2016 Scholars-in-Residence

Past Scholars-in-Residence

Current Scholars

The HBI scholar-in-residence program offers distinguished scholars, writers and communal professionals the opportunity to produce significant work in the area of Jewish studies and gender issues while being freed from their regular institutional responsibilities. HBI scholars-in-residence receive a monthly stipend (for up to 5 months), office space at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, and the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with HBI staff and faculty at Brandeis and surrounding institutions. Scholars-in-residence contribute to the life of the HBI by immersing in the institute’s weekly activities, participating in HBI conferences and programs, and delivering a public lecture. 

Randa Abbas, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence
Arab Academic College and Western Galilee College 
"Jewish and Arab Women’s Perception of the 'Other': Opportunities for Dialogue and Understanding in the United States and Israel"

Randa AbbasRanda Abbas, Ph.D. received a doctorate in Education from Bar Ilan University in 2006 with a dissertation entitled, "The Role of the school system in shaping the personality, identity and level of citizenship of its students: An ethnography case study in two Druze high schools." She is a Druze Israeli Women who lives in Nahariya in the north of Israel. Abbas is the Academic Dean of the Arab Academic College in Haifa, and a lecturer in the Education Department at Western Galilee College in Akko, Israel. Her primary research interests include: Education in a multicultural society, education, language & identity, generational gaps in traditional societies, gender studies, and stereotypes and perception of the other.

S.J. Crasnow, Scholar-in-Residence
Rockhurst University
"Envisioning a Queer Judaism: Negotiating Normativity & Innovating Tradition."

S.J. Crasnow

S.J. Crasnow, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Their* research focuses on the religious lives of contemporary queer and transgender (trans) Jews in the US. Dr. Crasnow's article on innovations to mikveh ritual for trans Jews, "On Transition: Normative Judaism and Trans Innovation," was published in 2017 by the "Journal of Contemporary Religion." They are working on an article that covers a variety of topics. This includes what Judaism can offer the secular world in the way of trans-affirming spaces and logics, and the concept of "passing" as gentile or as straight/cisgender and its limitations, the links between racism, anti-semitism, and white supremacy.

*S.J. Crasnow's pronouns are they/them/theirs.

Sara Airoldi, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence
Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"Two worlds: Tatjiana Schucht and the Jewish Question in Italy"

Sara Airoldi

Sara Airoldi, Ph.D., earned a doctorate in History from the State University of Milan in 2016 with a dissertation titled "Nation within motherland. Zionism and the challenge of identity in Italy 1918-1938." She lives in Jerusalem, where she is the Posen Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her project deals with the conceptualization of otherness. She elaborates on anti-Jewish prejudices in rationalist and ecumenical ideologies, such as Liberalism and Socialism, in Western Europe.