CJL Graduate Fellows, who spend two years at the Center immersed in the study of legal theory and its ramifications for Jewish studies, represent a community of accomplished PhD candidates in various disciplines of Jewish studies from prominent universities throughout the Northeast.



Lauren Albert (JTS)
Philip Gibbs (JTS)
Jillian Greene (JTS)
 Geraldine Gudefin (Brandeis)
Tamar Menashe (Columbia)
Sarah Zager (Yale)


 Lotte Francoise Maria Houwink ten Cate (Columbia)
Pratima Gopalakrishnan (Yale)
Eva Kiesele (Princeton)
Gilah Kletenik (NYU)
Zachary Levine (NYU)
Alex Ozar (Yale)
Raissa A. Von Doetinchem de Rande (Princeton)
Rachel Rosenthal (JTS)
Avinoam Sharon (JTS)
Benjamin Steiner (Brandeis)
Sarah Wolf (Yale)


 Jesse Abelman teaches in the Full Time Program at the Drisha Institute for Jewish education. He is pursuing a PhD in Medieval Jewish History at Bernard Revel Graduate School where he  received an MA in the Talmud Department.
Emmanuel Bloch holds an M.A. in Jewish Thought from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests include modern Jewish thought and the nexus between legal theory and halakha. 
Matthew Goldstone is a third year PhD student in Talmud and Rabbinics at New York University.  He completed his MA at the Jewish Theological Seminary and spent two years studying in Israel.  His interests include legal hermeneutics, the relationship between various Judaeo-Christian communities in antiquity, and the literary development of different rabbinic texts.
Jed Lewinsohn is a PhD candidate in philosophy at NYU, and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School. Jed received his B.A. from Cornell University in Philosophy and German Studies, and studied in Berlin and Jerusalem during and after college. His current research is primarily in moral, political, and legal philosophy, and the philosophical foundations of commercial law. He also has strong interests in early modern philosophy and the philosophy of Jewish law.
Raha Rafii is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, where I focus on early Islamic history and law as well as Jewish communities of the medieval Islamic world. My general field of interest is medieval Islamic historiography and the depictions of non-Muslims and sectarian groups in the genres of biography, law, and history.  I am currently researching the development of early Shi'i jurisprudence and its relationship to Sunni legal developments, as well as the greater Islamic historical context of Mu'tazilite rationalism and its influence on Muslim and Jewish theologians and legalists. In addition to Islamic jurisprudence and legal theory, I am interested in social legal history and the role of Geniza documents as indicators of actual Jewish and Islamic legal practice.
Shuli Shinnar is a second-year PhD student in the History Department at Columbia University studying Ancient Jewish History. Previously, she received a BA in Philosophy from Columbia University and a MA with distinction in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her current research examines the development of rabbinic literature in its Greco-Roman context with a particular focus on the legal, political, and scientific cultures of antiquity.
Meira Rubin Wolkenfeld is a second year PhD student in Talmud at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. She received her B.A. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with an archeology specialization and minors in both Jewish studies and German, from UCLA (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). After graduating she attended the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) at Stern college and began pursuing an M.A. in Bible at Revel. She is interested in the social and cultural history of the Talmud Bavli.
Shlomo Zuckier is a PhD student in Ancient Judaism at Yale University’s Religious Studies program.  He holds Master’s degrees in Bible and Talmud from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and has participated in the Tikvah and Wexner Fellowships.  Additionally, Shlomo has spent many years in traditional yeshivot and received Rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University.  With academic interests including the Talmudic laws of sacrifice and the interface between Halakha and ethics, Shlomo looks forward to exploring how legal theory can inform his understanding of Jewish law.  


