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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

Rabbi Debra Reed Blank (1977) is a teacher of Jewish liturgy and rabbinics. Most recently, she was the Rabbi Philip Alstat Assistant Professor of Liturgy at JTS.
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.
Audrey Krakovitz (1986) is Director of Teacher Workshops at the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust.
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 Religious School Principal of the Torah Lishma Community Religious School at Tree of Life/L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh.
Hannah Pollack-Feiler (1989) is Assistant Vice President for Planning and Grants at THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community of Baltimore.
Karen (Becker) Sher (1990) is Director of Community 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.
Debra Barton Grant (1991) is CEO and Executive Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Jeff Linkon (1991) is Director of Operations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Stephanie Stern Fink (1993) is Associate Director within the Strengthening Congregations Department of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Eli Garfinkel (1993) is Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Somerset, New Jersey.
Wendy (Rapport) Grinberg (1993) is Founder and Director of Jewish Education Lab (Jewish educational consulting at jewishedlab.com), Director of Jewish Learning at Camp Eisner, and a clinical faculty member at HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Yael Splansky (1993) is Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.
Jessica Bennett Mehlman (1994) is Assistant Director of the the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey.
Rabbi Stacy Schlein (1994) is Associate Rabbi and Director of Education at The Temple, Tifereth Israel, in Shaker Heights, OH.
Brian Shankman (1994) is National Director of Regional Affairs and Development for AIPAC.
Jennifer Zwilling (1994) is Chief Strategy Officer for International Hillel.
Shari Churwin (1995) is Education Director at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, MA.
Jessica Hazan Jundef (1995) is Technology Coordinator at the Solomon Schechter School of Greater Monmouth County in Marlboro, New Jersey.
Amy Allee Newman (1995) is Chief Development Officer at Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit.
Rachel Daniels (1996) is Executive Coordinator at Temple Israel in Boston.
Matt Davidson (1996) is Executive Director at Kehillat Israel Congregation in Pacific Palisades, CA and a composer of Jewish and film music.
Jonathan Fass (1996) is Chief Operating Officer, Elayne and James Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County, CT.
Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg (1996) is Senior Vice President of the Haym Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought.
Gina Lewald-Fass (1996) is Director of Religious School, Bet Torah, Inc. in Mt. Kisco, NY.
Brad Finkel (1998) is Director of Camp Chi, the camp of the JCC of Chicago as well as the JCC’s regional vice president for south central Wisconsin.      
Rachel Murov Greenberg (1998) is Palm Beach 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 Director of Cohere in Chicago.
Andrea Fram Plotkin (1998) is Vice President for Development and Communications at The New Jewish Home in New York City.
Stefanie Kreitzman Rhodes (1998) is Executive Director of Slingshot Fund to build sustained support for innovation in Jewish life.
Rabbi Scott Segal (1998) is Director of Lifelong Learning at Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue in Wheeling, IL.
Kate Hirschfeld Ashwal (1999) teaches at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland.
Ilene Scholnick Ausubel (1999) is Director of Major Gifts, Union for Reform Judaism.
Amanda Borschel-Dan (1999) is Jewish World and Archaeology Editor for “The Times of Israel”.
Sean Herstein (1999) teaches Judaica at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles.
Adam Tennen (1999) is Chief Development Officer at Bender JCC of Greater Washington, D.C.
Wendy Margolin (1999) is Communications Director for the Ida Crown Jewish Academy.
Robyn St. Cyr Anderson (2000) is Director for Camp Young Judaea Midwest.
Julie Rubinfeld Brodsky (2000) is Assistant Vice President, JUF Young Families at the Jewish United Fund of Chicago. She recently received one of two Samuel A. Goldsmith Award given by the JUF/Federation to exceptional young professionals who have shown outstanding performance at a Jewish agency in the Chicago area.
Rabbi Jonah Geffen (2000) is Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hunter College Hillel.
Rachael Petru Horowitz (2000) is Director of Development at UCLA Hillel.
Shauna (Replane) Leavey (2000) is Program Director for the Jewish Federation of Howard County, Maryland
Rabbi David Roth (2000) is Halakhic Advisor for Minyan in Cambridge, MA. He previously taught at Pardes in Jerusalem.
Naomi Slater (2000) is International Activities Coordinator at Merchavim: The Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
Jami Bachrad (2001) is Program Officer at Diane and Guilford Glazer Philanthropies.
Rachel Brand Charnick (2001) is Director, Northern Area of Hadassah Southern California.
Cantor David Reinwald (2001) is cantor at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, CA.
Emily Sirota (2001) is Director of Admissions and Operations at Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center in Denver.
Miriam Pullman Friedman (2002) is Director of Philanthropic Initiatives at Marcus JCC of Atlanta.
Rabbi Andy Kastner (2002) is Interim Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay (San Francisco area).
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 Faculty at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies and a doctoral student in Religious Studies at Harvard University.
