Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University

FROM THE DIRECTOR, YAEL ARONOFF

Yael Aronoff - Michigan State Jewish StudiesOur Jewish Studies Program had an exciting fall semester, hosting eight outside speakers and screening one film. This spring we are having fourteen speakers in addition to our 10th Annual Israeli Film Festival. We are co-sponsoring events with a dozen units and programs across the university throughout the year, and continuing our monthly Jewish Studies research seminars with faculty and students.

We’re happy to report that MSU has re-instated all six of the study abroad programs in Israel. Chen Bram, last year’s Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar, will lead the summer program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2015.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR SPRING SEMESTER 2015

APRIL

Friday, April 17, 12:00-1:30 pm
Wells Hall B-342
Meet and Greet with Jewish Studies Alumni Reception
(For Current and Prospective Jewish Studies Minors Only)
Are you interested in, or already, minoring in Jewish Studies? Here is your chance to meet Jewish Studies alumni of differing backgrounds and hear how their Jewish Studies background has been advantageous to their fields of interest. You will get to talk and relax with former students who were in your shoes not too long ago. Lunch will be provided.
Please RSVP to:
Dr. Yael Aronoff, aronoffy@msu.edu
Bradley Isakson, isakson2@msu.edu
Viki Gietzel, gietzel@msu.edu

Meet and Greet with Jewish Studies Alumni Reception
For Current and Prospective Jewish Studies Minors
Are you interested in, or already Minoring in Jewish Studies?
Here is your chance to meet Jewish Studies Alumni of differing backgrounds and hear how their minor has been advantageous to their fields of interest. You will get to talk and relax with former students who were in your shoes not too long ago.

Complimentary Lunch will be provided.

Where? Wells Hall B-342
When? April 17th, 12pm-1:30pm

Please RSVP to:
Dr. Yael Aronoff, aronoffy@msu.edu
Bradley Isakson, isakson2@msu.edu
Viki Gietzel, gietzel@msu.edu

~ALUMNI LIST~

Helena Bentley (IR, Jewish Studies Program, 2013) is an accomplished specialist in Jewish Studies who has focused in her work on peace and security studies in the Middle East. She has twice studied abroad at the Hebrew University and, while in Israel for the second time, completed internships at the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education at Hebrew University and also at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. Here she conducted research and did translation work from Farsi for Institute publications. After undergrad Helena took a year off to work in Admissions at the University of Michigan. While there she also worked as a Policy Contractor for a public-private partnership focused on global health and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Sub-Saharan Africa with UM and the Ethiopian government. She is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff for Team Harris at the Harris School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago.

Danielle Gittleman (Human Biology, Jewish Studies, 2014) graduated from the the College of Natural Sciences, a pre-med student, a third generation descendant of a Holocaust survivor and her special project was writing and transforming the memoir left by her late grandfather, Ira Mechlowitz, titled “I Was Happy When I Was Singing.” Mr. Mechlowitz wrote a hand-written memoir on four legal pads for his family — unpunctuated, without structure, unannotated — and Danielle Gittleman has been re-writing, annotating, bolstering, and contextualizing it as an original piece of Holocaust research and story-making. She is currently taking a year off after graduating before she begins medical school.

Samuel Appel (SRP, James Madison College, RCAH, Jewish Studies, 2012) since graduating he has worked as a Program Associate and now Director of Jewish Student Life at the Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center at Michigan State University, a religious affiliate.

Rabbi Jason Miller (IR, James Madison College at MSU 1998) is a rabbi, entrepreneur, educator and blogger. The Detroit Free Press called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader.” He writes for TIME.com, the Huffington Post, The Jewish Week, JTA, Times of Israel, My Jewish Learning and is a popular speaker on technology and social media. He has served as a visiting professor for the Jewish Studies Program at MSU and has been on faculty at Oakland University since 2008. He’s President of Access Computer Technology, a computer tech support, web design and social media marketing company in Michigan. He also is the founder and director of Kosher Michigan and is the visiting rabbi for Congregation B’nai Israel in Toledo, Ohio. He lives in Farmington Hills with his wife Elissa (MSU 1996) and their three children.

Friday, April 24, 10:00–11:30 am
Wells Hall B-342
Jewish Studies Faculty and Student Research Seminar
Title: “Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing”
Presenter: Zieva Konvisser, international board member of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma

 

News

Read the cover story about Ken Waltzer in the Detroit Jewish News.

Congratulations! Jewish Studies specializers Laura Williams, Bradley Isakson, and Aaron Walden were awarded a Jewish Studies Student Achievement Award on April 15, 2015.

Events

Ken Waltzer’s Big Retirement Bash Celebration during the weekend of March 27-28, 2015 was a huge success.

Watch the Ken Waltzer tribute video below:

Social

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