Caroline Block is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her work applies concepts from the general field of anthropology of religion to the understanding of Orthodox Judaism. Caroline is particularly interested in questions of innovations in religious law in the context of aspirations of women to claiming religious authority while remaining loyal to their own understanding and sense of belonging to orthodox Judaism. Caroline, who holds a BA in Anthropology from Princeton, received the prestigious Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship.
Clémence Boulouque is a PhD Candidate in the department of History and Jewish Studies at NYU. Under the supervision of Professors Wolfson and Ben Dor, she is currently completing her dissertation on Elijah Benamozegh: an intellectual biography of the 19th century Italian Rabbi. Her interests include interfaith dialogue, Kabbalah and intellectual networks, especially in the Mediterranean/Sefardi world in the modern period. She was a Tikvah Scholar at NYU in 2010-11 and 2011-12. A graduate from the Institute of Political Sciences and the ESSEC business school in Paris, she holds a BA in Art History from the Sorbonne as well as a MA in Comparative Literature. She also received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her studies at Columbia University in the Master’s Program of the School of International Affairs with a concentration on the Middle-East. Prior to resuming her studies at NYU, Clémence worked as a book and movie critic for Le Figaro daily and France Culture radio network in Paris. She is also a published novelist in France.
Simcha Gross is a second year PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, focusing on Ancient Judaism. Simcha holds an MA in Rabbinic Literature from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and is a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. His interests include the history of biblical interpretation (in both Judaism and Christianity), intellectual history, and the interaction(s) of Jews during the Second Temple and Rabbinic periods with the circumambient cultures in which they live.
Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg received her B.A. in Western Philosophy and the humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is now in her third year of graduate studies at the History Department of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a Benjamin Franklin Fellow, and is currently doing research and taking courses at Harvard as an exchange scholar. Tamara studies early modern Jewish history in Ashkenaz. She focuses on halakhic writings, primarily shu"t (responsa) literature by scholars such as Rabbi Ya'ir Chaim Bacharach and Rabbi Jacob Emden. Tamara tries to read these texts as pieces of scholarship that are holistic intellectual creations beyond their legal bottom-lines, and that exist in a complex dialogue with their predecessors and contemporaries within the Jewish tradition of scholarship as well as with the cultural, technical, and intellectual development of their particular historical context. For this reason, Tamara is particularly interested in halakhic writing surrounding medicine, print, mysticism and philosophy. This endeavor is leading her deeper into familiar fields such as European intellectual history, philosophy, Jewish thought, rabbinics and halakha, but also into fields that are rather new to her, such as legal theory and book history.
Yoni Pomeranz is a third year student in the Ancient Judaism program at Yale University. He is currently interested in rabbinic legal history, intersections between rabbinic law and Roman law, midrash and ancient biblical interpretation more generally, and mass-elite relations in rabbinic Babylonia. Before coming to Yale, Yoni studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his B.A. in Classics at Princeton University.
Gil Rubin is a doctoral candidate in modern Jewish history at Columbia University. His main research interests include the history of minority rights and human rights, the history of Zionism and the state of Israel and Jewish politics in the 19th and 20th centuries. He received his BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the history honors program and philosophy. In the summer of 2011 and 2012 he was a visiting scholar at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History.
Emmanuel Sanders is a Graduate Fellow with the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo School of Law. After spending two years in Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh focusing on study of Talmud, Emmanuel entered the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva University, from which he graduated in January 2012 with a double major in Philosophy and Jewish Studies.  He is currently pursuing his MA in Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies as well as Rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Emmanuel has recently decided to attend law school after finishing his current pursuits and hopes to use the skills he learns to better his understanding of legal theory and further explore its relationship to Halakha. 
Nathan Schumer is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University. He is interested in the ancient period of Jewish history. His research is focused on memory and rabbinic literature, as well as the use of rabbinic literature for the history of the Roman world. He has a BA in Ancient Judaism and a Master's in Ancient Judaism from the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a BA in Classics from Columbia University.
Joshua Schwartz is a doctoral candidate in the Skirball department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU, focusing on Jewish Mysticism.  His research interests include the intersections between mystical experience and legal hermeneutics, the dynamic of dissolution within Jewish mystical discourse, affect theory and drush/musar literature, and the limits of language in mystical experience. In his research, he attempts to derive philosophical benefit from Jewish mystical texts.  Joshua attended the joint program between the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Columbia University, receiving a B.A. in Bible & Ancient Semitic Languages and Talmud & Rabbinics, summa cum laude and a B.A. in Religion, summa cum laude, respectively.  Joshua has also studied at the Northwoods Kollel, Yeshivat Hadar, the kollel at Machon Pardes, and the National Yiddish Book Center and is currently in his final year of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.









