The Jean & Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies is celebrating the Class of 2022, consisting of eighteen minors, six majors, and three graduate certificate students. Several graduates will be continuing their education or seeking jobs in, law, finance, business, public health, and other diverse career paths.

David Zwick is the recipient of the Judaic Studies Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in recognition of his exceptional academic performance and significant contribution to Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Grace Roberts was selected as the first runner up for the award.

This year’s Marshall Weinberg prize, given annually to an outstanding graduate student who is engaged in writing a dissertation, was awarded to Maggie Carlton, noting both the originality of her dissertation project, “Warring of the Classes: Jewish-American and African-American Mothers between World Wars,” and the significance of her contribution to Jewish studies. In her nomination, Professor Deborah Dash Moore highlighted how Maggie draws upon the bodies of scholarship of both African American and modern Jewish history as she “seek[s] to rewrite understanding of gendered processes of minority group acculturation and adaptation to American white Protestant society.” The selection committee was deeply impressed with the ways in which the dissertation project goes beyond a comparative study, instead creating a kind of joint history of gender, class, and race as it plays out of two Detroit communities.

Sam Shuman was awarded the Frankel Center's Bernstein Dissertation Award for his extraordinary dissertation, “Cutting Out the Middleman: The Diamond Industry & the Politics of Displacement in a European Port City.” This impressive study focused on the global network of Hasidic diamond brokers, and involved field work over two years in the most important nodes of the industry: Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, and New York City. By accessing the industry at a moment he identifies as a profound rupture due to changes in regulation and competition, Shuman sheds light on how a group of Hasidic traders are trained to interact with local populations, and how shifts in the modern trade test the limits of solidarity within the community, just as they reveal the sometimes paradoxical nature of global capitalism.

Rachel Leibovich won the the Outstanding Yiddish Student Award which is awarded to a student whose classwork and commitment to Yiddish stands out in recognition of her exceptional contribution in her Yiddish classes.

Graduates with degrees in Judaic studies are moving on to an array of diverse career paths, benefiting from the education they received at the Frankel Center.

“While I have always felt a strong connection to Jewish traditions, I never understood where they came from and why they were important. Being in the Judaic studies department opened my eyes to what it means to be Jewish not only in America, but around the world and throughout history. As such, I am now more in touch with my Jewish identity than ever before.” – Noah Fisher, Judaic Studies minor, Winter 2022

“Because of the tight-knit, collaborative environment the Judaic Studies department provided me, I found myself able to delve deeper into my Jewish identity and learn more about the history of the Jewish people. While I learned a lot of the history, I was also enriched with knowledge regarding modern day Judaism.” – Melanie Beal, Judaic Studies minor, Fall 2021

“I thought I knew a lot about Judaism, but the Judaic Studies department taught me that Jewish knowledge far exceeds what you learn in Jewish day school. There is so much Jewish history, modernity, and culture within the JS department, and every class is so fun to explore. The professors in the department truly care about their students and their wellbeing and go out of their way to develop relationships with their students.” –Caroline Shrock, Judaic Studies minor, Winter 2022

The 2022 graduates join a distinguished group of Frankel Center alumni. We wish them the best of luck!


Class of 2022

Graduate Certificate

Nadav Linial

Joshua Scott

Jason Wagner



Emily Anfang

Maxwell Russ

Tori Spector

Jillian Sturim

Kathryn Todd

David Zwick



Melanie Beal

Sophie Einbund

Noah Ente

Noah Fisher

Jordan Galperin

Sawyer Howard

Emme Kierstein

Joshua Kornblum

Ilana Moffet

Allison Monto

Sarah Pomerantz

Josh Robbins

Grace Roberts

Jacob Schuman

Ariana Schwartzberg

Caroline Shrock

Elizabeth Young

Samantha Zuckerberg


If you have not already, make sure to visit the 2022 Judaic Studies Graduation website here: The ceremony recording and photos can be found there so please check them out!