Bassini Interns

2016-2017

Dalia Wolson

Curated an exhibit of archival photos from the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University.

Elizabeth Dunoff

Organized a talk with Professor Yuval Jobano (Tel Aviv University; Katz Fellow) on Democracy and Religious Pluralism in Israel.

2014-2015

Joan Turner

Organized a screening of Eve Annenberg’s Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish (2010). 

Daniel Brooks, Jovonnie Gonzales and Daniel Maser

Organized a film screening of Zaytoun followed by a discussion.

Debbie Schwartz, Danielle Novack, and Bryan Hoang

Organized a screening of "Chava Rosenfarb: That Bubble of Being" and Q&A with Director Josh Waletzky. 

2013-2014

Allison Wattenbarger

Organized a discussion of poetry, tradition and faith with Rabbi Josh Bolton and Reverend Mike Chen, both of whom work extensively with students on campus, "Tell Him That I: Poetry of Jews & Christians."

Bryan Hoang

Organized a program with Professor Gwynn Kessler (Swarthmore College) on the topic of Queer Theory and the Rabbinic Literature.

2012-2013

Laura Doherty  

Organized a program with Bruce Nielsen, Judaica Public Services Librarian and Archivist from Penn’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, who traced the history of Judaism in Philadelphia from colonial America to modern day Jewish community. 

Doniel Sherman and Shlomo Klapper 

Organized a program entitled, “The Story Behind Medieval Responsa,” with Professor Rami Reiner (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) about Jewish life in Medieval Europe as recorded in Responsa (lit. "queries and replies"), a rabbinic term denoting an exchange of letters in which one party consults another on a halakhic matter. 

Jacob Shamash and Rebecca Klahr 

Organized a tour of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Hannah Dardashti and Michal Goldberger

Organized a discussion on the cultural diversity that exists in Israel due to its immigrant population, the religious conversion issues faced by immigrants, the significance of historical immigrations, patterns of immigration, social formations amongst immigrant groups, economic success/struggles of immigrant populations, the contributions of different immigrants to academia with Professor Rami Reiner (Ben Gurion University).

2011-2012

Michael Rubin, Kim Gordon and Becka Lefkoe

Organized a program which brought ketubah artist, Professor Ethan Rotenberg, to speak on “Otiyot Meshunot: The Variety of Unusual Letters in Penn's Antique Ashkenazic Torah Scroll.”

Michael Rubin, Kim Gordon and Becka Lefkoe

Organized an hour-long tour of the University of Pennsylvania Museum with Professor Richard Zettler (Penn).

Alexis Mayer and Josh Tycko

Organized a tour at the National Museum of American Jewish History led by Professor Beth S. Wenger (Penn), one of the four historians who helped to craft the core exhibition.

2010-2011

Daneel Schaechter and Brian Mund

Organized a program in which Professor Michael Steinlauf (Gratz College) talked on "Diaspora: Then and Now."

Michael Rubn and Dina Bleckman

Organized a program in which Elihu Katz (University of Pennsylvania) discussed the book of Esther through the lens of communication studies entitled, "Haman's Fall."

Becka Lefkoe, Melissa Goldstein, and Elie Peltz

Organized a program entitled, "Jewish Movements in America: Past, Present, and Future--Four Rabbis Explore the Current State of American Jewry,"with Professor Beth Wenger (University of Pennsylvania) as moderator; Rabbi Eric Yanoff- Congregation Adath Israel (Conservative); Rabbi Yonah Gross- Congregation Beth Hamedrash (Orthodox); Rabbi Dan Ehrenkranz- President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; and Rabbi David Straus- Congregation Main Line Reform.

Ryan Ortega

Organized a program on an issue devoted to Jewish Philosophy entitled, "Jewish and anti-Jewish Dimensions of Post-Kantian Philosophy," with Professor Paul Franks (University of Toronto) and Professor Paul Guyer (University of Pennsylvania).

