Featured in this Issue


Student News:
Congratulations to TIJS Graduates

In 2011–2012, two students completed honors theses with topics in Jewish studies:

  • Jessica Katz, BA in Jewish studies with high honors, thesis titled "Di Griner in Buenos Aires: Exploring Holocaust Survivors' Oral Histories", adviser Deborah Lipstadt

  • Allison Klein, BA in history with high honors, minor in Jewish studies, thesis titled "Holocaust Survivors and Jim Crow," adviser Deborah Lipstadt

The following students graduated in May 2012 with majors in Jewish studies:

  • Dorothy Abrams

  • Sarah A. Azizi

  • Dana Jillian Griesman

  • Jessica Katz

The following students graduated with minors in Jewish studies:

  • Allison Klein

  • Nicole Lyn Nagin

  • Samantha Ariel Rabovsky

Blumenthal Awards

Congratulations to 2012 TIJS Blumenthal Award Winners!

The David R. Blumenthal Award in Jewish Studies and the Humanities was established in 1999 by David Blumenthal's friends and colleagues in his honor. The award is given annually to Emory students—graduate and undergraduate—who submit the best papers written in the past year that link the knowledge, insights, values, and perspectives of Jewish studies to broader human concerns. We are grateful to Michael Broyde, who chaired the Blumenthal Award Committee in TIJS, and to committee members Deborah Lipstadt and Ofra Yeglin.

Amanda Baker with Michael Broyde
Amanda Baker with Michael Broyde

This year's winner in the graduate category was Amanda Baker, a third-year law and theology student, for her paper titled "A Higher Authority: Judicial Review of Religious Tribunals." A summary of the paper follows.

Religious diversity within a secular state raises a host of issues, not least the question of how to resolve a conflict between obligations of citizenship and demands of faith. Nowhere is this question more visible than in the ongoing debate over the rights of citizens to submit their disputes to religious tribunals and have the resulting decision enforced by a civil court. The current and continued existence of religious arbitration in the United States is not disputed, as it has been utilized for decades within a variety of religious communities. Rather, the current conversation centers on the extent to which civil courts can and must review the decisions produced by religious arbitration, prior to bestowing upon them the binding force of the state.

"A Higher Authority: Judicial Review of Religious Tribunals" surveys the right of an individual to civil enforcement of religious arbitration decisions. In particular, it focuses on the level of judicial review that courts apply to religious arbitration awards compared to the awards of secular arbitration. It argues that the current standard for judicial review of religious arbitration decisions is flawed for three reasons.

First, religious tribunals are subject to less judicial review than secular tribunals due to judicial assumptions regarding the reach of the First Amendment religious clauses. As a result, parties to religious arbitration are denied the full breadth of procedural protections of state and federal arbitration statutes. Second, there is a heightened risk of procedural unfairness due to the incorporation of, and deference to, religious procedural law that may not align with standard notions of fairness. Third, there is a greater risk that an agreement will be enforced where a party consented to the agreement under duress, as courts refuse to consider the true weight of communal religious pressure on individual decisionmaking.

This article thus suggests a new framework for the judicial review of religious arbitration decisions—in the form of judicial guidelines and legislative amendments to arbitration statutes—that will allow an individual to live according to the dictates of her faith without sacrificing the protections of the secular state. "A Higher Authority" will be published in the Vermont Law Review.

Michael Broyde with Allison Klein
Michael Broyde with Allison Klein

Allison Klein, a senior majoring in history, won the Blumenthal Award for the best undergraduate paper, "Holocaust Survivors and Jim Crow." A summary of her paper follows.

This paper discusses the postwar experiences of Holocaust survivors who immigrated to the Southern United States in the immediate years after World War II. During this period, African Americans suffered from extreme prejudice and discrimination, especially in the South. The study investigates how survivors perceived and adapted to Southern life, focusing on survivors' perception of antiblack racism and Jim Crow. The paper explores how Holocaust survivors, who also survived extreme prejudice and persecution, reacted to a social and political system in the South that, at times, reminded them of their situation under Nazi rule.

TIJS Student Grants, 2011–2012

Katherine Maples, Zev Farber, Cory Driver, Carrie Crawford, Don Seeman (director of graduate studies), Ryan Bonfiglio, and Stephen Germany

Katherine Maples, Zev Farber, Cory Driver, Carrie Crawford, Don Seeman (director of graduate studies), Ryan Bonfiglio, and Stephen Germany

TIJS provides limited funding to graduate and undergraduate students to support academic experiences that complement and advance their pursuit of Jewish studies at Emory. Grants may provide for travel to a conference to present a paper, travel for dissertation research, intensive language study, or participation in a study abroad or internship experience.

