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Careers for Jewish Studies Students

Read about Jewish Studies Alumni

Jewish Studies alumni pursue careers in fields as diverse as education, political activism, administration, scholarly research, journalism, business, public relations, medicine, social work and the clergy. A degree in Jewish Studies enhances skills in research and writing, critical thinking, cultural awareness, creative thinking, public speaking, and persuasive communication. These are vital skills in today’s workplace and have helped Jewish Studies graduates find careers that meet their personal objectives. [Major Guide]

NEW Jewish Studies + Kelley

Earn a bachelor's degree in Jewish Studies and then spend an additional year earning a master's degree from the Kelley School of Business. For details see Jewish Studies + Kelley.


Our Alumni Make A Difference in Jewish Studies

"Where Would the Organized American Jewish community be today were it not for the IU Borns Jewish Studies Program?"
-- Steven Weitzman, former Director, Borns JSP

Undergraduate Alumni
Rabbi Debra Reed Blank
(1977) is a retired teacher of Jewish liturgy, rabbinics, and ritual theory. She was the Rabbi Philip Alstat Assistant Professor of Liturgy at JTS. She also taught at Hebrew College and the Academy for Jewish Religion (NY).
Rabbi Jim Bennett (1979) is Senior Rabbi at Shaare Emeth in St. Louis and the father of IU Jewish Studies major alumni Ethan Bennett (2014) and Michelle Bennett (2019).
Cantor Janet Ilene Roth (1981) has been cantor at Congregation Ohr Shalom, Summit Jewish Community Center in New Jersey since 1991.
Bekki Harris Kaplan (1987) is Executive Director of Beth Emet, the Free Synagogue in Evanston.
Laura Kepes Linder (1988) is President and CEO, Memphis Jewish Partners (Memphis Jewish Federation and Memphis Jewish Foundation).
Leslie Kepes Pomerantz (1988) is Chief Development Officer, THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.
Rabbi Bruce Elder (1989) is Rabbi of Congregation Hakafa in Glencoe, Illinois.
Rona Elder (1989) has served as the Administrator of Congregation Hakafa since 2007.
Karen Nayhouse Morris (1989) is a teacher at the JCC South Hills in Pittsburgh.
Hannah Pollack-Feiler (1989) is Assistant VP for Planning and Grants at THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community of Baltimore.
Karen (Becker) Sher (1990) is VP of Community Leadership & Engagement at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.
Rabbi Braham David (1991) is Rabbi of Temple Shalom in Medford, MA, and Director of the Jewish Discovery Institute in Newton, MA.
Rabbi Debora Gordon (1991) is Rabbi of Congregation Berith Sholom in Troy, NY.
Jeff Linkon (1991) is Director of Operations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Stephanie Stern Fink (1993) is Associate Director, Family Engagement of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Eli Garfinkel (1993) is Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Somerset, New Jersey. He is the author of the JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary.
Wendy (Rapport) Grinberg (1993) is Founder and Director of Jewish Education Lab (Jewish educational consulting at jewishedlab.com) and Director of Jewish Education at Camp Eisner. She completed the Doctor of Jewish Education at JTS in 2020.
Rabbi Yael Splansky (1993) is Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. She is the editor of the prayerbook Siddur Pirchei Kodesh and author of the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Reform Voices of Torah: 2021 Commentary on Deuteronomy.”
Jessica Bennett Mehlman (1994) is Associate VP, Impact & Planning at The Jewish Federations of North America (NYC).
Rabbi Stacy Schlein (1994) is Director of Education Capacity Building at the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.
Brian Shankman (1994) is National Director of Regional Affairs and Development for AIPAC.
Jennifer Zwilling (1994) is Chief Strategy and Campus Success Officer for Hillel International.
Shari Churwin (1995) is Executive Director of Education & Administration at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, MA.
Jessica Hazan Jundef (1995) is Technology Coordinator & Media Specialist at The Hebrew Academy of New Jersey.
Amy Allee Newman (1995) is Chief Development Officer at Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit.
Cantor Paula Pepperstone (1995) is regional cantor in Wichita, Kansas.
