The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies had seven Judaic Studies majors, eight minors, and two graduate certificates walking in University of Michigan’s spring commencement on April 29. Five of the graduates will go on to graduate school, while others have already secured employment or are still considering their options.

Besides their focus in Judaic Studies, our students studied subjects including Cognitive Science, History, and Psychology. Rachel Klein of Ferndale, who majored in Judaic Studies and International Studies, remarked, “Judaic Studies gave me skills to think critically about multiple areas in my life. Although I was learning about specific areas in Judaism, Jewish history, etc., these skills can be applied to other areas in my life.” Klein has been hired as a Community Organizer for Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES), which trains religious leaders to advocate for social justice in Metro Detroit.

Sharo Costa, who is also graduating with a major in Judaic Studies, is planning on attending graduate school to study International and Comparative Education. Costa recalled, “Deciding to become a Judaic Studies major has been the most fulfilling decision I've made, during my time at Michigan - everyday, I am intellectually challenged by my professors and peers, and cherished by the many friends I've come to know.” Costa, who was born in Kanyakumari, India, and lived in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States, added, “I have been able to learn so much about a country whose narrative is often left out, in curricula in the Middle East, and the classes I've taken have greatly expanded my perspective.”

Each year the Frankel Center honors a graduate with the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. The students who receive this award must be graduating with at least a 3.8 GPA and are recommended by Judaic Studies faculty members. This April the award was presented to Seif-Eldeen Basheer Saqallah of West Bloomfield. In endorsement of Saqallah, Devi Mays, Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies, commented, “Seif has been the most engaged student I’ve had at the University of Michigan, regularly coming in to my office hours to discuss class material in greater depth, actively contributing to classroom discussions in an informed and passionate way. His presence in class and in office hours was always stimulating, and the written material that he produced was consistently the highest quality in the class, both in terms of writing and in terms of his analytical abilities.” Saquallah will be attending University of Michigan Law School this fall.