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Jewish Studies Expands

AU’s Jewish Studies Program is expanding. This fall, Tatjana Lichtenstein, a Schusterman Teaching Fellow, joined the faculty. Lichtenstein brings expertise in modern European Jewish history and culture; her doctoral thesis focused on the Czechoslovak Zionist movement between World Wars I and II. “It seems contradictory, but this cultural movement was not about separation, but integration,” she explains. “It was a testimony to how Jews sought to become a part of the home they already lived in.”

An interdisciplinary program, Jewish Studies pulls courses from many departments. This fall, Lichtenstein offered two courses through the history department: History of Israel and a seminar, Modern Jewish Politics. In the spring, she will teach a course on the history of the Holocaust, and a seminar on Jews and East European Jewish culture.

Lichtenstein’s two-year appointment is funded jointly by CAS, Jewish Studies, and the Jewish Studies Expansion Project, a pilot dedicated to the enhancement of Jewish studies programs at colleges across the country. The project, a Foundation for Jewish Culture initiative supported by the Charles and Lynn Shusterman Family Foundation, received over 50 grant applications in its first year. AU was one of six colleges awarded funding.

Project fellows gain valuable teaching experience and establish mentor relationships that prepare them for tenure-track positions. “A lot of graduate students get out of school and don’t really have any teaching experience, so they’re not as competitive in the job market,” says Pamela Nadell, program director and Lichtenstein’s on-campus mentor. “I am interested in making certain that, wherever she goes next, when she finds a tenure-track job, we will have really helped prepare her.”