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TIJS celebrates student acheivements

Students, faculty, and staff of TIJS all gathered on April 19 to celebrate the 2017-18 academic school year and acknowledge students who have won awards and grants.

The Blumenthal Awards were the first presented at the reception. The Blumenthal Awards were established in 1999 by friends and colleagues of Professor David R. Blumenthal in honor of his crucial role in shaping TIJS at Emory. These awards recognize academic papers and projects of the highest scholarly standard that link Jewish Studies to broader human concerns. Winners of the award receive a check for $500 and a certificate, which was presented at the reception.

This year, undergraduate student Sydney Portigal, a history major, won the award with her paper, "The Question of German Identity in Postwar Europe Shown Through The Nasty Girl and The Reader." Natalie Henning, an undergraduate student in environmental studies, won honorable mention for her paper entitled, "An Ethical Evaluation of the Jewish Relationship to Animals."


Sydney Portigal, winner of the 2018 Blumenthal Award.

TIJS also honored students who received grants at the reception. TIJS uses grants to support students’ academic endeavors in Jewish Studies beyond regular coursework and classroom activities including study abroad programs, language study, research, and travel to attend or present papers at scholarly conferences.

For the 2017-18 academic year, graduate students Matthew Brittingham and Collin Cornell received grants. For the summer, undergraduate students Bea Conti, Liza Gellerman, and Jesse Steinman all received grants.

  • Bea Conti, C'19, a double major in History and English, received a summer grant from the Jeffrey A. Evans Fund to support archival research in Jerusalem and England to research the Sassoon family and their role within British imperialism and the opium trade.
  • Liza Gellerman, a double major in History and Spanish, received a summer grant from the Waxman Fund to support archival research at the American Jewish Historical Society and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her research examines the Einsatzgruppen trial of the Nuremberg proceedings and its implications within the field of international law.
  • Jesse Steinman, C'21, received a summer grant from the Waxman Fund to support research at the Centropa Organization in Vienna, Austria, on the history and memory of the Holocaust in Bulgaria.
  • Matthew Brittingham, a PhD in the Graduate Division of Religion, received an academic year grant from the Jeffrey A. Evans Fund and a Schatten Grant to support research trips to New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio. His dissertation focuses on the religious lives of Jewish immigrants who lived in New York City, where he will utilize the archives of YIVO, Yeshiva University, and the New York Public Library. In Cincinnati, he will utilize resources at the American Jewish Archives.
  • Collin Cornell, a PhD in the Graduate Division of Religion, received an academic year grant from the Judaic Book Fund to support translation services for his upcoming edited collection of articles on the Israelite God and similar ancient Near Eastern look-alikes.

Jsteinman_jesse_ug_grant_400px.jpgesse Steinman, recipient of the Waxman Fund Undergraduate Summer Grant (left), with TIJS Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Catherine Dana (right).

brittingham_matthew_grad_grant_400px.jpgMatthew Brittingham, recipient of the Jeffrey A. Evans Fund Academic Year Graduate Grant and the Schatten Grant (left), with TIJS director Professor Eric Goldstein (right). 

TIJS is committed to the ongoing support of students engaged in Jewish Studies. We are grateful to the donors whose gifts made these grants and awards possible.

For more information on the TIJS awards, grants, news or events, visit or call 404.727.6301.

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