Bernie Hodkin

Hometown: Great Neck, New York

Degree Program, JTS: PhD in Ancient Judaism

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, Johns Hopkins University

After JTS (I plan to) . . . forge a career in academia. I'm particularly interested in and currently pursuing the prospect of globalizing the field of Ancient Jewish Studies, especially by fostering the establishment of exchange scholarships for graduate students to attend international conferences, particularly in Europe. In spring 2014, I will be on a scholarship at the Qumran Institute at the University of Groningen in order to facilitate such international collaboration.

Extracurricular/Cocurricular Activities:
I've been involved in the Graduate School Student Organization, and love having the opportunity to discuss works in progress with fellow graduate students. This open forum is a great way to enhance connections with other Graduate School students.

Favorite Class at JTS: Talmud and Education with Dr. Marjorie Lehman, associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics. We looked at many different pieces of rabbinic literature, and learned how to really construct a class based on these texts. I had never been taught how to teach prior to taking this class, and I learned the importance of connecting with the material that you teach on a personal level. I also really liked the course on Leviticus Rabbah taught by Dr. Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, and The Structure and Formation of the Babylonian Talmud, taught by Dr. Richard Kalmin, Theodore R. Racoosin Chair of Rabbinic Literature.  

Three Favorite Things About Living in New York City: 1. The intellectual culture. I love being able to interact with other doctoral students on a near-daily basis and share ideas.   2. The art and music scene. New York City still, to my knowledge, has the highest concentration of artists in the world. There's always something going on, whether it's a new exhibit at the Met or a major artist performing in Times Square.   3. The vibrant Jewish life. Apart from Israel, New York City is unique in that there's truly something for everyone on a Jewish level. I'm a secular Jew who grew up Orthodox, and there are a large number of people like me in the city who seek to maintain a connection with Judaism. That's pretty cool.