Graduate Students

Although the Program in Judaic Studies is designed for undergraduates, there are many graduate students at Princeton who are pursuing topics relevant to Judaic Studies within their home departments.  At the present time, these include Anthropology, Architecture, Comparative Literature, English, Germanic Languages and Literature, History, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Politics, and Religion.


Baharak Beizaei joined the Department of German in 2017. Her primary research interests are at the intersection of philosophy and literature, with particular emphasis on the idea of prose in Hegel and Benjamin. Other preoccupations include theories of knowledge as they bear on tradition and mediality, the afterlife of the Frankfurt School, psychoanalytic theory, Jewish philosophy, philosophies of history (Marx & Nietzsche), Trauerspiel and the nexus of sovereignty, law, and fiction, and inevitably, Proust.

Shira Billet is completing a dissertation on the German Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen, entitled “The Sources of Sociality: Hermann Cohen, German Idealism, and the Science of Judaism.” The dissertation offers a new reading of Hermann Cohen’s work, focused on the social concepts in Cohen’s philosophy. The project highlights intellectual continuities between Cohen’s Neo-Kantianism and German Idealism, as well as Cohen’s debts to Jewish scholarship emerging out of nineteenth-century Wissenschaft des Judentums (the Science of Judaism). Shira’s research and teaching interests include: modern Jewish thought, modern Western philosophy of religion, intellectual history, Jewish ethics, ethical theory, religious ethics, history of ethics, philosophy of law, Jewish law, legal theory, religion and

Elena Dugan is a doctoral candidate in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean subfield. Prior to Princeton, she received an MSc from the University of Edinburgh in Biblical Studies, and a BA from McGill University in Religious Studies, with a minor in Arabic. Elena is interested in the influence of Second Temple Jewish thought on Late Antiquity and Early Islam, especially as reflected in the reception of scientific and apocalyptic texts. Much of her recent work has focused on the Book of Enoch, and the development and reception of its astronomical themes and models, both in later versions of the text and in other intellectual traditions.

Djair Dias Filho joined the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield in 2017. Being broadly interested in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins, he hopes to concentrate on the study of the Graeco- Roman world in its Jewish and pagan expressions, as well as on the ways both of these cultures may intersect not only with each other, but also with New Testament and early Christian contexts. One particular interest has been Philo of Alexandria. As a member of the Portuguese translation project of Philo’s works, Djair has devoted a considerable part of his research working on this Hellenistic Jewish author, and plans to use his massive corpus as a starting point to explore a variety of issues pertaining to the disciplines of philosophy, biblical interpretation, classical reception studies, and early Christianity.

Eliav Grossman Religion

Rebekah Haigh, Religion

Jonathan Henry came to the Religion Department in 2014, where he studies developments in Christianity and Judaism, as well as their broader contexts in the ancient and late antique Mediterranean. Jonathan is currently researching the ways authors claim knowledge and control of supernatural entities, employing these figures as rhetorical instruments to establish boundaries of identity, and to fortify social cohesion and adherence to community standards of ethics and morality. He has served as a research assistant to Peter Schäfer in the topic of patristic uses of Enoch, and in the final stages of theToledot Yeshu project.

Judah Isseroff began his studies in the Religion, Ethics, and Politics subfield of the Religion Department in 2016. He is primarily interested in conceptions of Jewish citizenship in the diaspora and Israel, specifically the public role of religion and religious discourse. Prior to coming to Princeton, Judah worked in campaign politics and received a B.A. in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College in 2013.

Isaac (Yitz) Landes began his studies in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield of the Religion Department in 2016. Prior to arriving at Princeton, Yitz completed a BA in Talmud and Halakha and Religion and an MA in Talmud and Halakha at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While studying for his MA, Yitz participated in Hebrew University's Program for the Study of Late Antiquity and was a fellow in its Advanced School for The Study of the Humanities. His MA thesis, a study of a liturgical text that first took shape during Late Antiquity, dealt with Jewish approaches to ritual following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Yitz continues to be interested in the history of liturgy and ritual, and he has recently begun to work on the religious history of the Jews during the 6th-8th centuries.

Mark Letteney joined Princeton's program in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity in 2014 after receiving a MAR in the History of Christianity from Yale Divinity School and degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests cluster around elite Christians in the Roman Empire, relations between Christians and Roman Traditionalists, and the legislation of “Orthodoxy” in Late Antiquity. He is a staff member with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, focusing on excavation of the Roman 6th Legion “Ferrata” castra in Legio, Israel. Adjacent interests include papyrology and textual criticism.

Elias Pitegoff, German

Yoav Schaefer, Religion

Charlotte F. Werbe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of French & Italian. Her dissertation, entitled “After the Fact: Encounters in Holocaust Testimony,” focuses on the testimonial works of Charlotte Delbo, Claude Lanzmann, Art Spiegelman, and Esther Shalev-Gerz. Charlotte’s project examines the politics of proximity and distance in the production and reception of Holocaust testimony by analyzing how voices are staged in these works. She also studies Yiddish language and literature and just completed the translation of a Holocaust memoir, Days of Terror, with the support of the Yiddish Book Center.

Taylor Paige Winfield is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology, with a minor in Anthropology, from Stanford University (2013). After undergraduate, she studied rabbinic law and Jewish mysticism at Mechon Pardes and Yeshivat Hadar. During this time, she also researched the immersion experience of newly orthodox Hasidic women in Jerusalem. Taylor is currently interested in the mechanisms through which Jewish organizations convince secular Jews to become more religious and how these techniques are employed on college campuses. Additionally, she is exploring how the theories of early Jewish Sociologists were influenced by the Torah and Talmud.