Debra Glasberg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University, with a focus on early modern Jewish history.  Her interests include Jewish law books and censorship in the early print period.  She received her B.A. from Columbia College (cum laude) and an M.A. in modern Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School.  Debra is also a graduate of the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies and a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. 




Julie Goldstein is a doctoral candidate in  medieval Jewish history at New York University, working on a dissertation about the representation of children in medieval martyrdom narratives. In addition to her graduate studies, Julie teaches Jewish history at Ma'ayanot High School in NJ. Previously, she co-founded an advanced Judaic Studies program at UCLA Hillel, where she was an educator under the auspices of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus. She received a BA in Jewish Studies from Stern College and an MA in medieval Jewish philosophy/mysticism from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University.




Tal Kastner is a Ph.D. candidate  in the Department of English at Princeton and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.  Her work focuses on contract language and discourse.  She is the author of “The Persisting Ideal of Agreement in an Age of Boilerplate” (Law & Social Inquiry (2010)) and “‘Bartleby’: A Story of Boilerplate” (forthcoming, Law and Literature).  Before attending Princeton, she worked as an associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton.  She also served at the Supreme Court of Israel as a foreign law clerk to President Aharon Barak and as an articled law clerk to Justice Dalia Dorner.




Jeremy Kessler is a JD/PhD student at Yale University’s Department of History and Yale Law School. His work focuses on the history of conscientious objection, particularly on the rise of “selective conscientious objection” – a refusal to serve based not upon one’s opposition to war in any form, but upon one’s judgments about the immorality or illegality of particular wars. Such selective objection challenges traditional notions of citizenship and sovereignty. Closely related lines of inquiry are the twentieth-century history of Jewish and Christian debates about citizenship, state violence, and secularity, and the history of human rights.  Prior to his graduate work at Yale, Jeremy was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he received an MPhil in the history of science.



Yael Landman is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University in the Department of Bible, with a focus on the Bible through the lens of Ancient Near Eastern languages and literature. Her areas of interest include comparative Biblical and Mesopotamian law and Semitic linguistics. Yael received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Jewish Studies and English from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 



Paul E. Nahme is a PhD candidate in the Centre for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He is completing his dissertation entitled, “The Theological Conditions of the Political: Legitimacy and Justification as Categories of Legal and Religious Reason,” focusing on the relationship between Christian, Jewish, and Islamic political theology and the development of the liberal constitutional state. He is a recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Graduate Scholarship for this project, as well as having been named the 2009-2010 Tikvah fellow in the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He is also a researcher and founder of the interdisciplinary working group at the University of Toronto, entitled, “The Force of Laws: Legal Subjects and the Power of Commandment”. Since 2009 Paul has served as associate editor, as well as being a co-founder of the University of Toronto Journal for Jewish Thought. His research interests include legal and political theory, 19th century German idealism, continental philosophy, medieval Judaeo-Arabic philosophy and Christian scholasticism, and political theology.



Aviva Richman is pursuing a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU with a focus on Talmud and rabbinic texts.  She is particularly interested in exploring and stretching our understandings of law, authority and gender and their intersection in the Babylonian Talmud and the Jewish legal tradition.  She graduated from Oberlin College (summa cum laude) in 2006 and went on to study in the Advanced Scholars' Program at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem before pursuing graduate studies as a Wexner fellow.  She is on faculty at Yeshivat Hadar in Manhattan.



Daniel Tabak is a doctoral candidate in the department of medieval Jewish history at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Yeshiva University and a Master of Arts in medieval Jewish history from Revel. He is also finishing his semikhah studies at the Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Theological Seminary.




Tikva Hecht is a second year MA Student in the Philosophy department at the New School for Social Research. She received her BA from Stern College, Yeshiva University where she studied Judaic Studies and Philosophy. Her present research focuses on questions relating to the relationship between ethics, self identity, social structures and recognition. She is interested in looking at these issues from an inter-disciplinary angle and examining the contribution Talmudic thought can make to the Philosophical discussion.




Marc Herman is a second year graduate student in the University of Pennsylvania's Religious Studies Department.  Marc, a recipient of a Wexner Graduate Fellowship, is interested in the history of law and its interface with society, with a particular focus on comparative legal history.  More broadly, Marc's focus is on intellectual and cultural history of Jews and their interactions with larger bodies of thought.  Marc holds a BA from Brandeis University and is studying for the rabbinate at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.




