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Mentor Space

AJS is pleased to announce Mentor Space at the 49th Annual AJS Conference in Washington D.C., December 17–19, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. This mentoring initiative is designed to help recent PhDs, junior (pre-tenure) faculty, contingent faculty and graduate students with their career development. Mentees will be matched with one of 19 senior scholars and will meet with their assigned mentor for up to an hour at a mutually agreed upon time during the conference. Topics of discussion may include dissertations, career development inside and outside academia, turning the thesis into a book, securing grants, strategizing about publication(s), the tenure and promotion process, etc. You must be a current AJS member (2017–18 membership year) to participate in this program.

Please complete the Mentor Space application form. You will be asked to list your top three choices of mentors. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, November 3. Space is limited; you will be informed if you have been matched with a mentor by November 30. Questions? Contact Jay Litzman, AJS Public Programs Manager, at, 212-294-8301 x6202.


Carol Bakhos, UCLA

Judaism in late antiquity; scriptural interpretation; comparative religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

Samantha Baskind, Cleveland State University

Art in America, Europe, and Israel; comics and graphic novels; other forms of American popular culture and Holocaust in art

Sarah Bunin Benor, HUC-JIR

Jewish languages; Jewish English; social science of American Jews; Orthodox Jews; Jewish education

Jay Berkovitz, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Early modern Jewish history; Jewish law; rabbinic scholarship; family

David Biale, University of California, Davis

Modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history

Michael Brenner, American University

German Jewish history; Israel studies; history of Zionism

Kimmy Caplan, Bar Ilan University

Jewish religious history in the 19th and 20th centuries (religious trends, popular religion, sermons and homiletic literature)

Jenna Weissman Joselit, George Washington University

Material culture, daily life, modern Jewish history, and American Jewish history and culture

Marion Kaplan, New York University

Modern Jewish history; German Jewish history

Chana Kronfeld, University of California, Berkeley

Modern Hebrew literature; comparative literature

Joshua Lambert, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Yiddish Book Center

Modern and contemporary Jewish American literature and cultural studies, including media, popular culture, legal history; Yiddish American literature and culture

Laura Leibman, Reed College

American Jewish history/culture, particularly before the civil war, digital humanities, and material culture; perspective of liberal arts colleges (or orthodox outside of NY)

Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin-Madison

American Jewish history; Yiddish culture; Russian Jewish history; socialism; working-class history; nationalism; Jewish history, political history, and popular entertainment

David Shneer, University of Colorado, Boulder

Russian Jewish history; Yiddish culture; Jews and sexuality; diaspora studies; Holocaust studies

Francesco Spagnolo, University of California, Berkeley

Jewish music and digital media; textual and visual cultures; Italian Jewish life; Sephardi/Mizrahi culture 

Michael Swartz, Ohio State University

Cultural history of Judaism in late antiquity; rabbinic studies; early Jewish mysticism; magic; ritual studies

Steven Weitzman, University of Pennsylvania

Bible; Jewish life in antiquity; the history of biblical interpretation; ancient Judaism

Beth S. Wenger, University of Pennsylvania

American Jewish history, with interests in immigration, gender, historical memory, cultural, social, and religious history

Wendy Zierler, HUC-JIR

Feminist studies and modern Jewish literature