Meet Our Master's Students
A native Texan, born with great curiosity and a love for learning, Dana Brattlof received her undergraduate degree from Rice University. For the next sixteen years, as a Certified Public Accountant, she served her community by assisting various organizations with their financial needs. It was here that she found a passion for people and their past. Yet not to be bound by vocation or location, Dana's interest in the lives of others led her to investigate the various cultures found around the world and to obtain a Master's Degree in Ancient and Classical History. Having become enamored with the people of the ancient Near East, the place where cultures come together, she has now joined with Brandeis University in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Focusing on the Bible and the ancient Near East, Dana hopes to find a future in researching, writing and teaching with regard to the people of the past.Email Dana
Mikhael Reuven is a dual-MA student in NEJS and Jewish Professional Leadership (Hornstein). He was born and raised in London, England, and studied for his MA 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 an MA candidate in Bible and the Ancient Near East. She holds a BA in Classical Studies and arrived at Brandeis from research in Harvard's Comparative Literature Department. 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.
Carey Slaeker received his BA 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 Spyra is a dual MA 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 Weinstein received a BSJ 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 of 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.