Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Kerala and Kibbutz: Ruby of Cochin, India’s Jews, and Israel

Undergraduate/Graduate Project

Project Information

Professor Bindu Malieckal, St. Anselm College, specializes in Early Modern Literature and Postcolonial Literature in terms of the representations of race, religion, and women. Her current project deals with the Jewish women of Kerala, India, with a specific focus on the story of Ruby Daniel, a Malayali of Cochin Jewish heritage. Dr. Malieckal’s thesis will show that by superimposing the deep roots of Ruby Daniel’s Kochi Jewish community (Kochi is a city in the state of Kerala) on Kerala’s equally ancient ethnic Malayali identity--characterized by tolerance, inclusiveness, commercial interests, and impartial gender relations in property ownership and familial links-- women living in Kerala possessed unique agency, seen through their educational and professional accomplishments. Malayali Jewish women like Ruby continued to persevere beyond Kerala when they moved to Israel and elsewhere.

Dr. Malieckal requires an intern to assist with researching library databases for Hebrew scholarship on India's Jews. The intern will carry out online research, transcription, translation, and summaries of the materials.

Profile of Appropriate Candidate

  • Interest in Jews of India in the diaspora
  • Fluency in Modern Hebrew including an ability to read, transcribe and translate Hebrew scholarship
  • Strong library research skills including an ability to search for Hebrew scholarship
  • Lucid writing skills and ability to synthesize scholarly arguments
  • Ability to meet deadlines and complete assignments independently