Faculty Members | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

Faculty Members

Beth Alpert Nakhai's picture
Beth Alpert Nakhai
Ph.D., Professor & Acting Director, Judaic Studies
Email: bnakhai@arizona.edu
TEL: Main Office (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5762

Beth Alpert Nakhai is Acting Director and Professor in the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, and an affiliated member of the School of Anthropology.  In addition, she is affiliated with...
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Fabian Alfie's picture
Fabian Alfie
Ph.D., Professor, The Department of French & Italian and Judaic Studies
Email: alfie@arizona.edu
TEL: 520-621-7349
FAX: 520-626-8022
Office: (520) 621-5559

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison,1995. Professor of Italian. I've been at the University of Arizona since 1997, after teaching for two years at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.  I...
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Anat Balint's picture
Anat Balint
Assistant Professor and Jeffrey B. Plevan Chair in Modern Israel Studies
Email: balint@arizona.edu

Dr. Anat Balint will be the inaugural holder of the Jeffrey B. Plevan Chair in Modern Israel Studies. Dr. Balint is currently an Israel Institute Visiting Scholar and Coordinator of the Jewish Studies Program at San Jose State University....
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Karen Borek's picture
Karen Borek
Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor, Religious Studies & Judaic Studies
Email: kborek@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 621-1383
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 621-1383

Karen Borek is an adjunct instructor for both Religious Studies and Judaic Studies.  Since earning the PhD in Religion at Emory University, she has taught courses on Jesus in Contemporary Thought, Feminist Approaches to the Bible, and the Problem of God and Evil at the University of Arizona and...
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Margaret Cohen's picture
Margaret Cohen
Ph.D., Adjunct Lecturer

Dr. Margaret Cohen’s academic training is in Hebrew Bible, and her archaeological training comes from more than twenty years of excavations in Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Margaret taught in both large research and small liberal arts settings and has a deep appreciation for and interest in the many...
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Susan Crane's picture
Susan Crane
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Modern European History
Email: scrane@arizona.edu
TEL: 520-621-1113
Office: Social Sciences 237A
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Sol Davis's picture
Sol Davis
Ph.D., Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Maryland
Email: sdavis@jewishmuseummd.org
TEL: 410-732-6400
Office: 410-732-6400

Sol Davis is the Executive Director of the  Jewish Museum of Maryland. He teaches Jewish Responses to the Holocaust for the Center for Judaic Studies. He also teaches for the UA Honors College and UA College of Education. In 2018, Bryan received a Ph.D. in Language, Reading and Culture at the...
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William G. Dever's picture
William G. Dever
Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies & Near Eastern Studies
Email: sbs-judaic@arizona.edu

Dr. Dever is an American archaeologist specializing in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times. He was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1975 to 2002. He is a 1955 graduate of Milligan College. He received his Ph....
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Mark Elliott's picture
Mark Elliott
Ph.D., Instructor, Career Track, Judaic Studies
Email: melliott1@arizona.edu
TEL: 520 626-5758
FAX: Fax: (520) 626-5767
Mark Elliott received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Near Eastern Studies. He is also the editor of Bible and Interpretation at www.bibleinterp.com .
Courses Taught:
JUS 372a History and Religion of Israel: Biblical Period
JUS 372b History and Religion of Israel: Ezra-...
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David L. Graizbord's picture
David L. Graizbord
Ph.D., Professor, Associate Director, Judaic Studies
Email: dlgraizb@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
Office: (520) 626-5758

David Graizbord is a historian of early modern and modern Jews. To date his research has focused mostly on the Western Sephardi Diaspora of the seventeenth century. In particular, Graizbord's writing approaches questions of religious, social, and political identity as these questions shaped the...
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Leonard Hammer's picture
Leonard Hammer
Ph.D., JD, Lecturer and The David and Andrea Stein Visiting Professor of Modern Israel Studies 2015
Email: lhammer@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5785
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5758

Dr. Hammer is a Lecturer and the 2011, 2012, 2013,  2015 & 2016 David and Andrea Stein Visiting Professor of Modern Israel Studies at the University of Arizona. He is an adjunct professor at The Hebrew University’s Rothberg School and works as an International Expert for the Open Society...
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Joela Jacobs's picture
Joela Jacobs
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, German Studies
Email: joelajacobs@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 621-2300
Office: LSB 306

