Contributors

Alexis Aaeng is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, where she received a dual degree in history and Jewish studies and wrote her undergraduate thesis about Yiddish radio. She is also a two-time alumna of the Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, and a former Yiddish Book Center Fellow.

Sara Barber-Just is the English department chair at Amherst Regional High School in Amherst, Massachusetts. She earned her master’s degree in social justice English education at Goddard College in Vermont, where she developed a curriculum for the nation’s first LGBTQ literature course in a public school. She won the Williams College Olmsted Award for teaching excellence in 2014. 

Ruth Wang Birnbaum is a master teacher of English and writing and has held numerous department and administrative positions during her career. A word enthusiast and avid reader, Birnbaum is a crackerjack editor who often spends her personal time with her nose in books.

Rena Bonne is the former chair of the English department at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaways (HAFTR). She holds a PhD in comparative literature from Case Western Reserve University and a BA from Barnard College.

Debra Caplan is an assistant professor of theater at Baruch College, CUNY, and the author of Yiddish Empire: The Vilna Troupe, Jewish Theater, and the Art of Itinerancy. Caplan is also a dramaturg, director, and theater translator and co-founder of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project (yiddishstage.org).

Madeleine Cohen has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California Berkeley. Her research focuses on representations of place and politics in modernist Yiddish literature. Cohen is also the director of translation and collections initiatives at the Yiddish Book Center.

Meira Gotesdyner teaches at a Jewish day school in California and in summer camps and other youth programs. She is passionate about the field of Jewish education, including texts, literature, culture, history, and Hebrew language.

Rachel B. Gross is the John and Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies in the department of Jewish studies at San Francisco State University. She is a scholar of religious studies whose work focuses on the lives, spaces, and objects of twentieth-century and contemporary American Jews. She received her PhD in religion from Princeton University.

Adriana X. Jacobs is an associate professor of modern Hebrew literature at Oxford University and a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Jacobs is the author of Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Poetry, a study on Hebrew poetry and translation.

Hannah Kalson, a native of Pittsburgh, lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is pursuing a dual master’s degree in Jewish education and Jewish studies at Hebrew College and is especially interested in American Jewish identity and spirituality in Jewish education.

Jessica Kirzane is the lecturer in Yiddish at the University of Chicago and the editor-in-chief of In geveb. She is also a literary translator from Yiddish.

Barry Kirzner teaches United States, world, and Jewish history at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion Station, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Josh Lambert is the academic director at the Yiddish Book Center, where he directs the Great Jewish Books program, and visiting assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His teaching and research focus on American Jewish literature and culture, in English and Yiddish. He is the author of American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide (2009) and Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture, which won a 2014 Canadian Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought and Culture and was co-winner of the 2014 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Jewish Literature and Linguistics from the Association for Jewish Studies. Lambert is also a contributing editor to Tablet.

Lital Levy is an interdisciplinary scholar of Comparative Literature, Jewish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. She researches the culture of Israel/Palestine, the historical and contemporary experiences of Middle Eastern Jewish (Sephardi, Mizrahi, and Arab Jewish) communities, and theoretical issues of comparison, representation, and language. Having obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley in 2007, she is currently Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where she teaches Hebrew and Arabic literature, literary theory, and Jewish studies. Her first book, Poetic Trespass: Writing between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine (Princeton UP, 2014), was awarded the Jordan Schnitzer Award in the category of Jewish literature and linguistics (2012-2014) from the Association for Jewish Studies; the Salo Baron Prize from the American Academy of Jewish Research for the best first book in Jewish studies; and the MLA First Book Prize.

Amy Montoni is the editor of the Charlotte Jewish News and a teacher in two religious schools and at Hebrew High School. She is a relentless supporter of Israel. She has been a “hobby jogger” for more than thirty years and loves to go to hear live music.

Josh Moss teaches rabbinics at American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish boarding school in Greensboro, North Carolina. He received his PhD in Midrash from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and his dissertation, Midrash and Legend, was published by Gorgias Press. Moss was the founding director of the Cincinnati Klezmer Project.

Tahneer Oksman is an assistant professor at Marymount Manhattan College, the author of “How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?”: Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs (Columbia University Press, 2016), and the co-editor of the anthology The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell: A Place Inside Yourself (University Press of Mississippi, 2019). 