Sara Ronis is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, with a focus on Judaism in Late Antiquity. She holds an MA in Religion from Columbia University and a BA (summa cum laude) in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Her interests include Tannaitic hermeneutics and jurisprudence, constructions of gender and authority in rabbinic literature, and early Geonic literature more generally.




Abraham Rubin is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and  graduate teaching fellow at the English Department of City College. He received his BA in History and Interdisciplinary Studies from Haifa University and his MA in Hebrew and Comparative Literature from Tel-Aviv University. His work focuses on religious responses to modernity in Anglo-American and German modernist literature.


Elias Sacks is a Ph.D. candidate in the Princeton University Department of Religion, and his areas of interest include Jewish thought, philosophy of religion, hermeneutics, and Jewish-Christian relations.  He serves as a translator for new English editions of the works of the German-Jewish thinkers Moses Mendelssohn and Hermann Cohen, and his research currently focuses on the conception of Jewish practice in Mendelssohn’s Hebrew and German writings. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard, Elias studied at the Hebrew University and earned an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Columbia.



Rachel Scheinerman completed her BA at Yale University, where she majored in Math & Philosophy and Religious Studies. After college, she spent a year doing volunteer work in Israel and then two years at Harvard Divinity School, where she received an M.T.S., with a concentration in Scripture and Interpretation. She is currently a doctoral student at Yale in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism with an interest in exegesis and evolution of ritual.



 Joseph Aaron Skloot is a Ph.D. candidate in Jewish History at Columbia, where he is a recipient of the US Department of Education's Jacob K. Javits Graduate Fellowship. His research interests concern the history of the interpretation of classical rabbinic texts by early-modern and modern rabbis and laity in Western Europe. Skloot received his A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University in modern European cultural and intellectual history, where he was awarded the Carolyn L. Drucker '80 Memorial Prize in Judaic Studies and the Kenneth Christopher Harris '68 Memorial Award for Service to the Moral and Ethical Life of the University. In 2005, Skloot entered rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he was awarded the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. He earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature in 2009 and was ordained a rabbi in 2010.



Michael Stein is pursuing a PhD in the History of Halakha at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. After receiving his B.A. in Psychology, he studied at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary seeking rabbinic ordination.  Michael, his wife, Liora and daughter, Anaelle live in Riverdale where he has been a member of the Riverdale Jewish Center's clergy for almost four years.  Michael's current academic focus is on Halakhic Responsa literature.



Joshua Teplitsky is a doctoral candidate in the department of History and Hebrew & Judaic Studies at NYU. His research interests include early modern Jewry, Jewish political traditions and activities, social history of Jewish law and criminality, print, mystical tradition and gender. His dissertation, “Between Court Jew and Jewish Court: David Oppenheim, the Prague Rabbinate, and Eighteenth-Century Jewish Politics,” uses the career of David Oppenheim (1664-1736) as a lens through which to view changes in the relationship between the Habsburg state and local Jewish communities in the early modern period.  Joshua holds a B.A. from Yeshiva University in history (summa cum laude).





Aryeh Amihay is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. He holds a BA (magna cum laude) in biblical studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Law and Society in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Additional interests include development of Genesis traditions, intertextuality and imagery as literary devices.



Shira Billet graduated summa cum laude in religion from Princeton University with a certificate in Judaic studies. Her senior thesis explored the shared concerns of 20th century Jewish thought and 20th century Anglo-American legal theory. Shira teaches English literature at the Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School, and has taught rabbinic literature at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. She is the Director of Research at the CJL.



Alexandria Frisch is a PhD candidate in the Hebrew and Judaic Studies Department of New York University.  Her focus is on the history of the Second Temple period.  Previously she received a Masters in Religion from Yale Divinity School (2006) and a Masters in Jewish Education from Baltimore Hebrew University (2004).  Her research focuses on the interaction with and perception of foreign empire as seen in Second Temple literature.



Jonathan Kelsen is a faculty member at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and a former faculty member of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. A graduate of the Pardes Kollel and a fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute's Hadarim Program, Jonathan received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes and holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from the International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.



