Although the Program in Judaic Studies is designed for undergraduates, there are many graduate students at Princeton who are pursuing topics relevant to Judaic Studies within their home departments. At the present time, these include Anthropology, Architecture, Comparative Literature, English, Germanic Languages and Literature, History, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Politics, and Religion.
Abraham Berkovitz is currently a PhD candidate at Princeton University's Department of Religion, where he explores biblical interpretation and cultural interactions between Jews and Christians during Late Antiquity. He is currently in coursework. He completed an M.A. in Bible at Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and a B.A in Jewish Studies.
Shira Billet entered the Religion Department in 2010. She studies modern Jewish thought and intellectual history, with a focus on German Jewish thinkers spanning the period from unification through the second world war, with a particular interest in the political, legal, and ethical implications of religious thought. Topics of interest include the political overtones and undertones - in their local and particular historical contexts, in the broader context of a more sweeping intellectual history, and with an eye toward contemporary conversations - of discussions of sin, the problem of evil, aesthetics, emotion, race and peoplehood. Shira received her BA in Religion from Princeton University, and is a Wexner graduate fellow in Judaic Studies, as well as a graduate fellow at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization.
Elena Dugan is a doctoral candidate in Princeton University’s Department of Religion, working in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield. She received an MSc in Biblical Studies from the University of Edinburgh, and her BA in Religious Studies, with a minor in Arabic, from McGill University. She is currently interested in early sectarian and semi-sectarian interpretations of Biblical material, particularly those encapsulated in 1 Enoch, and their subsequent reception through Late Antiquity.
Yossi Harpaz, department of Sociology, received his M.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel-Aviv University, where he studied the proliferation of dual citizenship among Israelis whose families immigrated from Central and Eastern Europe. Yossi is interested in understanding ethnic and national identity, focusing in particular on the way it is shaped by experiences of migration and conflict. His current project deals with these topics through a comparative examination of several cases of dual citizenship among immigrants to and from Europe.
Jonathan Henry came to the Religion Department in 2014, where he studies developments in Christianity and Judaism, as well as their broader contexts in the ancient and late antique Mediterranean. Jonathan is currently researching the ways authors claim knowledge and control of supernatural entities, employing these figures as rhetorical instruments to establish boundaries of identity, and to fortify social cohesion and adherence to community standards of ethics and morality. He has served as a research assistant to Peter Schäfer in the topic of patristic uses of Enoch, and in the final stages of theToledot Yeshu project.
Eva Kiesele studies rabbinics at Princeton’s Department of Religion. With half a foot in comparative literature and a toe in philosophy, her primary interest lies in the discursive art of her sources: in rabbinic hermeneutics and talmudic redaction, but also, e.g., the treatment of agency and disobedience. Currently, she is exploring the role that formalized language and intertextual connectors play for the making and development of rabbinic law. Eva completed a BA in Jewish History and Middle Eastern Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, and subsequently spent three years as a Visiting Graduate Student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied at the departments of Hebrew Literature and of Talmud and Halakha. She is also a fellow at the Consortium for Jewish Law and Legal Theory at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University.
John Lansdowne is a graduate student in the Dept. of Art and Archaeology. A native of Cleveland, OH, he received his B.A. in Classics and History from Boston College (2007) and M.Phil. in Classical Archaeology from St Cross College, Oxford (2011). He travels to Israel this summer to conduct research for his potential dissertation project on the concept of the 'New Jersualem' and its manifestation in the art and architecture of the Medieval Latin West.
Mark Letteney joined Princeton's program in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity in 2014 after receiving a MAR in the History of Christianity from Yale Divinity School and degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests cluster around elite Christians in the Roman Empire, relations between Christians and Roman Traditionalists, and the legislation of “Orthodoxy” in Late Antiquity. He is a staff member with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, focusing on excavation of the Roman 6th Legion “Ferrata” castra in Legio, Israel. Adjacent interests include papyrology and textual criticism.
Jessi O'Rourke-Suchoff is in the Department of Comparative Literature. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature with a minor in Jewish Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, focusing on mixed media and photography in the contemporary American novel. She is currently interested in modern and contemporary British, American, and French novels in terms of object theory and the formation of national and collective memory and identity, as well as issues surrounding modes of writing in the Hebrew Bible.
Sheera Talpaz is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan (2009) and a BA with Honors in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago (2007). She studies modern Hebrew and Arabic literatures and is also interested in issues of translation.
Alexander Wamboldt (6th-year graduate student in Anthropology) works on law, kinship, and ritual in Israel. He examines the confluence of neoliberal lifestyles and romantic ideals with legal and religious regimes upon the lived experiences of individuals and families as they couple, get married, and divorce. He is interested in how people navigate their personal trajectories through these institutions throughout their lifetimes, and how these choices affect the nation-state, governance, Judaism as a religion and as a culture, gender, ritual meaning, and the assemblage of the social. He is currently writing his dissertation on Israelis who marry within the state Rabbinate as well as those who create alternative ceremonies outside of it.