CJL Graduate Fellows, who spend two years at the Center immersed in the study of legal theory and its ramifications for Jewish studies, represent a community of accomplished PhD candidates in various disciplines of Jewish studies from prominent universities throughout the Northeast.
Current Fellows (2011-2013)
Clémence Boulouque is a PhD Candidate in the department of History and Jewish Studies at NYU. Under the supervision of Professors Wolfson and Ben Dor, she is currently completing her dissertation on Elijah Benamozegh: an intellectual biography of the 19th century Italian Rabbi. Her interests include interfaith dialogue, Kabbalah and intellectual networks, especially in the Mediterranean/Sefardi world in the modern period. She was a Tikvah Scholar at NYU in 2010-11 and 2011-12. A graduate from the Institute of Political Sciences and the ESSEC business school in Paris, she holds a BA in Art History from the Sorbonne as well as a MA in Comparative Literature. She also received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her studies at Columbia University in the Master’s Program of the School of International Affairs with a concentration on the Middle-East. Prior to resuming her studies at NYU, Clémence worked as a book and movie critic for Le Figaro daily and France Culture radio network in Paris. She is also a published novelist in France.
Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg received her B.A. in Western Philosophy and the humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is now in her third year of graduate studies at the History Department of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a Benjamin Franklin Fellow, and is currently doing research and taking courses at Harvard as an exchange scholar. Tamara studies early modern Jewish history in Ashkenaz. She focuses on halakhic writings, primarily shu"t (responsa) literature by scholars such as Rabbi Ya'ir Chaim Bacharach and Rabbi Jacob Emden. Tamara tries to read these texts as pieces of scholarship that are holistic intellectual creations beyond their legal bottom-lines, and that exist in a complex dialogue with their predecessors and contemporaries within the Jewish tradition of scholarship as well as with the cultural, technical, and intellectual development of their particular historical context. For this reason, Tamara is particularly interested in halakhic writing surrounding medicine, print, mysticism and philosophy. This endeavor is leading her deeper into familiar fields such as European intellectual history, philosophy, Jewish thought, rabbinics and halakha, but also into fields that are rather new to her, such as legal theory and book history.
Debra Glasberg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University, with a focus on early modern Jewish history. Her interests include Jewish law books and censorship in the early print period. She received her B.A. from Columbia College (cum laude) and an M.A. in modern Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School. Debra is also a graduate of the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies and a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Simcha Gross is a second year PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, focusing on Ancient Judaism. Simcha holds an MA in Rabbinic Literature from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and is a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. His interests include the history of biblical interpretation (in both Judaism and Christianity), intellectual history, and the interaction(s) of Jews during the Second Temple and Rabbinic periods with the circumambient cultures in which they live.
Julie Goldstein is a doctoral candidate in medieval Jewish history at New York University, working on a dissertation about the representation of children in medieval martyrdom narratives. By examining the symbolic meaning of child martyrdom in Jewish-Christian discourse, Julie aims to orient the study of medieval martyrdom to focus on juvenile characters "on the margins" that have been overlooked in prior studies. In addition to her graduate studies, Julie teaches Jewish history at Ma'ayanot High School in NJ. Previously, she co-founded an advanced Judaic Studies program at UCLA Hillel, where she was an educator under the auspices of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus. She received a BA in Jewish Studies from Stern College and an MA in medieval Jewish philosophy/mysticism from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University.
Jeremy Kessler is a JD/PhD student at Yale University’s Department of History and Yale Law School. His work focuses on the history of conscientious objection, particularly on the rise of “selective conscientious objection” – a refusal to serve based not upon one’s opposition to war in any form, but upon one’s judgments about the immorality or illegality of particular wars. Such selective objection challenges traditional notions of citizenship and sovereignty. Closely related lines of inquiry are the twentieth-century history of Jewish and Christian debates about citizenship, state violence, and secularity, and the history of human rights. Prior to his graduate work at Yale, Jeremy was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he received an MPhil in the history of science.
