Samuel Hopper is an MA student in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program at Brandeis. His bachelor's degree at Sarah Lawrence College concentrated in Jewish Studies and English Literature. His research focuses on mystical literature, particularly Hasidic writings and the developing philosophy of Lubavitch. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys cooking and historic crafts.
Julianna Jackson is a master’s student in the joint Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program. Raised in Seattle, she pursued her lifelong passion for politics at Western Washington University. After graduating with a bachelor’s in Political Science in 2018, she moved to Jerusalem to study at the Mayanot Women’s Program. Her main research interest is analyzing the role of intergenerational trauma in the continuation of conflict, namely amongst Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Outside of school, she loves to paint and host Shabbat dinners with friends.
Claudia Politanski is a Brazilian lawyer by training, having attended University of São Paulo Law School for her bachelor degree and University of Virgina Law School for her LLM. She is also a former EVP of Itaú, Brazil’s largest bank. After retiring from her successful career of over three decades in 2021, she decided to pursue one of her lifelong passions of studying history. She now joins the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis to deepen her knowledge on Jewish history and foster her dream of becoming a historian.
With a lifelong passion for history, Leighton received her bachelor's in History with a minor in Jewish Studies at the University of CA, Santa Cruz. She is thrilled to continue her education at Brandeis, and aims to achieve her PhD after completing her MA degree. Her research focuses on Mizrahi history in the late 20th century, particularly analyzing the state and social discrimination against Mizrahim in Israel. She will be focusing on Mizrahi resistance and agency in the face of oppression, namely the Israeli Black Panther Party, and researching the impact of communism and transnational politics. In her free time, Leighton enjoys reading for pleasure and digital and film photography.
Benjamin Timbers is a Master's Student in the combined NEJS-Hornstein Program, focused on Jewish texts and practices and how they adapt throughout history. His emphasis is on the stories in the Tanakh and their different meanings for generations of Jews thousands of years apart.