Meet the Interns

Every summer, HBI welcomes interns from across the country and world who complete original research related to the HBI mission of fresh thinking about Jews and gender worldwide and support the work of scholars affiliated with HBI and Brandeis. During the eight-week program, the interns also attend educational lunch sessions with scholars and visit Jewish sites of interest in the Greater Boston area. The Gilda Slifka HBI Summer Internship is supported by a generous gift from Gilda Slifka. Meet our interns. 

2024 Interns

Sonja BelkinSonja Belkin (she/hers) graduated from the London School of Economics in 2024, with a B.Sc. in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, and is going on to pursue an MPhil in computational psychology at Cambridge this October. This summer, given her interest in how feminism interrogates sex work, she's excited to assist Dr. Ornit Barkai, an HBI Research Associate, in creating a database to further analyze the buried history of the Jewish sex trade in Argentina. For her personal project, she hopes to write a short collection of essays which weave together cultural criticism, psychology, and feminist theory to focus on topics like neuroticism, the future of radical feminist activism, and the potential of technology to be a liberatory female space. Having been brought up in London, Belkin's thrilled to spend a summer living across the pond!

Rachel BlochRachel Bloch (they/she) is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. They have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master’s in library science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to rabbinical school, Bloch worked as an information architect and was a full time parent, and has learned with Drisha and Svara and has written for the 929 Project. They are very excited to learn with all of the amazing scholars and interns at HBI this summer. Bloch’s independent summer project concerns the experiences of Orthodox converts seeking religious divorce in the United States, and will be working with Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, HBI Director, researching how secular courts view “religious upbringing contracts” in Hasidic couples where one parent has left the community. Bloch loves Gemara, swimming, dogs, and bookstores.

Gabi Chiquiar-RabinovichGabi Chiquiar-Rabinovich (she/her) is a rising sophomore at Brandeis University where she studies English literature and Judaic Studies. She also serves on the boards of the Brandeis Organization of Sephardic Students, the Brandeis Orthodox Organization, and Shira Chadasha, the partnership minyan at Brandeis. She comes from Brookline MA, and is working with Dr. Rivka Neriya-Ben Shahar, HBI Research Associate, on her work on Amish and ultra-Orthodox women in the modern world. Chiquiar-Rabinovich’s personal project will focus on the roles of barren women in biblical texts.

Ellie GreenbergEllie Greenberg (she/her/hers) is a senior at Kenyon College, majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in History and English. She is originally from Rockville, Maryland. At Kenyon, she serves as a research assistant to Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Krista Dalton, compiling bibliographic information for her upcoming book project on rabbis and expertise in antiquity. This summer, Greenberg will contribute to Brandeis Professor Emerita Joyce Antler's project on the women around Louis Brandeis and conduct original research on radical Jewish masculinity and the podcasting manosphere. She looks forward to collaborating with prominent scholars in Jewish women's and gender studies.

Meghan ParadisMeghan Paradis (she/her) is a History Ph.D. candidate and doctoral minor in Jewish Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. She is from Florence, MA. Paradis is a historian of gender and emotion in 20th century Germany and Austria, and is writing her dissertation on the emergence of empathy as an idealized approach to girls in German-Jewish cultures, and the devaluation of shame in the early 20th century. Her dissertation suggests that the work of Jewish feminists, including Eugenie Schwarzwald and Bertha Pappenheim, was instrumental in facilitating this cultural transformation. At HBI, she is completing her chapter, “The Jewish Daughter at School”, which concerns the role girls’ schools played in reshaping of adults’ expectations of Jewish girls’ emotion expression and girls’ affective experiences more generally. Paradis is also assisting Brandeis Professor Laura Jockusch with her book project, "Reassessing Jewish Revenge Before and During the Holocaust".

Gabby PeralesGabby Perales (she/her) is originally from Sumter, SC and is a rising senior at the College of Charleston where she is pursuing degrees in Psychology and Jewish Studies with a minor in Communication. Perales will serve as the Fall 2024 Public History Intern in collaboration between the Zucker Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies and the Pink Triangle Legacies Project (PTL). Perales is working as a Gilda Slifka Research Intern at Brandeis University, where she works with Dr. Samantha Pickette, HBI Research Associate, on her project, “Bridging the JAP: Funny Jewish Women and the Reframing of Jewish Femininity in American Pop Culture.” While working at HBI, Perales hopes to research traditionally feminine-coded forms of resistance during World War II, an often-overlooked part of history.

Naomi Piper-PellNaomi Piper-Pell (they/them) is a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College, where they double major in French and Religion. At school, they’re a peer writing mentor, Jewish Student Union social chair, and WMHC radio DJ. This summer, Piper-Pell is working with Professor Rachel B. Gross, HBI Research Associate, to transcribe letters between writer Mary Antin and Gould Farms, a therapeutic community in Western Massachusetts (not far from MHC!). Independently, they’re interested in analyzing Yiddish film, particularly in relation to depictions of women and femininity. Born and raised in Sacramento, Piper-Pell  is excited to continue exploring New England and connecting with the other interns this summer. After HBI, they will be spending their junior year abroad studying at the Institut Catholique in Pairs.

Layla RudyLayla Rudy (she/her) is a recent graduate from Concordia University in Montreal, QC, Canada. She received her Honors B.A. in Judaic Studies and a minor in Human Rights.  She has a strong passion for the study of women and Judaism, Sephardic and Mizrahi history and identity, and Jewish food history and practices in the modern North American context. This summer at HBI, she will be working with Rav Rachel Adelman of Hebrew College, on her project, "Daughters in Danger, from the Hebrew Bible to Modern Midrash". Inspired by her undergraduate thesis on the kosher industry in North America and its impact on women’s autonomy in Judaism, Rudy’s own research this summer will focus on the recent changes in rabbinic standards for koshering fresh produce and water — and how this, too, impacts women’s authority in Jewish practice. Outside of academic pursuits, Rudy enjoys writing, thrifting clothes and Jewish books, and baking and cooking traditional Syrian Jewish food.