Tal Kastner is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Princeton University and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School. Her work focuses on contract language and discourse. She is the author of “The Persisting Ideal of Agreement in an Age of Boilerplate” (Law & Social Inquiry (2010)) and “‘Bartleby’: A Story of Boilerplate” (forthcoming, Law and Literature). Before attending Princeton, she worked as an associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton in New York. She also served at the Supreme Court of Israel as a foreign law clerk to President Aharon Barak and as an articled law clerk to Justice Dalia Dorner.
Yael Landman is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University in the Department of Bible, with a focus on the Bible through the lens of Ancient Near Eastern languages and literature. Her areas of interest include comparative Biblical and Mesopotamian law and Semitic linguistics. Yael received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Jewish Studies and English from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Paul E. Nahme is a PhD candidate in the Centre for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He will be a scholar-in-residence at the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU Law School for the academic year 2011-2012, as well as a fellow at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Under the supervision of Professors David Novak and Robert Gibbs, he is completing his dissertation entitled, “The Theological Conditions of the Political: Legitimacy and Justification as Categories of Legal and Religious Reason,” focusing on the relationship between Christian, Jewish, and Islamic political theology and the development of the liberal constitutional state. He is a recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Graduate Scholarship for this project, as well as having been named the 2009-2010 Tikvah fellow in the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He is also a researcher and founder of the interdisciplinary working group at the University of Toronto, entitled, “The Force of Laws: Legal Subjects and the Power of Commandment”. Since 2009 Paul has served as associate editor, as well as being a co-founder of the University of Toronto Journal for Jewish Thought.
His research interests include legal and political theory, 19th century German idealism, continental philosophy, medieval Judaeo-Arabic philosophy and Christian scholasticism, and political theology.
Yoni Pomeranz is a third year student in the Ancient Judaism program at Yale University. He is currently interested in rabbinic legal history, intersections between rabbinic law and Roman law, midrash and ancient biblical interpretation more generally, and mass-elite relations in rabbinic Babylonia. Before coming to Yale, Yoni studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his B.A. in Classics at Princeton University.
Aviva Richman is pursuing a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU with a focus on Talmud and rabbinic texts. She is particularly interested in exploring and stretching our understandings of law, authority and gender and their intersection in the Babylonian Talmud and the Jewish legal tradition. She graduated from Oberlin College (summa cum laude) in 2006 and went on to study in the Advanced Scholars' Program at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem before pursuing graduate studies as a Wexner fellow. She is on faculty at Yeshivat Hadar in Manhattan.
Gil Rubin is a doctoral candidate in modern Jewish history at Columbia University. His main research interests include the history of minority rights and human rights, the history of Zionism and the state of Israel and Jewish politics in the 19th and 20th centuries. He received his BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the history honors program and philosophy. In the summer of 2011 and 2012 he was a visiting scholar at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History.
Emmanuel Sanders is a Graduate Fellow with the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo School of Law. After spending two years in Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh focusing on study of Talmud, Emmanuel entered the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva University, from which he graduated in January 2012 with a double major in Philosophy and Jewish Studies. He is currently pursuing his MA in Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies as well as Rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Emmanuel has recently decided to attend law school after finishing his current pursuits and hopes to use the skills he learns to better his understanding of legal theory and further explore its relationship to Halakha.
Nathan Schumer is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University. He is interested in the ancient period of Jewish history. His research is focused on memory and rabbinic literature, as well as the use of rabbinic literature for the history of the Roman world. He has a BA in Ancient Judaism and a Master's in Ancient Judaism from the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a BA in Classics from Columbia University.
Daniel Tabak is a doctoral candidate in the department of medieval Jewish history at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Yeshiva University and a Master of Arts in medieval Jewish history from Revel. He is also finishing his semikhah studies at the Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Theological Seminary.