lay Jews and Christians, Professor Marienberg joined Carolina with the driving goal to expand course offerings.  “I am happy to be at such a beautiful campus, with outstanding students and faculty colleagues. I hope to give students some new learning opportunities and help this impressive program continue to grow.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2009
von bernuth.vsm Ruth von Bernuth Associate professor of early modern German Studies Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Professor von Bernuth’s focus on Germany’s early modern period (15th – 18th Centuries) has filled a special academic niche in UNC’s German department, and her new research focus on Yiddish literature is likewise filling an important curricular need for Jewish Studies.  “There are so few people working on old Yiddish, but my current research project is introducing me to wonderful colleagues around the world and exposing me to remarkable writers and publishers from centuries ago.” Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2011