Feygi Zylberman Phillips grew up in a Yiddish-speaking household in Melbourne, Australia. She was an active member of SKIF, the youth movement of the Jewish Labor Bund. She graduated from Monash University with a bachelor of arts in education, focusing on second-language pedagogy and the teaching of Yiddish. In 2011, she graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America with a master of arts in modern Jewish studies. Since then she has been a passionate Jewish educator at The King David School, located in a suburb of Melbourne.

Lillian Rappaport lives with her family in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where she serves as educational director of Temple Ohev Sholom and as Jewish education director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg. She majored in French and Spanish and minored in Hebrew at the University of Pittsburgh and holds an MA in education from New York University and an MA in religious education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2010 she received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Julie Rezmovic-Tonti is a Jewish educator and community organizer living in Fairfax, Virginia. She teaches middle school Judaics at Gesher Jewish Day School and also works with the Growing Jewish Families program of the JCC of Northern Virginia. Rezmovic-Tonti received a certificate in Jewish philosophy and pedagogy from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She also holds an MA in Jewish education from Siegal College of Judaic Studies as well as a BA in women’s studies from the University of Maryland.

Barbara Ellison Rosenblit directs the mentoring program and teaches humanities and Jewish studies at The Weber School in Atlanta. She studied at Brandeis, Columbia, and Emory universities and has wide-ranging interests, which makes her an unrepentant advocate of interdisciplinary curricula. In 2004 Barbara received a Covenant Award, which honors outstanding Jewish educators.

Maeera Shreiber is associate professor of English and director of the religious studies program at the University of Utah. She is the author of Singing in a Strange Land: Jewish American Poetry and Poetics, which was the recipient of the Association for Jewish Studies’s 2011 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award honorable mention in Jewish Literature and Linguistics. She has also published numerous journal articles on poetry, religion, and Jewish thought. 

Corinne Skott is an English teacher at The Weber School, teaching courses including grammar, composition, American literature, British literature, feminist perspectives in literature and film, and world literature. She graduated from the University of Georgia with high honors and received a master’s in English from the University of New Orleans.

Neta Stahl is associate professor in the Hebrew Program at Johns Hopkins University. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of literature, religion, and culture. Tzelem Yehudi, her Hebrew book on the representation of Jesus in twentieth-century Hebrew literature, was published in 2008. An expanded English edition, Other and Brother: The Figure of Jesus in the 20th-Century Jewish Literary Landscape, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. In her forthcoming book, Modern Hebrew Literature and the Divine, Stahl explores how Hebrew literature presents itself as an ideological, secular break from Jewish tradition, while in fact it maintains a dialogue with the Jewish God. Stahl's articles on various twentieth-century Hebrew writers have appeared in journals including Comparative Literature, Jewish Studies Quarterly, Religion & Literature, Prooftexts, and the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Robert Sternberg is a graduate of Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and of the Machon Harry Fishel Midrasha L'Rabbanut in Jerusalem, under the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He’s served as director of the National Religious Affairs Department of Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal, as director of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, and as director of Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. He currently is a professor of Holocaust literature at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts, a professor of English composition and literature at American International College in Springfield, and a part-time rabbi at Temple Israel in Athol, Massachusetts. He is also the coauthor, with Professor David Oughton, of a curriculum on the Holocaust for Roman Catholic and Christian high schools titled Jewish/Christian Relations in Light of the Holocaust (1999).

Sharon Tash is the curriculum specialist at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland. She holds a BA in English and history from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA in history from Columbia University, and was a doctoral student in Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Maryland. She worked as an historian on the ID Card Project at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and taught in the Jewish History Department in the upper school at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.

Miriam Taub was born in Moisés Ville, a Jewish shtetl in Argentina. She grew up speaking Yiddish, Spanish, German, and Hebrew, and she has taught Yiddish and Hebrew in Argentina, Israel, and the U.S. 

Lesley Yalen is education program manager at the Yiddish Book Center, where she helps to run courses and programs for high school students, teachers, and lifelong learners. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has taught writing and literature to high school and college students.

Michael Yashinsky received his bachelor’s degree in modern European history and literature from Harvard University. He currently teaches Yiddish at the Yiddish Book Center, and is collaborating in the writing of the Center's forthcoming multimedia Yiddish textbook. Also an actor, stage director, and playwright, Yashinsky has worked at Vienna's Theater an der Wien and at Michigan Opera Theatre in his hometown of Detroit, where he directed a production of the Holocaust-era children's opera Brundibár featuring a survivor of the cast from the opera’s wartime performances at Theresienstadt. In December 2017, Michael made his New York stage debut in the title role of the classic Yiddish operetta Di kishef-makherin (The Sorceress), produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.