Yitzhak Lewis is a PhD student in the department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. His focus is on Modern Jewish Literature, specifically the connection between "Modern" and "Jewish" within the field of Literature. He received his B.A. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2007) in Comparative Literature, Psychology and Creative Writing.  



Michael Rosenberg is a doctoral candidate in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at JTS, where he is writing about changing notions of purity and impurity as viewed through the lens of Jewish menstrual laws. A graduate of Harvard College, Michael received an M.A. in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature from JTS and rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He has taught in a wide variety of settings, including the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, JTS, and Yeshivat Hadar, and is the rabbi of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center in Washington Heights.



Jason Rubenstein is a fourth-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds an MA in Talmud from JTS and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard College. For the past two summers, Jason has coordinated Yeshivat Hadar's group processing and worked as sho'el umeshiv (a resource during Talmud study). An alumnus of Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilbo'a, Jason has led several trips for the Nesiya Institute, and is a recipient of a Wexner Graduate Fellowship and a Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellowship.




Ute Yehudit Steyer received a master’s degree in Jewish thought, as well as rabbinic ordination, from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her master’s thesis explored the use of rabbinic sources in the ethical thought of Emmanuel Levinas. Her research interest is in the development of ethical thought in rabbinic literature. Rabbi Steyer is preparing to begin her PhD in Talmud next fall. She is the Program Coordinator at the CJL.



Ethan Zadoff received a BA in Judaic Studies from Yeshiva University and a MA in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He is presently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research interests include the development of medieval natural law theories and their use as categorical tools of jurisprudence as well as the evolution of medieval communities of law, the interplay between medieval law and society, and Jewish life in medieval England. In addition, Ethan is an adjunct professor in the Department of Classical and Oriental Studies at Hunter College.




Yonatan Brafman is a first-year doctoral student at Columbia University’s Department of Religion, where he specializes in Philosophy of Religion and Jewish Philosophy.  His research focuses on theories of interpretation, in particular how modern developments in epistemology can be used to explore the issue of the harmony or discord of Scripture with ‘secular’ knowledge. He also holds a BA from Columbia University in Religion and Psychology.



Jenny Labendz is a fourth year PhD student in the Talmud department of the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Her dissertation is entitled “Sharing Torah: Rabbinic Dialogues with Non-Jews in Comparative Perspective.”  Jenny has published articles in the AJS Review and the Hebrew Union College Annual, and has an article forthcoming in the Harvard Theological Review. She is a recipient of a number of fellowships, including the European Seminar on Advanced Jewish Studies Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Jenny holds a BA in philosophy from Barnard College and an MA in Talmud and Ancient Jewish History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Jenny has presented papers at several academic conferences, and has taught at JTS, City College of New York, and various Jewish institutions in Israel and America. 


Adi Libson is a first year doctoral candidate at the Law Faculty of Tel-Aviv University specializing in tax and social policy, working on his dissertation “Redefining Tax Fairness: The Equal Contribution Principle.” He holds a LL.M. degree in General Legal Studies from the NYU School of Law, and a B.A in Philosophy, Political Sciences and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been the recipient of the Hebrew University’s Zack Ness Prize for Papers in Political Economy. His work has been chosen to be presented in the New York University School of Law Scholarship Camp.



Ayelet Libson is a second-year doctoral candidate at New York University’s Hebrew and Judaic Studies department, specializing in Talmud and rabbinic literature. She holds a BA in Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a graduate of the Advanced Talmud Institute at MaTaN in Jerusalem. She has been the recipient of a Fellowship for Excellence from the Hebrew University’s Institute for Jewish Studies and has been honored by the Award of the Rector of the university. Her research interests include the history of ancient Judaism, Jewish and Christian biblical exegesis, and the intersection of law and narrative in rabbinic literature.



Yehuda Seif is a sixth year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on medieval Jewish history. His dissertation will explore charity law and practices in medieval Ashkenaz. Yehuda has a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Columbia College, and an MA in Religion and Education from Columbia’s Teacher’s College.  In addition to his studies, Yehuda recently became a Senior Program Officer at the Tikvah Fund, a foundation devoted to Jewish excellence through Jewish learning and ideas.