During the past academic year, research and travel grants were awarded to 17 students, as follows:

Graduate Students

  • Nicole Baerg, Political Science, funding to hire an Israeli research assistant to code all relevant newspaper articles in two Israeli newspapers (June 1985 to September 1985), for dissertation research.

  • Ira Bedzow, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to attend the TAG Research Centre/Action Research Group meeting in London, spring 2012.

  • Ryan Bonfiglio, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to research the Achaemenid minor art collection at the archive of Persepolis Fortification Tablets at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago; and to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Chicago.

  • Michael Chan, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to do research at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, and for participation in a Hebrew Bible conference at the same location.

  • Carrie Crawford, History, funding for research examining correspondence, newspapers, public records, and meeting minutes of the Jewish Heritage Collection in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Cory Driver, Graduate Division of Religion, funding for five weeks in Morocco visiting archives, doing site development and resource identification for dissertation research, and conducting oral interviews with Jewish and Muslim Amazigh Moroccans.

  • Zev Farber, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to participate in the summer dig at Bar-Ilan University's archaeology program in Tel Eton.

  • Stephen Germany, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to travel to Dublin, Ireland, to present the paper "Did the Achaemenids Impose a Change in the Sacrificial Cult at the Judean Temple at Elephantine?" at The Other Temples conference, Trinity College.

  • Henry Huberty, Graduate Division of Religion, funding to participate in this season's excavations at Khirbet Summeily, sponsored by the Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State University, to research domestic contexts in Judean Iron Age II strata at this small site in the northern Negev.

  • Michael Karlin, Graduate Division of Religion, funding for a summer research trip to New York City to do preliminary archival research at the archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University, and to meet with Jewish leaders of the Jewish Leadership Institute and the Wexner Foundation.

  • Katherine Maples, Theology, funding to participate in the excavation of a Greco-Roman synagogue in Ostia, Italy, with Michael White from the University of Texas.

  • Jason Schulman, History, funding to attend four conferences between December 2011 and March 2012: Association of Jewish Studies, Washington, D.C.; American Historical Association, Chicago, Illinois; Comparative Literature Conference, Long Beach, California; and the Association for Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Fort Worth, Texas; and for research at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

  • Nehemia Stern at a protest in the settlement Givat Assaf, Israel.

    Nehemia Stern at a protest in the settlement Givat Assaf, Israel.

    Nehemia Stern, Graduate Division of Religion, funding for continuing ethnographic research of religious Zionism in Israel

  • Ariel Svarch, History, funding for travel to London for three weeks to survey the British National Archives.

Undergraduate Students

  • Robert Cooper, junior in German/Music, funding for travel to Vienna to do research for his honors thesis, "Marcel Prawy as a Chapter in Viennese-Jewish Musical Culture."

  • Zobida Dat, sophomore in Linguistics, funding for participation in the Emory Israeli Studies Program, Tel Aviv University.

  • Aaron Leven, junior in Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies, funding to participate in the American Jewish World Service Volunteer Summer in Uganda.

Read student reports of their TIJS-grant-funded activities here.





About this Publication

New TIJS Graduate Fellows

Graduate Fellowships in Jewish StudiesIn fall 2011 four Emory graduate students were awarded TIJS Fellowships, which are offered annually by the Laney Graduate School to excellent applicants and to current students with a research interest in Jewish studies.
Faculty Profile:
Ellie Schainker

In fall 2011 TIJS welcomed Ellie Schainker as the new Blank Family Foundation Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies.
Neal Gabler Speaks at 2012 Tenenbaum Family Lecture in Judaic Studies

Is there such a thing as a "Jewish" filmmaker in the way that we think of Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Bernard Malamud as Jewish writers?
Alumni Profile:
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: A Global Leader

For Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi 86C—founder and president of Laszlo Strategies and founder of the Israel Project (TIP)—standing shoulder to shoulder in thoughtful conversation with Israeli President Shimon Peres, President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Salam Fayyad, and former presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton is all normal work.
Endowed Directorship Honors Judith London Evans 69C

To honor and celebrate the life and work of Judith London Evans, the Evans family has created the Judith London Evans Directorship of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies.
TIJS Faculty Advance Scholarship with Evans Directorship Funding

Income from the new Evans Directorship endowment is already benefiting the TIJS academic program by cosponsoring public events and by providing supplementary funding to TIJS faculty in their research projects.

Thanks to Our Donors

Thanks to our donorsWe are grateful to the friends of TIJS for their generous donations that make so many of our programs possible.



Fall 2012
Candler Entrance

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