The Jewish Studies steering committee assists the program coordinator and the Jewish Studies faculty by overseeing the Jewish Studies program, engaging in long-term planning, and participating in the grants process for student and faculty/staff grants. Members of the steering committee teach in several departments of the College and offer a variety of perspectives on Jewish Studies.
Rebecca Lesses, Coordinator and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, teaches core and upper-level courses for the Jewish Studies minor. Her courses include "Gender and Sexuality in Judaism" and "Jewish Mysticism." Her research centers on early Jewish mystical and magical texts and the interplay between them. She is currently working on a book entitled Angels' Tongues and Witches' Curses: Women and Ritual Power in Early Judaism. The book focuses on Jewish women's involvement in visionary mysticism and ritual practices to gain power.
Don Beachler teaches in the Department of Politics. His courses include two in the area of Jewish Studies, "The Holocaust," and "Political Implications of the Holocaust." The second course, a Politics seminar, explores political and ethical issues raised by some of the debates in the vast academic and popular literature on the Holocaust.
Annette Levine is associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and teaches Spanish and Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on cultural production (literature, film, art, monuments, music, and theatre) in the aftermath of dictatorships in Latin America. Prof. Levine is an active member of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association and has published several articles devoted to Latin American Jewish authors in the journal Modern Jewish Studies and in the Hostos Review. Her book, "Cry for Me, Argentina: The Performance of Trauma in the Short Narrative of Aída Bortnik, Griselda Gambaro, and Tununa Mercado" (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press), grapples with literary and cultural manifestations of the Argentine Dirty War’s haunting repercussions. She is currently coediting a volume of scholarly articles devoted to the aftermath of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, which is under contract with the Brill Latin American Jewish Series.
Michael Richardson is a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures with a focus on Holocaust Studies.
Vadim Serebryany is an associate professor in the Department of Performance Studies, Piano Studio.
Peter Silberman is an associate professor of music theory in the Ithaca College School of Music. He is an active Klezmer musician and plays piano in the Ithaca College faculty Klezmer ensemble. He is also an occasional service leader at Congregation TIkkun v’Or, Ithaca’s Reform synagogue, and has composed and performed original music for synagogue services.