Student and Faculty Center Award Announcements

2017 Israel Academic Travel Award Winners Announced

Jerusalem at sunset

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Israel Academic Travel Awards. The awards are sponsored by the Center for Judaic Studies, Global Affairs, and the Middle East Studies program.  Each student was awarded $1500 to defray the cost of their summer academic travel to Israel.

Miriam Katz will be working at Tel Aviv University in the lab of Dr. Yossi Shiloh. Dr. Shiloh’s lab examines the neurogenetics of aging in hopes of one day being able to prevent or reverse the mental changes that come with old age. The internship is part of the Career Israel program in partnership with Onward Israel.

Nathan Schachter will be interning with The Jewish Agency’s Israel Shilchut (Israeli Emissaries) program through Onward Israel. Nathan will be assisting in the emissaries’ training to help prepare them for their time abroad.

Shelly Silver will be interning at Zeekit, an Israeli startup that reinvents the way consumers browse, share, and shop from their mobile devices. Shelly’s internship will focus on marketing and communications within the company. The internship is in partnership with Onward Israel.

Congratulations to our awardees!

Predoctoral Fellowships Awarded to Four Graduate Students

With the support of the Graduate School, the Center for Judaic Studies has awarded four, faculty nominated, graduate students with $1500 predoctoral fellowships for their summer research. Congratulations!

Adane Zawdu (Department of Sociology):
Managing Differences in Everyday Life: Ethnoracial Categories, Social Boundaries, and National Belonging in Israel

My project is based on 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Israel, in which I explore the different ways Ethiopian-Israelis’ gain group distinctiveness in three different contexts: everyday lives; State institutions and bureaucracy; and political mobilization. More broadly, I look at processes, mechanisms, and practices that structure why and how certain categories of difference become consequential for social relations and political mobilization, while others do not.

Jessica Strom (Department of History):
Adriano Lemmi: Banker of the Italian National Revolution

My project reconstructs Adriano Lemmi’s activities and position in the clandestine networks that funded revolutionary leaders during the period known as the Risorgimento, explaining why this Tuscan merchant was willing to commit his money and influence to fund revolutionary nationalist projects aimed at unifying Italy and secure its political independence. While scholars have disagreed about whether or not Lemmi’s family was Jewish, it is clear that both in Livorno and in Constantinople he came into close contact with many Jewish merchants who were part of wide-reaching business networks. Relationships cultivated with these Jewish merchants were instrumental to the success of Lemmi’s mercantile activities, yet they remain largely unexplored.

Mohammed Kadalah (Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages)

My project undertakes a study of contemporary Syrian literature within the context of modern trauma studies. This summer I will be preparing for my comprehensive examinations in the fields of trauma studies, war literature and testimony, and contemporary Arabic literature.

Kerry Carnahan (Department of English):

My project is to undertake a new translation of the Song of Songs accompanied by an exegetical commentary. This summer I will prepare a scholarly word study on the Song, explore its Kabbalistic interpretations, and immerse myself in the ancient cultic origins of the text.

2016 Israel Academic Travel Award Winners Announced

Global Affairs, Judaic Studies, and Middle East Studies are pleased to announce the Israel Academic Travel Award winners for the summer of 2016.  Each student was awarded $1500 to defray the cost of their summer academic travel to Israel.
Congratulations to our awardees!
Jordan Angel: I will be working for Dynamic Shipping as a Finance Intern, spending my time doing academic research about new energy resources and renewable energy.
Yarden Canaan: I will be interning through the Onward Israel program. I expect to be assigned to the Venture Capital firm, ELEVATOR, in Tel Aviv, where I will be called upon to use my skills as an Economics and Applied Math major.
Jennifer Jacobson: I will hold an internship at the Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. During my internship, I will be assisting Dr. Micha'el Tanchum in his political research, focusing primarily on European Relations with Middle Eastern countries and particularly how the refugee crisis is altering these relationships.
We look forward to hearing about our awardees' experiences when the return!

Students Awarded for Excellence

Congratulations to our student award winners who were presented with awards at the recent Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Achievement Awards ceremony.

Kerry Carnahan was awarded the Cohen and Henes Award for outstanding senior scholar in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

Lea Anne Toubiana was awarded the Sylvia and Leo Dashefsky Family Prize in recognition of excellence in second year Hebrew.

Lorraine Gordon was awarded the Frances and Irving Seliger Memorial Award in recognition of excellence in Holocaust studies.

Course Development Grants Awarded to Three Faculty Members

faculty awardees

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life invited proposals for new undergraduate course development grants in all fields, areas, and periods related to Judaic Studies. Congratulations to our successful applicants Sarah S. Willen (Assistant Professor & Director, Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights) and Richard Sosis (James Barnett Professor of Humanistic Anthropology), who will share an award and develop an anthropology course, and Andrea Celli (Assistant Professor, Italian and Mediterranean Studies), who will develop a course on Medieval Italian Literature.  Grant awardees will receive $2,000 in funding to support course development.

Israel Academic Travel Awards Issued to 3 Students!

Want to travel to Israel this summer?

Israel Collage

Israel Academic Travel Awards 2015

Congrats to our 2015 awardees of the Israel Academic Travel Awards:

Ryan Norton, a double major in Political Science and Human Rights and Minor in History, who will be spending the summer abroad at the University of Haifa International School.

Alexandra Liner, a Speech language and Hearing Science Major and Minor in Psychology, who will be spending the summer abroad at Onward Israel - and volunteering at Yachdav Women's Shelter, a shelter for women and children who have experienced and escaped domestic violence.

Carsten Witt, a Ph.D. Candidate who will be attending an intensive Hebrew Summer Ulpan Program at Haifa University pursuing the study of Hebrew, as well as pursuing research at three archives in Tel Aviv to advance dissertation research on German Jewish constructions of space.


Global Affairs, Judaic Studies, and Middle East Studies are pleased to announce a competition for four awards for academic study in Israel in the summer of 2015.  The deadline for application is April 20, 2015.  The competition is open to UConn undergraduate and graduate students.

Each award of $1500 may be used to defray expenses such as airfare and registration costs.  Awardees will submit a written summary of their travel experience by September 15, 2015.

Applicants should email the following materials to by Monday, April 20, 2015 at 5 pm:

  • Name, contact information, and status at UConn, including major(s) or field of study
  • A resume or summary of activities
  • The name, dates, and cost of the academic program the student will attend in Israel. Please indicate whether you have applied and been accepted to the program. If not, indicate when you expect to hear from the program about your application.
  • A statement of up to 300 words as to why you want to attend the program and how it would help advance your academic interests.

This program is not open to current seniors graduating in May 2015, or to incoming students.  Summer is defined according to the UConn calendar (end of May through end of August).

Download poster with details.

Questions? Contact