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.
Mika Ahuvia, in the Department of Religion, was born in Kibbutz Beit Hashita in north Israel. She graduated with a BA in Classical Studies from Rollins College and a MA in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan. She's participated in archaeological excavations with Oxford University, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and the University of Michigan. In the Religions of Late Antiquity program at Princeton University, she's currently researching the feminine divine in heterodox Christian and Jewish sources as well as the archaeology of Late Antique churches, synagogues, and cemeteries.
April C. Armstrong entered the Religion Department's Ph.D. program in Religion in America in 2007. Prior to enrolling at Princeton, she earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Oklahoma and her M.A.Th. in Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tentatively entitled, "'I Don't Know Why He Chose the Jews': Southern Baptist-Jewish Relations and the American Public Square," her dissertation will focus on Southern Baptist-Jewish relations in the 1980s.
Yael Berda is a lawyer 5th year graduate student in the department of Sociology. In her dissertation she examines how the legacies of British colonial administration of populations have impacted and shaped practices and policies related to citizenship and political membership in Israel, India and Cyprus, following the regime change from colonial administration to struggling democracies. Formerly a practicing human rights lawyer specializing in administrative, military and international law, Yael is interested in the ways institutions and organizations, through their mundane routines, forms and files, shape the life of the state. She Holds a LLB from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, an M.A is Sociology & Anthropology from Tel Aviv university with honors. Her book, a pioneering study on the bureaucracy of the military occupation in the West Bank is forthcoming in June 2012 (Jerusalem Van Leer institute and Hakibutz HaMeuhad Publishing - In Hebrew). Yael has been highly engaged in public life in Israel, particularly on issues related to social justice and political participation.
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.
James Casey is a pre-generals graduate student in the History Department. He completed his BA in History at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008) and his MA in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (2011). As a 2008-2009 Fulbright Scholar in Syria he conducted research on the language of nationalism in the Syrian popular press under French Mandate. With the support of a Judaic Studies fellowship, he will be spending summer 2012 in Beirut, researching relationships between Islamic, Christian, and Jewish pious endowments in Lebanon in the context of French colonial rule (1920-1943).
Rachel Gross entered the Religion Department's program in Religion in America 2008. Her dissertation is a material culture examination of nostalgia in American Jewish communities, including studies of Jewish genealogists, the use of historic synagogues as museums, children's books and dolls, and American Jewish foodways. She received a B.A. in Jewish Studies and an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.
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.
David Jorgensen, entered the Religions of Late Antiquity program in the Department of Religion in 2007, having completed a Master of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School with a focus on the New Testament and Early Christianity. At Princeton his work centers around the Christianities of the second to fourth centuries, especially exegetical techniques, canon formation, and constructions of orthodoxy and heresy.
Alex Kocar is a student in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield of the Religion Department and came to Princeton in 2009. He graduated with a BA in Classics, Philosophy, and Religions of Antiquity from the University of Minnesota and a MA in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington. Mr. Kocar works on early Christian social and intellectual history, focusing in particular on traditions of scriptural exegesis and ethical instruction. Since coming to Princeton, Alex has worked on Greek and Coptic papyri from the Oxyrhynchus collection of Oxford University as well as the Coptic Pachomian texts stored at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland. Mr. Kocar will propose his dissertation in the fall of 2012 on the rhetorical use of ethical responsibility and intention in early Christian writers of the first three centuries of the common era.
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.
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.
Alexander Wamboldt is a fourth-year graduate student in the Anthropology Department. Alexander's dissertation is an ethnographic study of marriage and divorce in contemporary Israeli legal institutions. His work concerns kinship, rights, gender, religion, and the law in Palestine and Israel. His dissertation examines how romantic ideals intersect with legal, national, and religious regimes in the lived experiences of individuals and families. Alexander is interested in how people navigate through these affects and institutions throughout their lifetimes. Alexander holds a BA in Religious Studies and Anthropology from Brown University, and an MA in Anthropology from Princeton.
Marc Volovici holds an MA degree in German Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently he is a first year graduate student in Princeton's History Department, sudying Central European cultural and intellectual history.
Other graduate students working in areas relevant to Jewish Studies are the following: Sand Avidar-Walzer (English), Abra Levenson (Comparative Literature), Geoffrey Smith (Religion), Ezra Tzfadya (Religion), Jennifer Wilson (Slavic), and Oded Zinger (Near Eastern Studies).