Orange Alert

Wobick-Segev named postdoctoral teaching fellow in Judaic Studies

Appointment made possible through FJC matching grant

Oct. 21, 2010, by Donna Adamo

Sarah Wobick-Segev has been awarded a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in the Judaic Studies Program at The College of Arts and Sciences. Wobick-Segev will teach eight courses over two years, beginning in the fall 2010.

Wobick-Segev comes to SU from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she completed her doctoral degree in the history department in May 2010, specializing in modern European Jewish history. She is fluent in French, German and Hebrew, and has reading knowledge of Yiddish and Russian.

“From a teaching perspective, I’m the only trained historian in the Judaic studies program at SU. I am trying hard to create courses that will offer a broad range of historical topics, from differing perspectives,” says Wobick-Segev. “I hope my classes appeal to students of a variety of backgrounds and provide a particularly compelling perspective on ‘general’ modern European history.”

Wobick-Segev’s appointment was made possible through a $50,000 matching grant SU received from the Foundation for Jewish Culture (FJC). The grant is part of the FJC’s Jewish Studies Expansion Program (JSEP), which supports learning and engagement at institutions with small or under-resourced Jewish studies programs. Wobick-Segev’s appointment will expand the number of courses offered and raise the profile of Jewish studies through cultural programs and other campus activities. Judaic Studies is an all-University interdisciplinary program administered by The College of Arts and Sciences.

“We’re absolutely delighted and feel very lucky to have the brilliant young scholar Sarah Wobick join us,” says Harvey Teres, associate professor of English and director of the Judaic Studies Program. “She will be filling some very great needs in Jewish history, in particular modern European Jewish history, and her teaching will attract students with many interests, from memoir to Jewish family life to the Holocaust and its aftermath to Jewish religious practice.”

SU was one of six institutions selected on the basis of academic excellence and student diversity. Others in the 2010-12 cohort are the University of California, Santa Cruz; Portland State University; the University of Arizona; Oberlin College; and Colgate University. Support for the grant comes from the Washington, D.C.-based Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and from the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation.

Established in 2008 with a $1 million grant from the Schusterman foundation, JSEP has increased enrollments in Jewish studies by 46 percent, with some 60 percent of students reporting they had not taken a Jewish studies course before. Studies also show that JSEP courses both stimulate interest in Jewish studies on a personal and academic level and foster tolerance and understanding on campus among non-Jews.

“The expansion program is unique in that it promotes both teaching and cultural programming and outreach,” says Wobick-Segev. “Not only have I been given a significant amount of freedom in designing a variety of courses in Jewish history, I have the opportunity to continue promoting Jewish studies and culture outside of the classroom.”

Prior to her appointment at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wobick-Segev was a visiting graduate research fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Wobick-Segev holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Toronto, and completed both her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the George L. Mosse Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the Paul J. Schrag Fellowship in German Jewish History, the Mazursky Graduate Research Grant, a research fellowship at the Simon-Dubnow-Institut University of Leipzig, and the Vilas Travel Fellowship for International Research Travel.

Wobick-Segev has authored numerous multilingual articles and reviews. Her book “Speculation and Exchange: New Approaches to the Economy in Jewish History,” co-edited with Gideon Reuveni (Berghahn Books), is set to be released in late 2010.

Media Contact

Donna Adamo