Dina Newman

Hometown: Queens, New York

Degree Program, JTS: Master of Arts in Modern Jewish Studies

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies, George Washington University

After JTS (I plan to) . . . continue on to the doctoral program at JTS and eventually begin a career in academia. I want to dedicate my life's work to researching, understanding, and commenting on Jewish continuity and the trajectory of American Jewry.

Extracurricular/Cocurricular Activities: Between classes and my job, I'm pretty busy. I do, however, love to attend JTS Lunch and Learns, which provide lectures, discussions, and food on a regular basis. JTS also puts on a number of speaking engagements and other events that have given me the opportunity to explore new fields and enjoy my academic interests from different perspectives. I hope to get involved with the Graduate School Student Organization, which puts together forums where students can present conference-style papers to an audience of our peers.

Internship(s): I work part-time as a religious school teacher and youth director at a synagogue in Queens. Through this work, I am able to creatively convey what I have learned to a new generation. Also, as I seek to understand the future of American Jewry, it has provided the opportunity for ethnographic study and fueled many new ideas, some of which I hope to concentrate into a potential thesis.

Favorite Class at JTS: My first-year graduate seminar with Chancellor Emeritus Ismar Schorsch. The course was not only an introduction to graduate work, but to Jewish scholarship as a whole—and therefore somewhat of a history of JTS itself. Currently, I am excited to be taking Artifacts as a Lens on Jewish Culture, taught by Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, in the Rare Books Room of The JTS Library (where JTS holds one of the most amazing collections of rare Judaica in the world). Every class I have taken at JTS has been intellectually stimulating; here you are taught by the current generation of scholars at the top of their fields to become the next generation of seminary scholars.

Best JTS Experience: I have really enjoyed the opportunity to see the Cairo Genizah fragments, but the JTS experience has been truly amazing overall.

Three Favorite Things About Living in New York City:

1. Aroma on 72nd Street, which allows me to regularly pretend that I'm still in Israel. 
2. The Jewish history here is amazing; I love walking around the Lower East Side, and Katz's Deli is a must-do.
3. All the incredible diversity in New York City.

Dina Newman