David R. Blumenthal Awards

Sydney Portigal won the 2018 Blumenthal Award for her undergraduate paper.

The David R. Blumenthal Awards, established in 1999 by friends and colleagues of Prof. Blumenthal in honor of his crucial role in shaping the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies (TIJS) at Emory, recognizes academic papers and projects of the highest scholarly standard that link Jewish Studies to broader human concerns.

All Emory University students, both undergraduate and graduate, are eligible to submit an entry, which may be the product of course work at Emory or may represent an independent effort. One award will be given for the best undergraduate paper or project and one award will be given for the best graduate paper or project. Entries may utilize any disciplinary approach, but preference in making the awards will be given to those that most successfully place Jewish Studies topics or themes in conversation with the broader questions and concerns animating scholarly work in the humanities, social sciences, and other academic fields.

Winners of the undergraduate and graduate award will each receive a check for $500 and a certificate, which will be presented at the annual TIJS year-end reception.

Current Year Schedule

Submissions are closed for the 2018 Blumenthal Awards cycle.

Submission Requirements

  • All papers and projects should employ the scholarly apparatus appropriate to the disciplinary field in which the work is conducted (primary and secondary sources, for example, need to be cited). Projects no less than papers should contain this scholarly apparatus, although the format may be flexible as is appropriate to the medium and the disciplinary approach.
  • Undergraduate papers should generally be no more than 10-12 pages (including notes), and graduate papers should generally be no more than 15-20 pages (including notes). All papers should be typed and double-spaced in a 12-point font. Honors theses, M.A. theses, dissertations, and other similar works are NOT appropriate for submission. Projects falling outside the traditional research paper model should roughly follow the same length guidelines insofar as is possible.
  • All entries – papers and projects – should be submitted with a separate cover page that contains the entry title and the applicant’s name, Emory affiliation, and contact information. The papers and projects themselves should contain no identifying information whatsoever (except for the title), in order to facilitate the blind judging process.
  • All entries must be the work of a single individual. Group or joint papers or projects will not be considered.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Recent Blumenthal Award Winners

Hannah Kramer, Josh Niemtzow, and Shlomo Pill accepting Blumenthal Awards from Prof. Don Seeman, at the TIJS awards reception in spring 2016.


  • Sydney Portigal, undergraduate award for “The Question of German Identity in Postwar Europe Shown Through The Nasty Girl and The Reader."
  • Natalie Henning, undergraduate honorable mention for “An Ethical Evaluation of the Jewish Relationship to Animals."


  • Josh Niemtzow, undergraduate award for “The Realization of Comprehensive Holocaust Education in West Germany.” Read a summary of his paper
  • Hannah Kramer, undergraduate honorable mention for “The Impact of 1989 on Jewish Identity in the New Germany
  • Shlomo Pill, graduate student in the Law School, for “Money and Judges:  Contours of Judicial Bribery in Medieval Jewish and Canon Law”