These pages are devoted to the senior and junior scholars - including academics, independent scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students - who studied and continue to study the holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life from a variety of disciplinary approaches.
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 Religious Diversity Cluster of the Haas Institute, and serves on the Digital Humanities Council. Dr. Spagnolo is also a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome. Among his publications are Italian Jewish Musical Traditions (Rome-Jerusalem, 2001) and The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture (New York, 2014).
Agnes is a third year at UC Berkeley majoring in history with a field of concentration in 20th century gender history. She has been a research apprentice with Magnes since fall 2015 and is currently working on the posters project.
Alan is a first-year medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. While at Berkeley, he is working toward a master's degree in the history of medicine, using manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah. More broadly, he is interested in the literature and culture of the Jews of Arab lands; historical perspectives on medicine and the social determinants of health; and how insights from the past can guide the way medicine is practiced today. His project at the Magnes is based on the collection of Egyptian Karaite and Rabbanite manuscripts that were recently cataloged by Dr.
Alex Makabeh, UC Berkeley Environmental Science and Pre-Medical major, worked on documenting a collection of over 150 artifacts from Iran. The materials are being inventoried, researched, catalogued, and shared across social media platforms, integrating the Magnes online collection catalog (magnesalm.org) with Flickr and Google Maps.
Anna Bella Korbatov, UC Berkeley class of 2015, studies Political Science. Anna Bella collaborated on a major inventory project devoted to the extensive collection of postcards at The Magnes. The over 3,000 postcards in this collection document Jewish life, sites, cityscapes, and cultures across the global diaspora.
Ava F. Kahn holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She moved to the Bay Area to accept an appointment as Research Associate at the Western Jewish History Center of the Judah L. Magnes Museum.
Barbara Goldstein is a historian of European fascism. She received her PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria with a dissertation devoted to newsreel films created by the Austrian Police between 1929-1938 as part of governmental fascist propaganda campaigns.One of Goldstein’s focuses and special interests is in historic administrative structures and “infamous people” in the early-modern period.
Christine Liu, double major in History and Economics at UC Berkeley, worked on small archival collections, which document a wide variety of topics, ranging from art collecting in Southern California to Jewish history in Germany from the 18th through the 20th centuries.
Clayton Hale is a third year transfer at UC Berkeley from Sacramento, California, majoring in history with a concentration on American History. Besides reading, Clayton is also interested in exploring the implications, connections, and connotations between history and foreign policy. Clayton joins The Magnes in the hopes of fostering applicable research skills in working with data, and discovering the historical treasures that reside within The Magnes.
Daniel Fisher is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. Daniel’s research explores social, historical, and literary questions in the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish biblical interpretation. He is currently writing a dissertation entitled, “Memories of the Ark: Cultural Memory, Material Culture, and the Construction of the Past in Biblical Societies.” The project develops a cultural biography of the Ark of the Covenant, exploring its use and reuse as a site of memory before and after its loss.
Elaine Tennant is the James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was affiliated with The Bancroft during the first five years since its joining UC Berkeley (2010-2015).
Eli Rosenblatt is a PhD Candidate in Jewish Studies at UC-Berkeley. His primary interests include the literature of the Jewish Enlightenment, modern Yiddish and Hebrew literature, and broader questions about change in Jewish culture. He is also the founder of the Berkeley Inaugural Conference in Romani Studies, a cross-campus initiative to promote the scholarly study of the Romani (“Gypsy”) culture and history.
Erin Fagin, UC Berkeley History major, applied her knowledge of Yiddish to help catalog circa 100 previously uncatalogued Yiddish books and journals printed in California during the first half if the 20th century. The project is carried out with the participation of Magnes Graduate Fellow, Eli Rosenblatt.
Fred Rosenbaum, an award-winning author, teacher, and educator, is the Founding Director of Lehrhaus Judaica. Rosenbaum has also been a faculty member at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where for five years he taught a semester-long course on the Holocaust to Christian seminarians. He has lectured widely in the United States and abroad, in such cities as Prague, St.
Jason "Jackson" Block is a Business Administration student with Public Policy, Global Poverty & Practice, and Jewish Studies minors at the University of California, Berkeley. He is from Santa Clarita, CA and he has been actively involved in the Jewish community. He has served as president of Berkeley's Jewish Student Union since 2014, volunteers weekly with various non-profit organizations on and off campus, and works as an undergraduate fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.
Lily Greenberg Call is a first year student and intended political science major. At Berkeley, she is on the board of the Jewish Student Union and Bears for Israel, and is active in the Greek system and CalDems. She is a published poet and hopes to combine her love for both words and politics with a career in law or reporting. Lily hails from San Diego, and in her minimal free time, enjoys running and being outdoors.
Liora Alban has been involved in archival work at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life since 2012. Her time here has taught her the myriad of ways in which Jewish traditions simultaneously borrow from and shape Jewish material culture. She appreciates that The Magnes Collection offers space for her and others to explore their interests in a
art and religious study.
Maia Rosengarten is a fourth year Political Economy major and Computer Science minor at UC Berkeley. After having the adventure of a lifetime during her Summer 2014 Birthright trip, she returned to Israel for four weeks to reconnect with family and learn more about her roots. When she’s not studying, she loves hiking in Marin County, cooking all day with friends, and going to the movies. She is proud to be a part of the thriving Jewish community at Cal.
Profile by Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University (Friday, August 21, 2020).