Yiddish Studies




Robert Adler Peckerar

Robert Adler Peckerar is a Comparative Literature doctoral candidate. He researches Jewish culture in central and eastern Europe. Robert is currently writing his dissertation on everyday cultural life (theater, film, popular poetry and prose) in Berlin and Warsaw before the Nazi genocide. In addition to leading literary expeditions to eastern Europe, he is the creator of the YiddishSummer program, an intensive immersion in Yiddish.

Sarah Bailey

A doctoral student in the Department of German, Sarah Bailey’s research concentrates on the role of Yiddish language and culture in German-language literature of the nineteenth century. Especially interested in the aesthetic distance afforded by Jewish or Jewish-apostate authors writing on Jewish themes, Sarah currently investigates the work of Moses Mendelssohn, Salomon Maimon and Heinrich Heine. Having received a Berkeley Language Center Instructional Development Fellowship for 2004, she is also developing a culture-based first-year Yiddish language pedagogy for UC Berkeley’s Department of German.

Naomi Brenner

Naomi Brenner is a graduate student in Comparative Literature, currently writing a dissertation that traces the changing politics and poetics of authorship in Hebrew and Yiddish literature. Her interests in Yiddish studies include literary constructions of identity, allusion and translation, especially in the work of multilingual writers. She also works in Hebrew literature, focusing on related questions of intertextuality and literary history.

June Hwang

June Hwang is a graduate student in the German Dept. Having advanced to candidacy in Spring 2003, she is now beginning work on her dissertation. The project will focus on how discourses of wandering, urban alienation and the stranger intersect in the figure of the German Jewish intellectual. At the moment she is working on the figure of the “Wandering (or Eternal) Jew” and how this originally Christian figure was appropriated by Jewish writers and artists working in German and Yiddish. June is in Berlin for the year doing dissertation research with a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council.

Donny Inbar

Donny Inbar specializes in Yiddish theater and its founder, Abraham Goldfaden. Inbar’s main interest is the role Yiddish theater played in secularizing Eastern European Jews in late nineteenth century. Other related fields of research include: Yiddish and Jewish theater finterrelations between Yiddish and Hebrew cultures in Israel, and Haskalah literature. Inbar is currently teaching a graduate course titled Staging Judaism at the Graduate theological Union, where he is a doctoral student. He teaches classes on Jewish culture on a regular basis at Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley.

Zohar Weiman Kelman

Zohar Weiman Kelman was born and raised in West Jerusalem. She earned her BA in Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2005. She is currently a second year student in the Department of Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where she is working towards a Ph.D. focusing on poetry written by Jewish women in Hebrew and Yiddish in Interwar Poland.


Jordan Finkin

Jordan Finkin graduated with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies, having written his dissertation on the linguistic impact of literary contact with the Talmud on Yiddish. He is currently the Fellow in Modern Hebrew Literature and Cowley Lecturer in Post-Biblical Hebrew at the University of Oxford.

Allison Schachter

Allison Schachter completed her doctorate in the department of Comparative Literature. After studying Yiddish in Jerusalem, New York, Vilna and — of course — Berkeley, Dr. Schachter is now a professor at Vanderbilt University.