Dr. Joela Jacobs is Assistant Professor of German Studies, and she is affiliated with the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, and the Institute of the Environment. She earned her Ph.D. in Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago, where she...
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Deborah Kaye's picture
Deborah Kaye
Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Career Track, Judaic Studies
Email: deborahk@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5758

Office Location: Social Sciences #111A

Deborah Kaye earned her Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Arizona and her M.A. in Jewish History from The University of Michigan. Her research interests include nineteenth century Italian liberalism and Jewish corporatism. ...
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Thomas Kovach's picture
Thomas Kovach
Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, German Studies & Judaic Studies
Email: tkovach@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 621-1147
Office: German Studies Department

Thomas Kovach received his B. A. in German from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University in 1978.  From 1978 to 1990 he was Assistant and then Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Utah, from 1990 to 1994 he...
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Uri Maimon's picture
Uri Maimon
M.A., Hebrew Lecturer, Hebrew Program Coordinator, Career Track, Judaic Studies
Email: maimonu@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5788

A native of Israel, Uri Maimon has been teaching Hebrew at the University of Arizona for the past seven years. Uri graduated from Tel-Aviv University in Social Studies, and received two Masters Degrees from the University of Arizona in Management Information Systems and Political Science. Uri...
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Sharon Medgal's picture
Sharon Medgal
Ph.D., Director, Water Resource Center
Email: smegdal@cals.arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 621-9591
FAX: (520) 792-8518
Office: (520) 621-9591

Sharon B. Megdal is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center and C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor. She is Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and serves as Director of...
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Gil Ribak's picture
Gil Ribak
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Judaic Studies
Email: gribak@arizona.edu
TEL: Main Office (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767

I am an Associate Professor at the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. In 2021-2022, I served as the European Union’s Marie S. Curie Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Albert-Ludwig’s University, Freiburg, Germany.


Born and raised in Israel, I...
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Joaquin Ruiz's picture
Joaquin Ruiz
Ph.D., Dean Emeritus, Director, Biosphere 2, Professor, Geosciences and BIO5 Institute
Email: jruiz@arizona.edu
TEL: 520-626-8527
Office: ENR2 Room N525

Joaquin Ruiz received his B.S. in Geology and B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Miami. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Michigan. Ruiz served as Assistant Professor at the University of Miami from 1982 to 1983 before joining the University of Arizona...
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Howard J. Schwartz's picture
Howard J. Schwartz
M.D., Rabbi, Lecturer, Judaic Studies
Email: sbs-judaic@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5758
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Gila Silverman's picture
Gila Silverman
Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Judaic Studies
Email: gilas@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
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Max Strassfeld's picture
Max Strassfeld
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Religious Studies/Classics & Judaic Studies
Email: mstrassfeld@arizona.edu
TEL: 520-621-1383
Office: Learning Services Building Room 222
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Gayil Talshir's picture
Gayil Talshir
Ph.D., The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Visiting Professor in Israel Studies 2009-2010
Email: msgayil@mscc.huji.ac.il

Gayil Talshir was the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Visiting Professor in Israel Studies for the 2009-2010 academic year. She received her Ph.D. from Oxford University and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she directs the...
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Naomi Tor's picture
Naomi Tor
M.A., Hebrew Lecturer, Career Track, Judaic Studies
Email: npresent@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
FAX: (520) 626-5767
Office: Louise Foucar Marshall Building, Suite 420

Naomi Present Tor is a Tucson native and an alumnus of the University of Arizona, where she received her B.A. in French and Italian Language and Literature. Naomi received her Master of Arts in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language from Middlebury Language Schools at Middlebury College in Vermont...
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Adam Ussishkin's picture
Adam Ussishkin
Ph.D., Professor, Linguistics & Judaic Studies
Email: ussishki@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 621-7121
FAX: (520) 626-9014
Office: Douglass 312

I'm a professor in the Department of Linguistics, with appointments in Cognitive Science, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, Near Eastern Studies, Judaic Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. My research focuses on lexical access, as well as phonology and morphology. Much of...
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J. Edward Wright's picture
J. Edward Wright
Ph.D., Director Emeritus and The J. Edward Wright Endowed Professor of Judaic Studies
Email: edwright@arizona.edu
TEL: (520) 626-5758
Office: (520) 626-5763

Office Hours: Currently enrolled students should refer to the syllabus posted on D2L.
Office Location: Marshall Bldg., Room 420

  JUS 310 Apocalyptic Imagination
  JUS 372B The History & Religion of Ancient Israel: Ezra-Nehemiah to the Roman Period

J. Edward Wright is...
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