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YIVOinstitute.tesla.webvsm Tesla Lee, ’16: I had the unique privilege of traveling to New York City this winter, after receiving a generous research grant from the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, to complete some archival research for my undergraduate senior honors thesis. I am sincerely grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies to complete this research. I offer a genuine thank you for helping to make my first trip to New York City both atypical and rewarding. It is my hope that I can continue working on this subject in the future.
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2016
 collindavis.vsm Collin Davis, ’15: For me, it was simply a question of what would I really like to learn about for two years. It wasn’t going to be chemistry or math, or even history. But religious studies, that was interesting to me,” said Collin Davis, ’15, who soon will be the second undergraduate to complete the new degree program in Jewish studies. Since transferring to Carolina, he has had courses with 10 different Jewish studies faculty members who are based in five different academic departments.
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2015
 lilliana1.web  Liliana Gregory, ’15, from Atlanta, is pursuing a double major in Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures with a Central European Studies Concentration and Economics. She also is minoring in Jewish Studies and is planning to write an honors thesis which will study how the post-1989 Jewish cultural revival in Kraków, Poland has contributed to the cultural and economic revitalization of Kazimierz in the early 21st century. “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.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2014
hannah2.web  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. Partnering with Israeli film and music producer Irene Orleansky, I was fortunate enough to go into the community to record a few of their many stories and traditions as part of a documentary film.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2014
burney  Jocelyn Burney, ’14, had a childhood dream of being an archeologist. Now, as a Religious Studies and Archaeology major, she has spent the past two summers in Huqoq, where she has learned an important lesson: that hands-on interaction with history is an experience no textbook can convey. Burney’s plans for the future are aimed at fulfilling her childhood dream, made more real by her experiences at Huqoq. She is applying to graduate programs in religious studies and will continue to spend her summers at the dig in Huqoq.
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2014
botros Tony Botros, ’14, is a chemistry and biology double major from Milwaukee who plans on enrolling in medical school. In summer 2013, he worked at Professor Magness’s archaeology dig in Israel. For Botros, working on the site when the mosaics were uncovered was a very powerful experience, “a memory I’ll never forget.” Though his future plans include medical school, Botros also intends to remain involved in archeology in the Holy Land.
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2014
hayley.wright.2012 Hayley Wright, ’13, took pen to paper in spring 2012 and became the first declared major in Jewish Studies at Carolina. For the New York City native, the decision capped a mounting interest in the field that had grown since her days as a first-year student. “Through the Center, I’ve been able to learn about myself and where I’m from.” She is quick to add, though, that “Jewish Studies is not just for Jewish people. I would encourage anyone on this campus to take a course.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Fall 2012
lewis.vsm.2012 Abigail Lewis ’12 Early on at Carolina, Lewis increasingly came to concentrate her studies on the history of the Holocaust. Currently a senior honors student in the Department of History, Lewis has taken numerous upper level and even graduate level courses in history, in addition to learning German and French. “It was fun to sit down in a French library and read original French documents. That’s fun for me. Maybe that’s nerdy, but hanging out in libraries in Paris for a job sounds awesome to me.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2012
valone.crop.vsm.2010 T. Fielder Valone Jr., ’11  Valone, a History and American Studies major, is the first recipient of the Elsie Kaplan “Mother Shapiro” ZBT Undergraduate Research and Travel Grant in Jewish Studies. He used the research funding to help support a month-long research trip to the YIVO Institute in New York City. There, he averaged six hours a day examining eyewitness testimonies of Lithuanian-Jewish survivors of genocide.  “I figure that the Honors Thesis project is good practice for graduate school, to see if I really enjoy doing sustained intellectual research and to see if writing a dissertation is something I’d like to do.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Winter 2010
josh.thompson.vsm.nov09 Josh Thompson, ’10 Upon entering Carolina, Josh Thompson had a huge decision to make: what to do for the language requirement. He already knew Latin, but he wanted to learn something new. He decided to give Modern Hebrew a try. He ended up making it it a minor, and when that was completed, he then enrolled in Biblical Hebrew.  “I chose to pursue Modern and Biblical Hebrew for personal reasons: to allow me to read works in their original language and to help with my travels to Israel. I’ve since learned that it’s also a vibrant culture, giving me the opportunity to explore both history and current events. I would recommend Jewish Studies courses to any student. Just check it out, you’ll be amazed.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Winter 2009 Yelena Aleksandrovich, ’09 During a Birthright trip to Israel, she decided to do more to reconnect with her Jewish heritage. She returned to Chapel Hill and formed the Jewish a cappella group, Sabba. She also joined Sigma Rho Lamda, the Jewish sorority, and she took six courses of Modern Hebrew to complete the minor.  “I have a passion for learning languages because it helps you better understand other people and their cultures. I also knew that having strong language skills could certainly help me when applying for my first job out of college.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2009 Adam Yosim, ’10 Yosim was drawn to Carolina by its prestigious journalism program, but he has also found many other opportunities on campus, including singing with the Jewish a capella group and minoring in Modern Hebrew. He has loved all his journalism courses, but one of his favorite courses at Carolina was in Jewish Studies.
” I never knew about the history of anti-Semitism before taking that course, I just knew about the Holocaust and everything that followed that.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Winter 2008 Diana Gergel ’09 Diana Gergel is one of those people who make everyone else look like they’re standing still. And her busy schedule does not slow one bit during summer breaks. Last summer she worked at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and she did research at the Library of Congress focused on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Next summer, she hopes to continue this research work in South Africa. “This summer internship was one of the best experiences of my life. The ability, as an undergraduate, to work so closely with Holocaust scholars was a great learning experience. These types of  opportunities, plus knowing that Carolina had a Jewish Studies program and an active Hillel, were all important factors in my decision to study here.”
Read the profile. Publish Date: Spring 2008