Matt Davidson (1996) is Executive Director of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and a composer of Jewish and film music.
Jonathan Fass (1996) is Managing Director, Educational Technology & Strategy at The Jewish Education Project in NYC.
Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg (1996) is Director of Freedom Initiatives at the Jack Miller Family Foundation and a Senior Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center.
Gina (Lewald) Fass (1996) is Director of the Kulanu Learning Program at Bet Torah in Mt. Kisco, NY. Brad Finkel (1998) is Chief Operating Officer of the JCC of Chicago.
Rachel Murov Greenberg (1998) is Area Director of AIPAC, Palm Beach, Florida.
Lindsey (Barton) Mintz (1998) is Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indianapolis.
Rabbi Ari Poster Moffic (1998) is Rabbi/Educator at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, IL.
Andrea Fram Plotkin (1998) is Chief of Staff at the Joint Distribution Commmittee.
Stefanie Kreitzman Rhodes (1998) is CEO of Slingshot Fund, building sustained support for innovation in Jewish life.
Rabbi Scott Segal (1998) is Rabbi of Har Mishpacha in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Kate Hirschfeld Ashwal (1999) teaches at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland.
Ilene Scholnick Ausubel (1999) is Director of Development, Youth for the Union for Reform Judaism.
Amanda Borschel-Dan (1999) is Deputy Editor at The Times of Israel.
Sean Herstein (1999) teaches Judaica at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles.
Adam Tennen (1999) is Co-executive Director of Jewish National Fund Mid-Atlantic.
Robin (St. Cyr) Anderson (2000) is Director of Camp Young Judaea Midwest.
Julie Rubinfeld Brodsky (2000) is Assistant VP, JUF Young Families at the Jewish United Fund of Chicago.
Rabbi Jonah Geffen (2000) is Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hunter College Hillel.
Rachael Petru (2000) is Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for UCLA Hillel.
Shauna (Replane) Leavey (2000) is Program Director for the Jewish Federation of Howard County, Maryland.
Rabbi David Roth (2000) is Rabbinic Educator at Tremont Street Shul, Halakhic Advisor for Minyan Tehillah, and rabbinic advisor to the local eruv in Cambridge, MA.
Naomi Slater (2000) is International Activities Coordinator at Merchavim: The Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
Jami Bachrad (2001) is Senior Program Officer at Diane and Guilford Glazer Philanthropies.
Rachel Brand Charnick (2001) is Northern Area Director of Hadassah Southern California.
Rabbi Laurie Matzkin (2001) is a community rabbi in the Silicon Valley. She serves as the Mindful Jewish Journeys Educator for the Los Gatos JCC, Family Educator for PJ Library Silicon Valley, and is the Founder of Makom Yoga.
Cantor David Reinwald (2001) is cantor at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, CA.
Miriam Pullman Friedman (2002) is Director of Philanthropic Initiatives at Marcus JCC of Atlanta.
Rabbi Andy Kastner (2002) is Vice President, Jewish Life at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston.
Diana Kogan (2002) is Director of Caring for Jews in Need, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Jonathan Lipnick (2002) is a Dean of the Holy Land Department eTeacher Group and a tour guide for biblical sites.
Rabbi Philip Ohriner (2002) and his wife Rabbi Shoshana Ohriner founded and run the permaculture-based farmstead Ma’alot Farms in Los Gatos, CA, that is dedicated to Jewish and secular environmental education and community-organizing focused on food justice.
Ruth Schachter-Cohen (2002) is Director of Operations at Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis.
Sarah Strnad (2002) is Director of Community Development at Slingshot Fund.
Rabbi Seth Cook (2003) is Aish rabbi at the University of Pittsburgh.
Cantor Asa Fradkin (2003) is the cantor of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County, MD.
Jennifer (Bell) Hillel (2003) is Director of Foundation Relations for the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.
Rabbi Drew Kaplan (2003) is Director of Pastoral Care at Cedar Village Jewish community in Cincinnati.
Ashley Plotnick (2003) is Director of Congregational Learning at Congregation Makom Solel in Highland Park, IL.
Samantha (Pearline) Zadikoff (2003) is an instructor at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL.
