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Congratulations to our graduates

TIJS extends its best wishes to our graduating majors and minors—Ariel Milewicz, Harry Goldstein, Olivia Lerner, and Xavier Sayeed. Congrats to these exemplary scholars!

Ariel Milewicz

Degree (major and minor)?

History and Jewish Studies double major

What are your immediate post-graduate plans?

My immediate post-graduate plans are to work for a few years, ideally in the non-profit industry. Though I am not positive at this point where I will be working, I would love  to start my career in the Jewish world.

What are your long-term goals?

My long term goals are to attend a graduate program or law school, and work for a non-profit organization, though I am still undecided at the moment.

Why did you decide to become a Jewish studies major?

I decided to become a Jewish studies major because I found the classes to be extremely interesting, and I felt as though the Jewish world was a place that I could see myself working both short and long term.

What was your favorite memory or experience at Emory related to your major?

My favorite memory or experience at Emory related to my major is when I declared it - I felt as though this was a monumental step that marked the start of my career path, and a jumping-off point for choosing an academic path based on my true interests, rather than what I felt was an "expectation."


“Congrats to Ariel Milewicz on your Emory graduation!  It was a pleasure to study modern Jewish history with you and learn from your various research projects on the Beilis Affair in memoir, literature and film, as well as the history and politics of childrearing in Jewish Eastern Europe.  Wishing you much health, success, and satisfaction as you take your passion and curiosity about Jewish Studies and History out into the world.” - Dr. Ellie Schainker

Xavier Sayeed

Degree (major and minor)

Major: Music Research Minor: Jewish Studies

What are your immediate post-graduate plans?

I will be attending Harvard Divinity School for a Masters in Theological Studies with a concentration on religion, ethics, and politics. 

What are your long-term goals?

I hope to continue my work promoting equitable access to healthcare, advocating for the social inclusion for individuals with disabilities, and fostering meaningful interfaith dialogue. I plan to continue my scholarly inquiries into music and culture and to incorporate the aforementioned topics into additional avenues of research, study,  and community engagement. I have many aspirations for my future as a thinker, creator, scholar, friend, and aspiring educator. At present, the specific points of arrival for those desires are still an open question. I am excited to explore these interests further and continue to shape my pathway as I pursue my next stage of exploration and growth.   

Why did you decide to become a Jewish studies minor?

Leading up to my declaration of the minor, I had taken several Jewish Studies courses on topics that were of interest to me. These courses stimulated my interest in Jewish Studies and directed my academic inquiries. As I began my research on Judeo-Arabic music in Israel, I was confident that pursuing the minor and becoming a part of the department community would provide instrumental and multifaceted support to my work. 

What was your favorite memory or experience at Emory related to your minor?

I am very grateful to the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies for granting me the Evan's Award in the summer of 2019. This allowed me to travel to Israel and supported a six-week-long fieldwork trip that resulted in the completion of my honors thesis, Echoes of Al-Andalus: Balancing Sociopolitical Idealism and Pragmatism in Andalusian Music in Israel. While in Israel, I spent time observing performances, interviewing musicians, and making lasting connections with local residents. My research would not have been possible without the Tam Institute's support both through this grant and the guidance and mentorship of several wonderful staff members.


"Congratulations Xavier! You wrote a thoughtful, well researched, nuanced, and highly original honors thesis. I look forward to seeing where this project and your other research may lead as you begin your studies at Harvard Divinity School in the Fall." - Dr. Eli Sperling

Harry Goldstein

Degree (major and minor)

Major - BA in Economics and Minor in Jewish Studies

What are your immediate post-graduate plans?

I have accepted an offer to work at a public accounting firm called BDO USA in a niche specialized tax practice known as Transfer Pricing.  I am hoping that at some point I will be able to travel throughout the U.S. or to Israel over the summer.

What are your long-term goals?

I am currently studying for the LSAT and hope to attend law school at some point in the near future after working for some period of time.

Why did you decide to become a Jewish studies minor?

I came into college with no general idea of what I wanted to study.  I started my first semester of college as pre-med, then switched to pre-business, and ultimately settled on economics.  I came to the realization that one constant in my collegiate academic career was that I was always enrolled in a Jewish studies/related history course.  I truly enjoyed taking those classes and felt a deeper connection with the professors in the department.  It simply made sense for me to declare a Jewish studies minor after taking so many interesting classes!

What was your favorite memory or experience at Emory related to your minor?

My favorite experience was really a cumulative experience of being able to apply everything I learned in my classes to my daily life.  The thoughts and facts that I learned throughout my time at Emory not only pertained to my family's history but also to what I do in my life.  I used information from these courses to excel in my internship at the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and have learned conversations in my classes, with my family and friends, as well as at different Jewish organizations around campus.  I will definitely continue to incorporate what I have learned and further my knowledge as I experience new things in the world.


"Dear Harry, congratulations on your graduation!  Your passion for Jewish Studies, initially ignited at Emory, continued in our class together as you sought a deeper understanding of contemporary Judaism.  Good luck as you extend your journey beyond Emory for a life full of seeking and searching!" - Dr. Michael Berger