Meir Dardashti and Chaim Gevaryahu

Organized a program with Professor Javier Castano (Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterraneo in Madrid), who discussed Rabbi Isaac Abravanel's unique role both as a prominent Judaic scholar and a man of profound political influence entitled, "Rabbi Isaac Abravane."

Dina Bleckman and Michael Rubin

Organized a program entitled, "Last Lecture," with Professor Jeffrey Tigay (University of Pennsylvania) who spoke on his personal relationship to teaching and the Bible, and reflected on his time at Penn.

2009-2010

Michael Rubin, Dina Bleckman, and Nancy Wang

Organized a program in which Professors David Stern (University of Pennsylvania) and Annette Reed (University of Pennsylvania) talked on "Angelology and Monotheism: How did Christianity differ from Judaism in ascribing power to divinities other than God?"

Pranav Merchant and Vikram Vish

Organized a program in which Professor Harry Reicher (University of Pennsylvania), one of the great experts on law and the Holocaust, led a discussion on "No-One Ever Died Illegally in Auschwitz: The Nazis' Obsession with Legalizing the Holocaust."

2008-2009

Rebecca Gerr and David Stark

Organized a program in which Professor Yechiel Schur (University of Pennsylvania) spoke about the treatment of the dead and emotions surrounding death in medieval Judaism.

Mia Brill

Organized a program in which Holocaust survivor, Harry Brill, spoke about his experience traveling aboard Exodus 1947, a ship that brought 4,500 Jewish survivors from Europe to Palestine, only to be turned back to Europe by the British Mandatory authorities.

Michael Rubin and Dina Bleckman

Organized a program with Professor Shawn Zelig Aster (Yeshiva University), who engaged students in a discussion of "TAMATS: The Birth of the Messiah: Traditional and Modern Approaches to Torah Study: Isaiah 11."

John Whitham, Malka Fleischmann and Esther Katkoff

Organized a discussion panel entitled, "Homosexuality and Religion," in which various panelists spoke and answered questions about their personal experiences reconciling their sexual orientations with their religious identities.

Ari Tolwin and Nancy Wang

Organized a tour of Old City, Philadelphia and a trip to the exhibit on the synagogue and "Jewish Life on the 'Inside'" at Eastern State Penitentiary.

2007-2008

Yael Landman and Jonathan Moses

Organized a program with Professor David Freidenreich (Columbia University), expert in religion, food and law, spoke on the socio-cultural implications of Jewish dietary restrictions, entitled "Food and Jewish Identity: Is keeping kosher about keeping separate?"

Adam Teitcher and David Start

Organized a program with Profressor Jeffrey Tigay (University of Pennsylvania) who engaged students in a discussion of the Book of Exodus, the Passover Seder, and the origins of its customs, entitled "A Night of Questions: The Where's What's When's and Why's of the Passover Seder."

Benjamin Bernstein and Sunny Moon

Organized a program with Professor Beth Wenger (University of Pennsylvania) entitled "American Jewish Performers of the Stage and Screen." Prof. Wenger discussed her new book The Jewish Americans, focusing on the subject of the American Jewish Performer, and showed clips from the PBS miniseries that complemented the book.

Benjamin Bernstein, Lisi Drezde and Ryan Javier Ortega

Organized a program with Professor Kevin Platt (University of Pennsylvania) and Professor Benjamin Nathans (University of Pennsylvania) on the history of Soviet Jewry with special emphasis on state sponsored violence and national identity, entitled "Soviet Jewry and State Sponsored Violence: A Discussion."

Aaron Blacksberg and Elisheva Goldberg

Organized a talk by Professors Liliane Weissberg (University of Pennsylvania) and Philipp Gassert (University of Pennsylvania) on their experiences growing up Jewish and non-Jewish in Germany/Austria after World War II entitled, "Living in the Shadow of the Holocaust."

