The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life engages scholars, curators, librarians, archivists, and museum specialists. Follow the links below to learn more about our team. 

To go directly to a specific entry, begin typing a name (e.g. "Haas," "Jewish Community Center," or "Emanu-El") in the filter box below. To search for a name or term that may not be included in a collection's title, use the search box at the top of this page, or go to the advanced search page.

Francesco Spagnolo

Curator & Associate Adjunct Professor

Francesco Spagnolo is a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music, and digital media. At the University of California, Berkeley, he is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music and the Center for Jewish Studies. He is also an affiliated faculty with the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, the Institute of European Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Religious Diversity Cluster of the Haas Institute. Dr. Spagnolo is also a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome, and a Scholar-in-Residence with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco. Among his publications are Italian Jewish Musical Traditions (Rome-Jerusalem, 2001) and The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture (New York, 2014).

Deborah Banks

Director of Development

Deborah recently joined the Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley as Director of Development for The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and the Center for Jewish Studies. She previously served as Director of Leadership Giving at the San Francisco Opera, and Director of Development at Aurora Theatre Company. She has dedicated her career as a development professional and consultant, serving organizations in the arts, education, and social services.

Ernest Jolly

Exhibitions Specialist

Ernest Jolly has over 15 years of exhibition and collection management experience, including work at the Oakland Museum of California, UC Davis Design Museum and the Brooklyn Museum. In addition to being a museum professional, Ernest is a working artist and arts adviser. Ernest holds a BA and MFA in Studio Art from San Francisco State University and Mills College. He is currently an Arts Commissioner for Alameda County - District 5.

John M. Efron

Esther and Jacques Reutlinger Faculty Director

Joining The Magnes in July 2021 with his extensive leadership and scholarship experience, John Efron is the acting Esther and Jacques Reutlinger Faculty Director of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

Julie Franklin

Registrar and Rights and Reproductions Manager

Julie Franklin has been working in the arts for the last twenty-two years. She was the Director of the California Crafts Museum and the Registrar at the Treasure Island Museum, The Mexican Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. She has successfully overseen the installations of over 50 exhibitions in four Bay Area museums and was instrumental in helping the San Jose Museum of Art obtain their American Association of Museum’s Accreditation.

Laura Bratt

Fundraising and Media Specialist

Laura Bratt is the fundraising and media specialist at The Magnes Collection and brings a broad range of experience in visual design and communication, non-profit marketing and project management skills to this role.

Rana Burroughs

Department Manager

Rana Burroughs, the Manager of The Magnes, has over 20 years of experience in both operations and finance. Before joining the University of California, she held various finance and accounts receivable positions for technology companies such as Visa International, Siebel Systems, Sales Force CRM, and Electronic Arts. Upon joining the University of California, she obtained a Financial Analyst position at UCSF within the Physical Therapy department and then transferred to the Controller’s Office at Berkeley within the Contracts and Grants Accounting department.

Shir Gal Kochavi

Assistant Curator

Shir is an art historian with extensive expertise in provenance research and the history of collecting, regularly working and volunteering as a researcher in art institutions for over a decade. Her professional experience includes assistant positions in contemporary art and antiques galleries in Israel and in the UK, and at Christie's Auction House.