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. 

Gila Silverman, Scholar-in-Residence

Gila Silverman

Gila Silverman is a cultural anthropologist, working at the intersections of religion, medicine and healing. Her research highlights the ways in which ethnographic methods and anthropological theories can contribute to our understandings of Jews and Judaism, and can shed light on the complex, messy, and often contradictory, lived experiences of American Jewishness. She earned a doctorate in Sociocultural and Medical Anthropology, as well as a Master’s in Public Health, from the University of Arizona, where she is currently affiliated with the Department of Religious Studies, and the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. She has published academic articles on Jewish rituals of healing, the complexity of Jewish belief of God, American Jewish identity, and ethnographic fieldwork. Her personal essays have won awards from the American Jewish Press Association and the Arizona Press Club. 

In addition, she has worked for over 25 years on issues of community development and social justice in both Israel and the United States. She has experience in qualitative research, program development and evaluation, and grants management, including previously serving as project coordinator for the Bat Mitzvah Project at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She was a founding member of Anthropologists for Dialogue on Israel and Palestine, and helped lead the successful fight against BDS at the American Anthropological Association. 

While at HBI, she will be conducting research on women and kaddish. This project brings together psychosocial theories of grief, social history, ethnography, and personal experiences, to examine the gendered nature of Jewish citizenship and the relationship between individual and social memory.