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Recent Graduate Alumni

Our graduate alumni and former fellows hold a variety of positions in higher education and other fields, and are the authors of many scholarly publications.



Chava Green completed her Ph.D. in Religion in spring of 2024 with a dissertation titled "The Hasidic Face of Feminism: Gender Between Modernity and Mysticism in Chabad-Lubavitch." Her research considers the relationship between feminism and Hasidic mystical texts in the formation of gender discourse in the Chabad Hasidic community.  



Matthew Brittingham completed his Ph.D. in Religion (Jewish Religious Cultures) in spring of 2023. His dissertation entitled, "'No Heart for Faith': Depicting Freethinkers and Debating Freethought in the American Yiddish Press (1880s-1920s)," focused on how American Yiddish journalists wrote about freethought and freethinkers during the mass immigration period.

Keenan Davis completed her Ph.D. in Religion in fall of 2023. His dissertation was titled, "Aspiring to Autonomy: An Ethical Phenomenology of DBS for Depression."



Anastasiia Strakhova completed her Ph.D. in History in summer of 2022. Her dissertation addresses late Imperial Russian migration policies through the prism of racialization and criminalization of Jews.



Lisa Portilla completed her Ph.D. in Religion in spring of 2021. Her dissertation explores how individuals, organizations, and movements within the American Jewish community create and perpetuate origin stories, biographies, and collective identities that shape the ways in which they frame and respond to climate change.



Rahimjon Abdugafurov completed his Ph.D. in Islamic Civilizations Studies with a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies.

Caralie Focht completed her Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible) in spring of 2020.

Richard Purcell completed his Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible) in spring of 2020.



Justin Pannkuk completed his Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible) in spring of 2019. Carol A. Newsom advised his dissertation, entitled King of Kings: God, the Foreign Emperor, and Discourse on Sovereignty in the Hebrew Bible.



Collin Cornell completed his Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) in the spring of 2018. Brent A. Strawn advised his dissertation, entitled Divine Aggression in Royal Psalms and Inscriptions. His edited volume, Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, will be published in April 2020. Dr. Cornell is currently a visiting assistant professor in the School of Theology at the University of the South. His forthcoming monograph, Divine Aggression in Psalms and Inscriptions: Vengeful Gods and Loyal Kings (Cambridge University Press), is a revised version of the dissertation he wrote at Emory. 


Cory Driver completed his Ph.D. in the Graduate Division of Religion with the dissertation “Yours or Ours?” Muslims Performing Selfhood in Moroccan Jewish Cemeteries. Don Seeman was his advisor. Dr. Driver is currently an adjunct professor teaching at the intersections of religion, ethnicity, gender and nationality. From 2015 to 2018 he served as an adjunct professor at CIEE (Council on International Education Exchange) in Rabat, Morocco. He is currently a deacon and director of the Transformational Leadership Academy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Indiana-Kentucky Synod.


Josey Bridges Snyder (Ph.D. in Religion, Hebrew bible) graduated in August 2016 upon completion of her dissertation, Looking Back at Lot's Wife: A Reception-Critical Character Study. Her advisor in the Graduate Division of Religion was William Gilders. She is an instructor in the United Methodist Church course of study at Duke Divinity School and a writing tutor at the Duke Divinity School Writing Center.



Ira Bedzow completed the Ph.D. in religion, with Timothy Jackson as his adviser and a dissertation entitled A Contemporary Jewish Virtue Ethics. Dr. Bedzow is an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and director of the Medical Ethics Program at New York Medical College. His responsibilities include teaching the first- and second-year biomedical ethics courses which introduce ethical principles and examine the moral bases of decision-making and self-understanding in medicine. In addition to being an ordained rabbi, Bedzow is the author of multiple titles, including: Giving Voice to Values as a Professional Physician: An Introduction to Medical Ethics (2018) and Maimonides for Moderns: A Statement of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy (2016).


Ryan Bonfiglio completed the Ph.D. in religion with the dissertation Reading Images, Seeing Tests:  Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies, under the guidance of Brent Strawn. Dr. Bonfiglio is currently assistant professor in the practice of Old Testament and director of Public Theological Education at the Candler School of Theology. He previously taught at Columbia Theological Seminary and served as the John H. Stembler Scholar in Residence at the First Presbyterian Church (USA) of Atlanta. He is also the Director of the TheoEd Talks speaker series. He is the author of Reading Images, Seeing Texts: Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) and co-editor of Iconographic Exegesis and the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015). He is currently working on a book that explores the biblical theology of the Sabbath.


Craig Perry completed the Ph.D. in history with a dissertation entitled The Daily Life of Slaves and the Global Reach of Slavery in Medieval Egypt, 969-1250 CE, with Marina Rustow (now of Johns Hopkins University) as his adviser. Dr. Perry returned to Emory as an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies and the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies with a focus on the history of Jews in the Islamic World. His current book project, Slavery and Mastery in Medieval Egypt: Enslaved Lives and the Global Reach of the Slave Trade, 11th-13th Centuries, is a history of domestic slavery based on a cache of documents that come from the Cairo Geniza, a storeroom for disused manuscripts housed in a medieval Egyptian synagogue. He is also co-editor (with Emory Professor Emeritus David Eltis) of volume 2 of the Cambridge World History of Slavery on the medieval period and the author of several articles and book chapters on the history of slavery in Jewish and Islamic contexts.