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Graduate Representatives

Dan Berman
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Iddo Haklai 
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Stefany Truesdell
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Meet Our Master's Students


Dana BrattlofA native Texan, Dana Brattlof received her business management undergraduate degree from Rice University. While at Rice, through her coursework in religion and history, she became interested in the historical and cultural context of the biblical narrative. After a career as a CPA and raising three boys, Dana went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Ancient and Classical History from American Public University where she graduated with honors. Her coursework focused on the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible and intertestamental time periods. Her Masters thesis, titled, Christianity: A Religion Raised within a Roman Empire investigated the impact of Roman politics on the formation of Christianity. Dana has entered the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program at Brandeis to further her studies on the historical contexts of the Hebrew Bible. She hopes to continue writing and teaching curriculum on the historical and cultural context of the Hebrew Bible and leading study groups throughout the Middle East. 

Mollie FeldmanMollie Feldman graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2011 with a degree in Philosophy. Mollie’s senior capstone project addressed the question of what makes a group continuous over time, focusing her research on the continuity of the Jewish people. After her BA, Mollie worked for three years as youth director at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. In 2014, Mollie received a Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults from Hebrew Union College, joining a cohort of Jewish leaders passionate about professionalizing the field of experiential education. Most recently, Mollie was part of the Experiential Educators program at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Mollie’s love for Jewish experiential education is largely inspired by her 2009 participation in Brandeis Collegiate Institute, where she returned as a staff member in summers 2014 and 2015. Mollie is excited to expand her capabilities as an educator through a deeper understanding of Jewish history and the Jewish institutional landscape.

Ariel Pardo graduated with a B.A. in anthropology from UCLA. Ariel PardoShe currently ​​works as the OU-JLIC co-director at the Hillel at Brandeis with her husband Rabbi David Pardo. After living in Israel for 3 years and studying Hebrew texts since childhood, she decided to pursue a master's degree in Near Eastern and Jewish Studies. Her particular interests are Second Temple Judaism and Rabbinic Theology.

Mikhael ReuvenMikhael Reuven is a dual-M.A. student in NEJS and Jewish Professional Leadership (Hornstein).  He was born and raised in London, England, and studied for his M.A. in Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.  Mikhael is a graduate of the Liberal Zionist youth movement LJY-Netzer, for whom he worked after graduating, and an active volunteer for Limmud, for whom he currently co-chairs the publications team.  Since making aliyah to Israel, he has spent time learning Hebrew at ulpan, studying Jewish text at the Conservative Yeshiva, tour guiding for NFTY, and volunteering as a goat farmer on Kibbutz Neot Semadar.

Alexandra Scarf is a M.A. candidate in Bible and the Ancient Near East. She holds a B.A. in Classical Studies and arrived at Brandeis from research in Harvard’s Comparative Literature Dept. Alexandra is interested in pursuing the philosophical problem of time within the ancient Near East, its ideological and ontological components, and its later reception. Her research fields include modern classical reception, Middle Egyptian, Biblical literature and literary temporality. Her languages are Latin, Hebrew, Middle Egyptian and German.

Tamar Shachaf SchneiderTamar Shachaf Schneider hails from Tel Aviv, Israel. She has a B.A in Political Science and Communications and dreams about being a Jewish leader.  She has traveled extensively around the world to Thailand, Canada, Laos, New Zealand and the U.S.  These experiences and attending a Chicago-based conference dedicated to the meaning and future of Zionism and Israel Education have confirmed that she would like to devote her career to working with young Jewish people around the world. She is very excited to be joining the dual-degree NEJS/Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis this fall. 

Carey SlaekerCarey Slaeker received his B.A. from the University of Washington in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies with a minor in Greek. During this time, he studied Biblical Hebrew, Classical Greek, and Ugaritic. Though he began with a primary fascination of the language and culture of the Hebrew Bible, the literature of Ugarit broadened Carey's perspective revealing a view of the ancient Near East that brought the Hebrew Bible into an entirely new focus. Carey will continue to expand his understanding of the cultures and languages in this region of the world in an effort to better understand the formation, development, and context of the Hebrew Bible.  Carey enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, and one of his least favorite things to do is write about himself in the third person.

Joanna SpyraJoanna Spyra is a dual M.A. student in NEJS and the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. She was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from Jagiellonian University and Cracow University of Economics where she completed two Master’s theses entitled  "The image of the JCC as a Jewish Organisation In the US and in Poland - A Comparative Study of JCC Manhattan and JCC Krakow” and "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”. During her time at college she earned academic scholarships to study abroad in Seville (Universidad Pablo de Olavide), Chicago (Roosevelt University) and New York City (Columbia University). Before coming to Brandeis, Joanna worked at the JCC Kraków where she helped enrich cultural and educational programing and coordinated  JCC Global international environmental project, Adam Adamah, between three Jewish communities: Milwaukee, Krakow, and Jerusalem. She also has work experiences as an intern in the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Polish Tourism Organization in Berlin. She is interested in studying the contrasts between American and European Jewry. Joanna speaks fluent Polish, Spanish and English and has growing skills in Hebrew, Yiddish and German. In her free time she enjoys dancing flamenco and traveling abroad.

Gabriel WeinsteinGabriel Weinstein received a B.S.J. in Journalism from Ohio University, where he was a Jeanette Grasselli-Brown Cutler Scholar. He worked at newspapers in Northern New Mexico after completing his undergraduate degree and won awards from the New Mexico Press Association for his coverage of sports, the environment, education and public housing. He discovered his love for American Jewish History as a History Department intern at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life.  His research interests are American Jewish History and the History of American Jewish Education.