Rabbi Elizabeth Wood Zeller (2003) is Senior Rabbi of Temple Chaverim in Plainview, NY.
Emily Walsh Fox (2004) is Director of Jewish Educational Initiatives at Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey.
Sarina (Fogel) Gerson (2004) is Assistant VP, Community Outreach & Engagement Director, Teen Engagement Initiative for the United Jewish Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.
Marisa (Geer) Reby (2004) is Development Manager at Camp Northland-B’nai B’rith in the Toronto area. She completed an MSW at Washington University.
Sam Rodin (2004) is Director of Alumni Networks & Engagement, Diller Teen Fellows in the greater Chicago area.
Josh Taff (2004) is Director of Community Relations and Intake for the special needs Jewish community program Etta in southern California.
Henry Bernstein (2005) is Judaic studies middle school teacher at Chicago Jewish Day School.
Rabbi Brent Gutmann (2005) serves Temple Kol Ami in Bloomfield Hills, MI .
Sarah Lawson (2005) is Assistant to the National Development Director at New Israel Fund.
Laura Siegel Perpinyal (2005) is Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL.
Miles Roger (2005) is Director of Education at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, VA, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators.
Jen Kraus Rosen (2005) is Chief Advancement Officer for Moishe Houses.
Rabbi Sarah Smiley (2005) is a Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jehudah in Overland Park, KS.
Sonya Weisburd (2005) is Director of Social Justice and Volunteer Programs at Edlavitch JCC in Washington, DC.
Rabbi Jonathan Bubis (2006) is a Judaic Studies teacher at DeToledo High School.
Rabbi Michael Kushnick (2006) is Rabbi of Anshai Torah in Plano, TX.
Yossi Nachami (Joe Osgood) (2006) is a writer for The Times of Israel.
Rabbi Philip Sherman (2006) is Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley Hills, MA.
Matthew Albert (2007) is Director of Board Operations at Hillel International in New York.
Michael Brown (2007) is Executive Director of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society.
Joanna Blotner (2007) is Campaign Manager for Jews United for Justice in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Cohen (2007) is Senior Account Manager for Da’at Education Expeditions in Tel Aviv.
Cantor Ben Ellerin (2007) is cantor of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
Julia Franks (2007) is Chief Strategy Officer at Jewish Nevada.
Samantha Leapman Spolter (2007) is Safer Communities Coordinator for JCFS (Jewish Community and Family Services) in Chicago.
Maya Cohen Aharon (2008) is an award-winning Director of Teen Experiential Programs with the Los Angeles Builders of Jewish Education.
Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin (2008) is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Omaha, Nebraska.
Rabbi Joel Dinin (2008) is rabbi of Lake Park Synagogue, a modern Orthodox congregation in Milwaukee.
Rabbi Scott Gellman (2008) is Associate Rabbi at Temple Sholom in Chicago.
Rabbi Jonathan Kleinman (2008) is Chaplain at VITAS Healthcare in Kansas City.
Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks (2008) is Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Skokie, IL.
Rabbi Daniel Millner (2008) is Rabbi of Congregation Tiferet Israel in Austin, TX.
Cantor Rachel Harrison Rhodes (2008) is the Cantor at Temple Rodef Sholom in Falls Church, VA.
Mallory Saks Zipkin (2008) is Director at the JCC of Central New Jersey Camp Yachad.
Rebecca Frazin (2009) is Director of Engagement and Programming at Chicago Sinai Congregation.
Nina Loftspring (2009) is Director of the newly combined Kulanu, Reform Jewish High School and Merkaz Conservative Hebrew High School in Cincinnati.
Nati Orbach (2009) completed her MAPH at the University of Chicago. Her thesis was on the topic of ancient Israelite religion and archaeology. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Bar Ilan University in Religion and Archaeology.
David Orenstein (2009) is a doctoral student in Religion focusing on Judaism at Duke University.
Rabbi Jenn Queen (2009) is Director of Engagement at Harvard Hillel.
Traci Stratford (2009) is Associate Director of Catalyzing Resources for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.
Jessica Bram (2010) is Director of K-7 Youth Learning at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA.
Brittany Cohen (2010) is Senior Account Manager, Speakers Bureau AIPAC.