David Shyovitz is a doctoral student in the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also received his BA and MA. His research interests include the cultural and intellectual history of the Jews of medieval and early-modern Europe, and his dissertation focuses on the attitudes toward science and the natural world of thinkers in medieval Ashkenaz. David has recently presented papers at several academic conferences. From 2005-2009 he was a Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellow, and was an ATUDA fellow at the ATID foundation in Jerusalem in 2004-2005, and a Fellow at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies from 2005-2006. David is an instructor at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and is currently a Resident Scholar at the Riverdale Jewish Center in Riverdale, NY.




Ari Bergmann is a Ph.D. candidate in the subfield of Talmud in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. In his sixth year, Ari’s areas of interest include classical rabbinic literature and history, with a focus on the development and the formation of the Talmud. His dissertation investigates the various theories about the redaction of the Talmud and their implications for the reading and understanding of Talmudic material. It includes an evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various models. It also proposes a novel intermediate approach which provides an elegant solution to various problems encountered in the older conceptions. In 2007 and 2008, Ari delivered papers at the AJS conference: “Were Abaye and Rava the Editors of the Talmud?” (2007) and “The Proto Talmud and the Stam: The Two Voices of the Talmud” (2008).




Josh Eisen is a Ph.D. student in the department of Religion at Columbia University, where he served as a Graduate Fellow in his first year and a Teaching Fellow in his subsequent three years.  His primary focus of study is Talmud and Jewish Law; he is writing his dissertation on “Anonymity and Degrees of Canonicity in Halacha.”  Josh also completed an M.B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. from New York University specializing in Semitics and 2nd millennium East Mediterranean archaeology, and a B.A. in Ancient Greek and Latin from Queens College.  Josh also serves as a Managing Director of Morningside, a legal translations and consulting firm.




Richard Hidary has recently received his PhD from New York University in Judaic Studies and is now Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women. His dissertation, “Tolerance for Diversity of Halakhic Practice in the Talmud,” will be published by Brown Judaic Series. Richard has presented the following papers at the Association of Jewish Studies conferences in 2007 and 2008: “Rabbinic Self-Perception of Power: Palestinian and Babylonian Interpretations of the Law of the Rebellious Elder (Dt 17:8-13)” and “Classical Rhetorical Arrangement and Reasoning in the Talmud: The Case of Yerushalmi Berakhot 1:1.” The latter paper has been accepted for publication in AJS Review. Richard is also a rabbinics reviewer for The Lost Bible Project: The Library of Israel in Late Antiquity, forthcoming by the Jewish Publication Society.




Alexander Kaye is currently pursuing a doctorate in Jewish history at Columbia University in New York where he is a Richard Hofstadter Faculty Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies. His interests are in intellectual history and political and legal theory and his dissertation concentrates on the Chief Rabbinate in Mandate Palestine. He has presented papers about Berdiczewski and Bialik at the ‘New Approaches’ graduate conference in Harvard University. Alexander earned his BA and M.Phil in history, both with First Class Honours, from the University of Cambridge, UK. In addition to his studies, Alexander serves as Rabbinic Assistant at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, NYC.




Lynn Kaye is pursuing a doctorate in Talmud at NYU as a recipient of a MacCracken Fellowship. She completed a Masters degree in Bible at the University of Cambridge with a fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Board as well as the Isaac Newton Prize from Trinity College, Cambridge. Her BA in Hebrew Literature is also from the University of Cambridge, where she graduated with highest honors and was awarded the E.G. Brown Prize in Oriental Studies. Lynn is the Assistant Congregational Leader at Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.




Uriel Simonsohn recently completed his PhD in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His dissertation was titled “Overlapping Jurisdictions: Confessional Boundaries and Judicial Choice among Christians and Jews under Early Muslim Rule.” Uriel is currently a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Religious Studies, University of Leiden. His current research examines aspects of Greek-Orthodox religious identity in the early Muslim period.



Elana Stein is pursuing a doctorate in Religion at Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She will be earning her MPhil in 2009. Elana’s particular interest is the use of legal theory to inform Talmud study.  Her intended dissertation topic is: “Ha‘arama: A Legal Loophole Like No Other.”  Elana also serves as the Community Scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue, NYC.