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Welcoming the First Research Fellows in Jewish Studies at Fordham

As Jewish Studies at Fordham continues to grow, and create opportunities for students to take classes in Jewish Studies, for the Fordham community and the public to enjoy lectures and exhibitions, we also are launching fellowship programs supporting new research in Jewish Studies, and bringing American and international scholars to Fordham, while fostering partnerships with other New York institutions.

We hope that you will join us in welcoming our first three research fellows, Hannah Mayne, Jessica Roda, Shira Schwartz, who are joining us this spring thanks to the generosity of Bruce Taragin, JD ’92, MBA ’92, whose gift made these fellowships possible.

The three fellows are engaged in social scientific research on Jewish Orthodoxy. They will participate in the New York Working Group on Jewish Orthodoxies, run by Fordham’s Professor Ayala Fader and Isaac Bleaman (NYU), and conduct research at Yeshiva University’s Mendel Gottesman Library of Hebraica/Judaica.

Jessica Roda
Dr. Jessica Roda is an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist. She holds a Ph.D from Paris Sorbonne-Université de Montréal, and is currently serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Concordia University, Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence). During her residency at Fordham University (Spring 2017), she will be working on the life and experience of ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York City who have left their community or who live at the margins. Dr. Roda has published widely including with Daniela Moisa, Heritage and Cultural Diversity (Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2015). Her forthcoming book Se réinventer au présent. L’expérience judéo-espagnole en France, famille, communauté et patrimoine musical won the UQÀM-Respatrimoni prize, and will be published by the University of Rennes Press in 2017.

Shira Schwartz
Shira Schwartz is PhD student in Comparative Literature at University of Michigan. Her project investigates the entrance of the female body into the spaces and practices of yeshiva study in the 21st century. Historically, the yeshiva has been an exclusively male institution, and its practices and methods used to cultivate Jewish maleness. But the recent inclusion of women within the educational spaces and practices of yeshiva marks a transformative moment for both Jewish women and the yeshiva as an institution.

Hannah Mayne
Hannah Mayne is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and in the collaborative program in Jewish Studies. Her research interests focus on contemporary Jewish women’s prayer practices in different orthodox communities, and the political forms such rituals can take. A key ethnographic case in her project is the activist group Women of the Wall and the debates regarding their actions, expressed by orthodox communities in Israel, and in diaspora communities across North America.