Rabbi Philip Ohriner (2002) and his wife Rabbi Shoshana Ohriner are developing a permaculture-based farmstead Ma’a lot Farms in Los Gatos, CA, that will be dedicated to Jewish and secular environmental education and community-organizing focused on food justice.
Amanda Meyer Radman (2002) is Temple Administrator at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek, CA.
Ruth Schachter (2002) is Director of Operations at Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis.
Sarah Strnad (2002) is Operations Manager at Lab Shul in NYC.
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 Development for the Israel Action Network for the Jewish Federations of North America.
Rabbi Drew Kaplan (2003) is Director of Community Engagement and Development at MOveCINCY, working to strengthen and grow the Modern Orthodox community in Cincinnati.
Ashley Plotnick (2003) is Director of Congregational Learning at Congregation Makom Solel in Highland Park, IL.
Samantha Zadikoff (2003) is Youth and Family Programmer at Beth Hillel Congregation Beth Emunah in Wilmette.
Rabbi Elizabeth Wood Zeller (2003) will begin as Senior Rabbi of Temple Chaverim in Plainview, NY in summer 2019.
Leah Aft (2004) is PJ Baby Connect Coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Emily Walsh Fox (2004) is Director of Jewish Educational Initiatives at Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey.
Sarina Fogel Gerson (2004) is Director of Teen Engagement for the United Jewish Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.
Dave Lizzo (2004) is Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Beth Am in Seattle.
Sam Rodin (2004) is Program Director of Diller Teen Fellows at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.
Amalia Shifriss (2004) is Camper and Community Outreach Director, Camp Bob Waldorf, a camp owned and operated by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles.
Josh Taff (2004) is Director of the Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program for the special needs Jewish community program Etta in southern California.
Henry Bernstein (2005) is a teacher at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in Chicago and HR Generalist at Metropolitan Associates, LLC.
Jessica (Reiter) Gottlieb (2005) is Development Officer at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.
Rabbi Jennifer Gubitz (2005) is Rabbi and Director of Riverway at Temple Israel in Boston.
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 Assistant Director of Religious Education at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C.
Jen Kraus Rosen (2005) is Chief Operating Officer for Moishe Houses.
Stacy Weissman Rudd (2005) is Outreach Network Co-Chair for the ADL of the Chicago region.
Rabbi Sarah Smiley (2005) is the Assistant 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 Stephanie Clark Covitz (2006) is Advanced Chaplain Practitioner at OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital.
Rabbi Michael Kushnick (2006) is Rabbi of Anshai Torah in Plano, TX.
Yossi Nechami (Joe Osgood) (2006) is a writer for the Times of Israel.
Rabbi Philip Sherman (2006) is Associate Rabbi at Beth Elohim in Wellesley Hills, MA.
Matt Albert (2007) is Director of Board Operations at Hillel International in New York.
Joanna Blotner (2007) is Campaign Manager for Paid Family Leave at Jews United for Justice in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Cohen (2007) is 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.
Amanda Dudley Goldstein  (2007) is Program Coordinator at Torch (Torah Outreach Resource Center in Houston.
Iva Litvak (2007) is head of Jewish Studies at Jewish High School of Connecticut.
Samantha Leapman Spolter (2007) is Education and Outreach Coordinator for SHALVA, Chicago’s only Jewish domestic violence agency.
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 and synagogue administrator of Lake Park Synagogue, a modern Orthodox congregation in Milwaukee.
Jody Gansel (2008) is Program Manager at Experiential Jewish Education Network and she is Atlanta-based.
Rabbi Scott Gellman (2008) is Assistant Rabbi at Temple Sholom in Chicago.
Rabbi Jonathan Kleinman (2008) is Chaplain at Hospice of Kansas City.
Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks (2008) is Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee.
Rabbi Daniel Millner (2008) is Rabbi of Congregation Tiferet Israel in Austin, TX.
Cantor Rachel Harrison Rhodes (2008) is the Cantor at Temple Beth 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 Programming and Engagement at Chicago Sinai Congregation.
Nina Loftspring (2009) is Director of Kulani, Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School.
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 this fall.
Rabbi Jenn Queen (2009) was ordained by Hebrew Union College in May 2019 and is Director of Engagement at Harvard Hillel.
Traci Stratford (2009) is Associate Director of Governance and Fundraising for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.
Jessica Bram (2010) joins Rabbi Philip Sherman at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA. She is Director of K-7 Youth Learning.
Brittany Cohen Tzabari (2010) is Midwest Program Coordinator at AIPAC.
Emily Thal Cohen (2010) is Director of Youth Education at Temple Sinai in Atlanta.
Rachel Klein (2010) is Marketing Associate for the Midwest and Florida at The Jewish National Fund (based in Chicago).
Sara Geboff Levitt (2010) is Director of Jewish Life and Learning for Congregation Bnai Emunah in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Jenna Rudy Lowenstein (2010) is a preschool teacher at the Samson Family JCC of Milwaukee.
Lauren (Jacobson) Rosenberg (2010) is Director of Development for the Chicago office of Facing History and Ourselves.
Rabbi Rebecca Schatz (2010) was ordained by American Jewish University and is Assistant Rabbi and Education Director at Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, CA.
Marc Silberstein (2010) is Director of Youth and Family Engagement at Ahavath Achim Synagogue Atlanta.