Emily Thal Cohen (2010) is Director of Education and Community Engagement, Temple Emanuel, St. Louis.
Sara Geboff Levitt (2010) is Director of Jewish Life and Learning for Congregation B’nai Emunah in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her husband Matt Levitt (2011) are Co-Chairs of the IU Hillel National Advisory Board Council.
Jenna (Rudy) Lowenstein (2010) is a preschool teacher at the Samson Family JCC of Milwaukee.
Lauren (Jacobson) Rosenberg (2010) is Senior Director of Stewardship & Donor Engagement at Facing History and Ourselves in Chicago.
Rabbi Rebecca Schatz (2010 is Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles.
Marc Silberstein (2010) is Teacher-Toshba at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD.
Mark Swick (2010) is Executive Director at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) Reform Jewish Congregation in Charleston.
Rabbi Jessica Wainer (2010) is Associate Rabbi at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, IL.
Aren Wilson-Wright (2010) completed his Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies at the University of Texas; served as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Zürich, and a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He is finishing final revisions on his second book Jeremiah’s Egypt and beginning research on a project on other gods in the Hebrew Bible.
Rabbi/Cantor Lilly Tash Blum (2011) is Director of Religious School and Rabbi/ Cantor at Temple Shalom of the South Bay in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Jillian Cogan Moghadam (2011) is the Director of Education and Youth Programming at Congregation M’Kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Jackie (Wolff) Friedman (2011) is the Finance Director at the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in the Chicago area.
Rachel Herman (2011) completed her M.A. in experiential Jewish Education at JTS and is Director of Education and Youth Activities at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, GA.
Matt Levitt (2011) is Chief Operating Officer for Camp Ramah in the Rockies.
Rabbi Rachel Silverstein Schmelkin (2011) is Manager for Jewish Programs at The One America Movement, and part-time rabbi at Temple Micah, in Washington, DC.
Rabbi Benjamin Gurin (2012) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2019 and is a doctoral student in Religious Studies at Boston University.
Julia Spiegel (2012) is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College.
Marisa Briefman (2013) completed an M.A. in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership and is Assistant Director of Development at the ADL in Washington, D.C.
Julia (Lustig) Weiss (2013) is Recruitment Associate and Early Childhood Coordinator at Camp Ramah Darom.
Cantor Julie Womack Staple (2013) is Associate Cantor at Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL.
Rabbi David Bloom (2014) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2019 and completed pre-med courses at Bryn Mawr College in preparation for medical school.
Rachel (Crouch) Hershman (2014) completed a Masters in Jewish Education with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management student at Hebrew Union College. She is Assistant Director of Education at Temple Judaea in Tarzana, CA.
Stephanie Katz (2014) is a member of the Development Department, Real Estate of UJA-Federation New York.
Maya Ohcana (2014) is Marketing Consultant at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago.
Travis Yon (2014) is Liaison Officer for the Israel Defense Forces.
Rabbi Zach Plesent (2004) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2021 and is Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel in Westport, CT.
Adam Blue (2015) is Associate Director of High School Education at StandWithUs.
Sasha Dominguez (2015) founded and is the Executive Director of Kol Connection that cultivates and fosters pluralistic Jewish community through music performance and learning events. Sasha is also a Content Development Associate at Tzedek America.
Jodie Goldberg (2015) is Teen Engagement Consultant and Project Manager at The Jewish Education Project in NYC. Alumnus Jonathan Fass is also on staff (see above).
Trudy Miller (2015) is Manager, Operations at Shorashim.
Amanda Phillips (2015) is Center City Director of Makom Community in Philadelphia.
