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Congrats Class of 2023


Jewish Studies GraduateS



Sol Bender is a double major in Jewish Studies and Political Science. After graduation, she plans to move to New York City and work for a non-profit organization before applying to law school.  Her professor, Kate Rosenblatt, shares, “Sol's commitment to deep engagement with the Jewish past and present shone through in my classroom, though what I admire the most is the way she thoughtfully, generously, and reflectively listened to and engaged with her peers.  Wishing you all the best as you begin a new chapter and looking forward to hearing about what you do next!”

 Jackson Gardner is a Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology major and Jewish Studies minor.  Following graduation, he is excited to marry fellow JS minor Shirel Levy, after which he plans on taking a gap year in Israel to study in yeshiva before attending medical school.  One of his favorite professors, Dr. Michael Berger, reflects, “Jackson truly embodies the combination of arts and sciences - intellectually curious, rigorously analytical, and nuanced in his thinking and writing.  Helping him on his journey through Emory - including his co-authoring a peer-reviewed article in religion - has been one of the highlights of my almost 30 years at Emory!”




Ally Grubman is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology while minoring in Jewish Studies.  After graduation, she will begin a research position at Yale University that examines the relationship between infectious diseases and their neurologic symptoms.  Long-term, Ally plans on attending medical school, where she hopes to apply the love of learning and sense of community and compassion that Emory fostered in order to care for those in need.  Her professor, Dr. Alicja Podbielska, says, “It was a treat to have Ally in my class. She is an enthusiastic learner and a original thinker - her contributions truly elevated our discussions. Now, go out there and make a difference, Ally! I know you will." 

 Kylie Hall plans to graduate with a Jewish Studies major and Hebrew minor in the fall after electing an additional year of collegiate athletic eligibility to play varsity women’s soccer due to COVID.  Following graduation, she’s returning to her home state to work for Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks while considering moving to Israel with the goal of playing pro soccer there and potentially teaching English to children.  One of her earliest and ultimately favorite professors, Don Seeman, says, “Kylie took my class in her first year and was great, but I was so delighted to have her again as a junior because I already knew how dedicated, inquisitive, and hard working she is. She has a happy effect on the whole class! It is an honor that she chose Jewish Studies.”



Shirel Levy is an Anthropology & Human Biology major and Jewish Studies minor.  After graduating and getting married to fellow Jewish Studies minor Jackson Gardner, she plans on taking a gap year to work in a clinical setting in Israel before attending medical school.  Her Hebrew instructor, Pazit Kahlon-Shelnutt, reflects, “Shirel is a curious student and never rests for a minute. She always participated in all the discussions in class and brought up ideas and deep thoughts that contributed to expanding the conversations in the Hebrew class. Shirel is a synonym for diligence, initiative and hard work.”

 Sasha Rivers plans to graduate with a Jewish Studies major and Arabic minor this summer after participating in TIJS’ May Poland study abroad program.  Following graduation, she has accepted a role with the Peace Corps to volunteer in Lesotho where she will teach elementary school English. Long-term, Sasha hopes to attend law school and go into either criminal defense or foreign policy.  One of her favorite professors, Ofra Yeglin, shares, “Sasha Rivers is my dream student as well as the dream student of other faculty members, not just because of her proven academic skills, but more importantly, her ‘Midot’ and ‘Derech Eretz’ (decorousness) as they have guided her college experience. I know of no student who benefited more and contributed more to the wellbeing of our daily toil. What I find most appealing about Sasha is her engagement with the larger questions, born of the energy of someone for whom things really matter."


Published 4/24/20223