Mark Swick (2010) is Jewish Community Liaison for the Jewish Studies Program at College of Charleston and Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina.
Rabbi Jessica Wainer (2010) is Director of Congregational Learning at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.
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 writing and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University in the Netherlands writing a book on the non-Yahwistic deities 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.
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 Development Office for Ramah in the Rockies.
Lauren Rosenblum (2011) is Development Assistant at LA Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Rabbi Rachel Silverstein Schmelkin (2011) is Rabbi Educator at Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA where she supported her congregants and the community during the August, 2017 violent and deadly Unite the Right rally.
Carly Valfer (2011) is Education Director at Congregation B’nai Tivkvah in Deerfield, IL.
Rabbi Benjamin Gurin (2012) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2019 and will be pursuing a Ph.D. next year. He is a teaching assistant for 4 Jewish Studies courses in 2019-2020 for the Jewish Studies Program at USC.
Hannah Michelson (2012) is the Web Developer at the JCC of Kansas City.
Aela Sapir (2012) completed a master’s degree in Education and the Secondary Transition to Teaching Program at IU and is teaching in Yeruham, Israel.
Marisa Briefman (2013) completed an M.A. in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership and is Annual Giving Manager at Jewish Social Services in the Washington, D.C. area. 
Julia Lustig (2013) completed an M.A. in Jewish Education/Educational Leadership in Communal Settings at JTS and is a nursery school teacher at the JCC Manhattan.
Cantor Julie Womack Staple (2013) was ordained as a cantor by the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Program at Hebrew Union College and is the Associate Cantor at Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL.
Ethan Bennett (2014) is National Organizing Director for OneVoice on Campus.
Rabbi David Bloom (2014) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2019 and will begin pre-med courses at Bryn Mawr College next year in preparation for medical school.
Rachel Crouch (2014) was Youth Programs Administrator at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY and began the Masters in Jewish Education with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College in summer 2018.
Bari Finkel (2014) produced English content for the podcast “Israel Story”.
Maya Ohcana (2014) is Marketing Associate at Shorashim.
Travis Yon (2014) is Liaison Officer for the Israel Defense Forces.
Zachary Plesent and Austin Zoot are rabbinical students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Adam Blue (2015) is JCC Maccabi Israel Program Manager at the JCC Foundation in NYC.
Sasha Dominguez (2015) was Director of Community and Youth Engagement at Temple Menorah in Miami Beach, Florida, and is now pursuing an M.A. in Jewish education at HUC.
Jodie Goldberg (2015) completed an M.A. in Jewish Education at The Davidson School at JTS and is Teen Engagement Consultant and Project Manager at The Jewish Education Project in NYC.
Trudy Miller (2015) completed a master’s degree in Israel Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is Program Associate at Shorashim.
Amanda Phillips (2015) completed the M.A. in Jewish Education at The Davidson School at JTS and is Assistant Director at the Lese Center for Living Judaism for grades 7-12 at Central Synagogue in Manhattan.
Rachel Sherman (2015) is New York Hub manager of OneTable, a nonprofit for 21-39ish Jews to experience and learn about Shabbat dinner. She completed her M.A. in Jewish Education from JTS.
Joelle Swatez (2015) is Development Associate at Hillel at the University of Chicago. She is pursuing master’s degree in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.
Briana Felsen (2016) is an AIPAC Fellow in Fort Lauderdale.
Bari Goldman (2016) is Director of Communications at the University of Illinois Hillel.
Frankie Salzman (2016) was Program Associate for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation in Atlanta and is now a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR.
Megan Zimmer (2016) is Business Development Manager for the Jewish Council for Youth Services in Chicago.
Julia Laibstain (2017) was Yozma (Inclusion) Madricha for Nativ gap year program in Israel in 2017-2018 and is a student at Pardes in Jerusalem.
Becky Mann (2017) is a cantorial student at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC.
David Solkowitz (2017) is pursuing master’s degrees at Hebrew College in Boston while serving as part-time middle school youth advisor and teacher’s assistant at Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA.
Shayna Goodman (2018) is an Accounting Associate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Hannah Iskow (2018) is a PELE Fellow pursuing a master’s degree in Constructivist Approaches in Jewish Education at Yeshiva University.
Talia Plofsky (2018) is Associate, Political Outreach at AJC Global.
Shayna Plotnik (2018) is a student in the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at JTS.
Raya Seidman (2018) is the Coordinator of Youth Learning and Engagement at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL.
Harry Aaronson (2019) is a Jewish Community Studies Research Specialist at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.
Mina Shirazi (2019) is participating in the MASA Israel Fellows Program in Rishon Lezion in Israel.
Margo Wagner (2019) is working as an Education Fellow for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life before going to cantorial school.
Tova Zimmer (2019) is the Victim Advocacy Coordinator for the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

 

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.

 

7/11/19