Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Degree Program, JTS: PhD in Hebrew Bible and Its Interpretation
Education: Master of Arts in Bible and the Ancient Near East, Hebrew University (Rothberg International School); Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary; Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Religion, Duke University
After JTS (I plan to) . . . become a professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish studies at a college or university.
Extracurricular/Cocurricular Activities: Both the Bible program and the Graduate School Student Organization have frequent informal lunch gatherings where professors and students present original research or lead group discussions on future topics for research. I also participate in the Masora Chug, a study group that focuses on understanding the Masoretic notations in the Bible. My involvement in these groups has shown me what research projects my professors and fellow students are currently working on, and has helped me to receive critical feedback for my own research.
Favorite Class at JTS: Although it's hard to choose just one, I would have to say that I have most enjoyed Introduction to Text Study, taught by Dr. Eliezer Diamond, the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics. It provided me with a fantastic orientation to all kinds of rabbinic literature and the cultures that produced this corpus. I also really appreciated the way he explained the complexities of rabbinic thought present in specific texts.
Best JTS Experience: I like the community feel of JTS, especially among my fellow graduate students and the faculty. Many graduate students have helped me feel at home at JTS (and in New York City). Similarly, I find that professors always seem to have time for students—they are concerned not just with our academic success, but also with our happiness and well-being in the city.
Three Favorite Things About Living in New York City:
1. The diversity. I can converse with people from all over the world (and keep up my modern Hebrew and Spanish language skills), and eat some great food at the same time. I also appreciate the diversity of religious experiences available in the city.
2. The parks. Before coming to New York City, I was worried that I would not be able to experience nature on a regular basis. I am happy that my concerns were unfounded. I especially love my local park, Inwood Hill Park. It has the last remaining salt marsh in Manhattan and some nice wooded paths too.
3. The academic community. I have already taken classes at New York University and attended events at Union Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, in addition to studying at JTS. I hope to take a class or two at Columbia University or Yeshiva University in the future. Besides The JTS Library, I often use the library at Columbia or the New York Public Library. I absolutely love being at JTS because I have easy access to one of the most diverse academic communities in the world.