Previous Shatzmiller Fellows

2022-23 Shatzmiller Fellows




Erika Mejia is a third year PhD student in the Department of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she focuses on the history and practice of translation in Modern Hebrew literature. Her dissertation will explore Spanish to Hebrew translation through the oeuvre of Federico García Lorca, with a particular emphasis on the import of foreign poetic forms into a Jewish context and the quest for stability in the practice of translation. Her interests include translation theory and hermeneutics, literary reception, and canon formation. 




Joanna Spyra is a PhD candidate in Jewish history at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her doctoral project explores different Jewish health care organizations and the relationship between ethnicity and philanthropy in interwar Argentina. Her research is situated at the intersection of migration history, minority studies, and gender theory. Joanna graduated from Jagiellonian University and Cracow University of Economics, and most recently from Brandeis University where she received a master’s degree in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.


2021-22 Shatzmiller Fellows



Jonathan Homrighausen, a doctoral student in Hebrew Bible at Duke University, writes and researches at the intersection of Hebrew Bible, calligraphic art, and scribal craft. His writings on the subject have appeared in Religion and the Arts, Image, Teaching Theology and Religion, Transpositions, and Visual Commentary on Scripture; more recently, he curated a virtual exhibit, Visual Music: Calligraphy & Sacred Texts, for the Luce Center for the Arts & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is currently teaching in Judaic Studies at the College of William & Mary, and preparing a dissertation on the ritual, metaphorical, and material significance of writing in the Book of Esther and its reception.



Leor Jacobi is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Bar-Ilan University. Leor’s interdisciplinary research interests, publications and talks range over Rabbinic Literature and Medieval Art and he has given presentations in Europe, America, Israel, and Abu Dhabi. He is currently the recipient of a Humboldt Stiftung Fellowship at University of Mainz, Germany, researching Manuscript fragments extracted from Medieval book- bindings in Girona, Catalonia. Leor is based in Jerusalem and can often be found loitering at the National Library of Israel.




Neri Y. Ariel obtained his Ph.D. in Talmud and Halakha at Hebrew University (July 2019). Ariel completed recently a joint research project as an interoffice collaboration (ZJS, FUB & Menczer, HUJI, Yale University). Additionally, as a cooperation partner at the Institute of Jewish History in Austria (INJOEST), at the University of Vienna, and at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), he researches Hebrew fragments retrieved from Book-Binding deepening the understanding of medieval Jewish traditions in Europe. Ariel’s Ph.D. research has focused on his discovery of a hitherto unknown genre within Judaeo-Arabic literature named Adab al-Qadi (“etiquette of judgeship” earlier known in its Hebrew name Hovot Haddayanim, submitted for publication at YBZ Institute, forthcoming). His interdisciplinary Habilitationsschrif (2nd Ph.D. at the BIU Law School) “Comparative Judaeo-Islamic Legal History: Adab al-Qāḍī” is an ongoing collaborative project. Dr. Ariel holds a Kreitman post-doctoral position at The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University (2020-22. Host: Prof. Rami Reiner).



Oskar Czendze is a PhD Candidate in the History Department and a TEP Fellow at the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. In 2021-22, he is a graduate fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York. His research focuses on the cultural and social history of Jews in East Central Europe and the United States, Jewish migration and questions of memory, belonging and place in the modern era. Among his recent publications is “Between Loss and Invention: Landsmanshaftn and American Jewish Memory in the Interwar Era,” Dubnow Institute Yearbook 17 (2018): 35-56.




Semih Gökatalay is currently a Ph.D. candidate in history at University of California, San Diego. His dissertation is a political and economic history of the modern Middle East during the transition from the Ottoman Empire to nation-states. It explores the development of private and indigenous interest groups in the Middle East vis-à-vis state authorities and international capitalist classes.




Yael Attia is in her second year as a doctoral fellow at the research training group minor cosmopolitanisms, at the University of Potsdam. Her current research project seeks to trace the constitutive role of Jewish colonial experience in North Africa as formative to Modern Jewish political thinking, as it emerged in a series of Francophone intellectuals: Helene Cixous, Jacques Derrida, and Albert Memmi. She also hosts the podcast of the Ph.D. program: minor constellations. For many years, Yael has worked in Jewish museums in Israel and Germany.