Rachel Sherman (2015) is Director of Youth Programming and Engagement at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.
Joelle Swatez (2015) is Program Analyst, Jewish and Israel Giving at Crown Family Philanthropies.
Rabbi Austin Zoot (2015) is Rabbi/Educator at Valley Temple in Cincinnati.
Briana Felsen (2016) is AIPAC Baltimore Area Associate Director.
Frankie Salzman (2016) is a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in LA. He has served on the HUC-JIR Online Learning Task Force during the pandemic.
Daniel Warshawsky (2016) is USY/Kadima Engagement Director for the Chicago area.
Megan Zimmer (2016) is Business Development Manager for the Jewish Council for Youth Services in Chicago.
Julia Laibstain (2017) is a part-time LCLJ Educator at Central Synagogue in NYC and pursuing an MSW at Hunter College.
Becky Mann (2017) is a cantorial student at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC. She interned this past year at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation where alumnus Ben Ellerin serves as Cantor.
David Solkowitz (2017) is a Judaics teacher at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, FL.
Adam Taylor (2017) is a Ph.D. student in modern Jewish history at Purdue University.
Shayna Goodman (2018) is Accounting Manager for AEPi Fraternity Foundation.
Hannah Iskow (2018) completed her master’s degree in Constructivist Approaches in Jewish Education at Yeshiva University. She is working at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Pennsylvania.
Shayna Plotnik (2018) is a rabbinical and cantorial student at Hebrew College.
Harry Aaronson (2019) is a Jewish Community Studies Research Specialist at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.
Mitchell Israel (2019) is a graduate student in Education and Jewish Professional Leadership Education at Brandeis University.
Margo Wagner (2019) is a first year cantorial student at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR.
Tova Zimm (2019) is the Victim Advocacy Coordinator for the Jewish Coalition against Domestic Violence.
Rebecca Bloom (2020) is Marketing Associate for the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago.
Sarina Elenbogen-Siegel (2020) is a cantorial student at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.
Jordana Ichilov (2020) is Israel Program Director for IU Hillel.
Tamar Tecktiel (2020) is a Teacher Resident at The Shefa School in Manhattan.
Morgan Evans (2021) is a MASA Israel Teaching Fellow.
Maya Geller-Montague (2021) is Director of Community Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco.
Leora Lindenbaum (2021) is Hillel Springboard Fellow at the University of Central Florida.
Michael Mitgang (2021) is a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR.

PhD Minor Alumni
Mohammed Alghbban (2011) is Associate Professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he directs the only Hebrew language program in the Gulf.
Gabrielle Berlinger (2013) is the Babette S. and Bernard J. Tanenbaum Fellow in Jewish History and Culture and Assistant Professor of American Studies and Folklore, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Jessica Carr (2013) is Berman Scholar of Religious Studies, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Lafayette College.
Michah Gottlieb (2003) is Associate Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at NYU.
Devi Mays (2013) is Associate Professor in the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her book Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora won the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Sephardic Culture.
Ellen Muehlberger (2008) is Professor of History and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan.
Adam Rovner (2003) is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and a faculty member also in English and Literary Studies at the University of Denver.
Amy Simon (2015) holds the William and Audrey Farber Family Endowed Chair of Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History at Michigan State University.
Jill Smith (2004) is the John S. Osterweis Associate Professor of German at Bowdoin College.
Margo Valles (2013) is Director of Congregational Lifelong Learning at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing, MI.

 

And many of our alumni are lawyers, doctors, business professionals, educators as well as volunteers & leadership partners in endeavors related to Jewish Studies and in the larger community.

 

09/2021