2006-2007

Lisi Drezde, Emily Belfer, and Dina Beizer

Organized a program with Rabbi Leonard Gordon, "Coming Out of the Closet: Homosexuality in the Conservative Movement." Rabbi Gordon spoke to an audience of 45-50 students about the history of the debate and answered questions at various points during the talk.

Lisi Dredze, Yael Landman, and Joe Scherban

Organized a talk by Charles Manekin (University of Maryland) on "Maimonides and Bible: How Judaism's greatest philosopher interpreted the Bible."

Kate Wallis and Yuri Castano

Organized a talk with Rabbi Jacobs (Rabbi in Residence, Jewish Funds for Justice) on "Social Reform Through Jewish Eyes: Discussion of Jewish Definitions of Poverty"

Rob Golder

Organized a talk by David Stern (University of Pennsylvania) on "Rewriting the Haggadah: Unkosher or Contemporary?"

2005-2006

Ashley Steinberg and Jessica Karp

Organized a screening and discussion of the Port of Last Resort, a riveting documentary about Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during World War II.

Cecilia Rabess, Joe Scherban, and Ruthie Storch

Organized a talk by Joel Hecker (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) on "Kissing Kabbalists: Mystical Perspectives on an Intimate Gesture" to consider the role of the kiss in Jewish mysticism.

Stephanie Gantman, Jenn Endzweig, Rachel Kohn

Organized a panel discussion with Paul Rozin (UPenn, Psychology) and Adam Cohen (Philadelphia University) on "Challah and Hummus and Lox - Oh My!" to explore the connection between Jewish culture and food.

Brian Cohen and Deena Feinstein

Organized a panel discussion on the history and practices of the Jewish Renewal movement with Nachshon Mahanymi (co-founder of Philadelphia's Tikkun movement), and Chava Weissler (Lehigh University).

Stephanie Gantman and Rachel Kohn

Organized a CPR certification and talk by Bioethicist and Professor Paul Root Wolpe (UPenn, Psychiatry) entitled "Bioethics & Judiasm: The Importance of Saving a Life."

2004-2005

Sarah Breger and Livia Levine

Organized a panel discussion on innovations in liturgy by religious women, entitled, "Tradition and Transformation in Women's Prayer: Perspectives from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam."  The discussion was led by Chava Weissler (Lehigh University), Barbara von Schlegell (UPenn, Religious Studies), and Reverend Beverly Dale (Executive Director of the Penn Christian Association)

Brian Cohen and Johannah Lebow

Organized a screening of the documentary film, Discordia, concerning the riots at Concordia University when Benjamin Netanyahu came to speak there, followed by a discussion of free speech on campus with Robert Vitalis (Political Science, MEC) and David Stern (NELC and JSP)

Diana Claybon and Rachel Liebov

Organized a kosher cooking demonstration with Israeli chef, Hanni Lipinsky

2003-2004

Tiffany Behringer

Organized a discussion on Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film, led by Dr. Al Filreis (UPenn, English)

Joshua Schainker and Ted Rosenbaum

Ran a program entitled Finding a Jewish Counter Culture-Spirituality and a New Judaism with two visiting CAJS fellows, Dr. Riv Ellen Prell (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Chavah Weissler (Lehigh University)

Galit Heller and Andrew Joseph

Screened and discussed the Israeli film Passover Fever with a group of Penn students who were joined by two visiting Israeli soldiers

Angelika Zilberman and Diana Claybon

Ran an academic panel discussion on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ with David Stern (UPenn, AMES), Ann Matter (UPenn, RELS), Penny Marcus (UPenn, Italian Studies) and Tim Corrigan (UPenn, Cinema Studies)

2002-2003

Andrew Joseph

Organized a tour of Jewish Philadelphia in which a groups of students explored the rich Jewish roots of the "City of Brotherly Love" with a professional tour guide.

Simon Brief

Coordinated a conversation with two faculty, Dr. Talya Fishman (UPenn, RELS) and Dr. Beth Wenger (UPenn, HIST), over the question, "How does my Judaism affect my teaching?"

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu