Judaic Studies

Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Jennifer Ann Caplan

Jennifer Ann Caplan

Asst Professor, Judaic Studies

French Hall

513-556-2297

I am a scholar of American religion and popular culture. I specialize in American Judaism and work extensively with film, television, internet media, humor, graphic novels, video games, board games, and other sites of pop culture engagement.
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Ingrid Moen Epstein

Visiting Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies

3513 French Hall

513-556-2297

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Ari B Finkelstein

Associate Professor, Judaic Studies, Judaic Studies

3510 French Hall

513-556-6546

Professor Finkelstein is a historian of Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. His main research focuses on the use and function of Jews and Judaism in the works of Christians and pagans in Late Antiquity. His current book project, provisionally titled “Emperor Julian and the Jews: the Use of Jews in the Making of a Pagan Empire”, based on his doctoral dissertation, examines how Emperor Julian (361-363) triangulates Jews with Christians and pagans in order to produce a pagan empire and to delegitimize Christianity. He has also written on Pseudo-Philo and Ezekiel the Tragedian. Other academic interests include Greco-Roman history, Greco-Roman thought and law, early Christianity, biblical reception, post-colonial studies, and semiotics.  He also has two law degrees from McGill University.
Headshot of Matthew A Kraus

Matthew A Kraus

Department Head, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Director of Hebrew Program, Judaic Studies

3428B French Hall

513-556-2297

Professor Kraus studies the history of biblical interpretation and Judaism in Greek and Roman antiquity. Most recently, he is the author of Jewish, Christian, and Classical Exegetical Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Exodus:  Translation Technique and the Vulgate (Brill, 2017), "Rabbinic Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Numbers,” Journal of Biblical Literature, and "Wisdom of Solomon" for the Jewish Annotated Apocrypha (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).  Editor of How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World (2006 Gorgias Press), he has also published on Philo, the Gospel of John, and on the Old Latin version of the Bible. His courses include Women and the Bible, The Dead Sea Scrolls, History of Biblical Interpretation, Introduction to Judasim, Chanukah Through the Ages and Modern Hebrew.

Adjunct Faculty

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Dana Gregory Griffith

Annual Adjunct Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies

"Dr. G" has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from UC. He teaches "Understanding Religious Intolerance," "Suffering and Death," "Buddhism: History and Thought," "Intro. to the Study of Religions," and Yoga in its Hindu Matrix" in the Religious Studies Certificate Program, the Departments of Judaic Studies, English, and Asian Studies. His main interests are sacred and religious literature, Southeast Asian Religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, religious tolerance and intolerance, and Western/American manifestations of Hindu Yoga and Buddhism. In addition to his academic education, he is a practicing Buddhist and has received teachings from Zen Master Keido Fukushima Roshi, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Geshe Kuten Lama, Geshe Kunchok, Venenrable Jamyang Lama, and Zasep Tulku Rinpoche. 
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Katharine Polak

"Captain", Judaic Studies

Primary research interests: visual culture, popular culture, graphic novels and comics, post-colonial theory, ethnic and race theory, cultural studies, composition.
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Michael S Porte

Professor Emeritus , Judaic Studies

3513 French Hall

513-556-3493

Michael S. Porte specializes in communication, media, and film studies.  He has consulted with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Centers for Disease Control, GE, Proctor and Gamble, and Loews.  He currently teaches The Jew in American Film, Cinema Divinite:  Religion and the Bible in Film, Tai Chi, and Meditation.
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Shannon E Schaffer

Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies

Specializes in the religions of the Ancient Near East and Ancient Israel and teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible, Archaeology of the Near East and Jewish Studies.
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Alley Elizabeth Schottenstein

Asst Professor - Adj Ann, Judaic Studies

BA MUNTZ

513-558-9472

Affiliate Faculty

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Steven Joel Cahn

Professor of Music Theory, Judaic Studies

4225G Emery Hall

513-556-7820

Professor Steven J. Cahn, PhD, is a music theorist and pianist whose research and specialized teaching areas include: 
 
  • Schoenberg Studies/Twentieth-Century Music Theory
  • Neuroscience/Psychology of Music
  • Aesthetics, Hermeneutics & Theories of History
  • History of Music Theory
  • Musical Form in the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • Cultural Studies & Jewish Music Studies

His work appears in collections—Cambridge Companion to Schoenberg, Schoenberg and Words, Schoenberg: Interpretationen seiner Werke—and journals—Musical QuarterlyJournal of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Opera Quarterly, Ostinato rigore. His collaborative research has been published in Cognitive Neuropsychology (DOI: 10.1080/02643294.2011.646972) and the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.24.1.6).

Cahn has received support from the Avenir Foundation, the Tangeman Sacred Music Center, the Dean’s Travel Fund, the National Institutes of Health — Lab for Integrative and Medical Biophysics, the National Endowment for the Humanities (Summer Stipend) and the University Research Council, Faculty Research Support Grant. He has presented papers at international conferences including Jewishness and the Arts (Rome, 2015), Schoenberg at 140 (Canterbury, UK, 2014), Hebrew University 2013, Symposia of the Arnold Schoenberg Center (Vienna, 2001, 2002) and the Third International Conference on Jewish Music (SOAS, London 2000). In the U.S., he has presented papers at the Getty Center, the Library of Congress and the National Institutes of Health. He has also presented research at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest and International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC8). 

 
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Cynthia A. Crane

Associate Professor, Judaic Studies

120F BA PROGRESS

513-558-9419

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Henry Fenichel

Emeritus Faculty, Judaic Studies

219 Geology-Physics Building

513-936-8164

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Elizabeth B. Frierson

Associate Professor , Judaic Studies

340A ARTSCI

513-556-0919

Professor Frierson came to the study of the Middle East and North Africa after beginning to see the wide gap between reality in the Middle East and U.S. perceptions of the region in the early 1980's. She took her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Vermont and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. She has published several articles on late-Ottoman politics and society, co-edited with Camron Amin and Benjamin C. Fortna The Modern Middle East: A Sourcebook for History (Oxford University Press), and is finishing a manuscript entitled Patriarchal Feminism for Syracuse University Press. She has received several fellowships and awards for research, development of teaching materials, and acquisition of library materials for UC, including from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, and the American Research Institute in Turkey, and has been an invited speaker and workshop participant in the U.S., Turkey, Israel, and Europe, as well as a visiting fellow at Middle East Technical University (Ankara), Hacettepe University (Ankara), Cornell University, UCSB, Princeton University. Her Ph.D. students have been Carole Woodall and Lerna Ekmekcioglu of NYU, Julia Phillips Cohen of Stanford, Ufuk Adak and Ali el-Tarhuni at the University of Cincinnati, and Harry Bastermajian of the University of Chicago.  She has served on fellowship committees for the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Institute of Turkish Studies, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and served for two years as a mentor to the Mellon-funded Minority Access to Research Careers summer program at Princeton.  She speaks frequently to community groups and the media about the history of the Middle East and North Africa, and current events. Her current research focuses on refugee management in WWI, and the changes in science, personnel, and practices of pharmacology in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
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Michelle A Gibson

Professor Emerita, Judaic Studies

French Hall

513-886-3421

Michelle Gibson is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Women's Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Ohio University, where her areas of study were American Literature, Composition Research and Pedagogy, and Creative Writing. Her scholarship has continued in all three of these areas. Much of her work applies queer and postmodern identity theories to pedagogical practice and popular culture. She also continues to write and publish poetry. With Jonathan Alexander, she edits QP: Queer Poetry, an online poetry journal, and she and Alexander also edited a strain of JAC: Journal of Advanced Composition entitled "Queer Composition(s)". She co-edited (with Deborah Meem) Femme/ Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go and Lesbian Academic Couples. With Meem and Alexander she is writing Finding Out, an introductory textbook for use in introductory LGBT courses.
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Jennifer Glaser

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Judaic Studies

248 ARTSCI

513-556-3129

Jennifer Glaser received her B.A. in English from Columbia University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century American literature, comparative ethnicity, diasporic and transnational studies, Jewish studies, gender and sexuality, digital humanities, and comics and the graphic novel. Her book, Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination, is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in March 2016. She is also begining two new scholarly projects--one on mourning in the digital era and the other on race and ethnicity in visual culture and comics.  In addition to her scholarly work, she writes essays, short fiction, and cultural criticism, and is working to expand one of her published narrative non-fiction pieces into a full-length manuscript, entitled A Pocket-Sized Dictionary of Loss. She has published or has publications forthcoming in venues such as PMLA, MELUS, Safundi, American Literature, ImageText, Images, Prooftexts, Early American Literature, the LA Review of Books, the New York Times, the Faster Times, the UK Telegraph, and an anthology of personal essays from Random House.
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Janine C Hartman

Professor of History,, Judaic Studies

717D Old Chemistry Building

513-556-1596

Professor of
History

Dept Romance Languages and Literatures
College of Arts & Sciences
717D Old Chem Bldg
Ph 556-1596
My field is the history of ideas. Current research interests are Catulle Mendés,Parnassian poet and his role as  witness to the  Franco-Prussian war, the Commune  insurrection and fall  of Paris in 1871, as  refracted through "ruin studies." Additional fields include witchcraft, ritual in early modern society and symbolic sovereignty in French colonial history..
Affliiate: History,Judaic Studies, Women & Gender Studies
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Jason Kalman

Judaic Studies

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Mark A. Lause

Professor, Judaic Studies

Professor Lause grew up in a small blue collar community and worked his way through college during the 1960s and 70s.  His academic interests seemed to center naturally on the history of class and social movements in the United States.

Lause has done extensive work in nineteenth century labor and social history, including numerous articles in academic journals and reference material.  His initial work focused on early printers to discuss the origins of an American labor movement: “Some Degree of Power”: From Hired Hand to Union Craftsman in the Preindustrial American Printing Trades, 1778-1815. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1991) documented the first generation of unionists in that craft.

Lause’s subsequent work has sought new ways of examining and understanding the sectional crisis and the Civil War "from the bottom up."  He argued for the complexity of the Republican and Unionist coalition—before and after—in Young America: Land, Labor, and the Republican Community (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2005) on the antebellum land reform movement and The Civil War's Last Campaign: James B. Weaver, the Greenback-Labor Party & the Politics of Race & Section (Lanpham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001). His Race & Radicalism in the Union Army (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009) explores the wartime collaboration of blacks, Indians and whites in the Transmississippi under the leadership of those abolitionists, land reformers, socialists and others who had been associated with John Brown before the Civil War. The Antebellum Political Crisis & the First American Bohemians (Kent, OH:  Kent State University Press, 2009) discusses the cultural impact of escalating sectional and electoral pressures on antebellum radicalism.  His Price's Lost Campaign: the 1864 Invasion of Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011) uses social and institutional history to cast light on the neglected Civil War expedition that largely closed the conflict west of the Mississippi River.  A Secret Society History of the Civil War (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011) examines the importance of several clandestine, fraternal traditions as a means of understanding how ordinary citizens, including African Americans, struggled to shape their history.  The reorganization of the U of Missouri Press delayed the appearance of his book on the last part of the 1864 Missouri campaign, The Collapse of Price's Raid: the Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri, but it should appear in the summer of 2015.  This will coincide with his Free Labor: the Civil War  & the Making of the American Working Class, the completion of a research project begun years earlier.  His book on spiritualism and the politis of the Civil War era is also due to appear.  Lause is also finishing a manuscript about the cowboy strikes of the 1880s.

In addition, Lause expects soon to submit The Last Republicans, a treatment of Giueseppe Garibaldi's republican internantional brigades in the Franco-Prussian War as the final gasp of an old ideal of republicanism.  He has also started a project on the related cantonal revolts of 1873-1874 in Spain. All of this is aiming at a general understanding of Reconstruction in the U.S. from a global perspective.
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Deborah T. Meem

Professor of WGSS, Judaic Studies

513-515-2657

Deb Meem specializes in Victorian literature, LGBTQ studies, and 19th C. novels by women. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1971 with a double major in English and music, then after a decade away from the academy returned to graduate school in English at Stony Brook University, where she earned a Ph.D. in 1985. Her work has appeared in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Feminist Teacher, Studies in Popular Culture and elsewhere. She has edited four long-forgotten books by Victorian journalist, novelist, and antifeminist Eliza Lynn Linton: The Rebel of the Family (Broadview, 2002), Realities (Valancourt, 2010), The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland (Victorian Secrets, 2011, with Kate Holterhoff), and Sowing the Wind (Victorian Secrets, 2015, with Kate Holterhoff). With Michelle Gibson she has co-edited Femme/Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want To Go (2002) and Lesbian Academic Couples (2005), both published by Haworth Press. Her co-authored book Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies (with Michelle Gibson and Jonathan Alexander) was published by Sage Press in 2009; its second edition appeared in 2013, and the third edition is due in 2017. Deb served as Head of the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from 2008-15. When not in that position, she teaches Sexuality Studies in the Department of WGSS and occasionally literature in the English Department. She serves on UC’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and was also longtime co-chair of the LGBT faculty/staff Task Force at UC.
 
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Bea C Opengart

Associate Professor, Educator Emerita, Judaic Studies

513-556-3717

Bea Opengart's poems have appeared in a number of journals, including The American Voice, Folio, The Journal, The Iowa Review, Many Mountains Moving, The MacGuffin, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities REview, Sou'wester, and others. Her book, Erotica, won the annual book competition sponsored by Owl Creek Press, which published the book in 1995. She has also published essays, most recently in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry, and Literature and Belief. Bea has received grants in support of her work from The Kentucky Arts Council, The Kentucky Foundation for Women, and The Ohio Arts Council; her poems have several times been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.
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Haim Otto Rechnitzer

Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, Judaic Studies

Dr. Rechnitzer earned his doctorate from The Department of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2003, and his rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR/Jerusalem in 2003. He received both his M.A. (1996) and B.A. (1993) with distinction in the Department of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University.  He studied at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership as a Jerusalem Fellow, engaged in Mishnah and Talmud studies at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and studied composition, theory, and instrumentation at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem.
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Angela Roskop Erisman

Judaic Studies

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Roger M Selya

Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies

401 Braunstein Hall

513-556-3421

Economic development of East Asia, population, medical geography
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Katherine E Sorrels

Associate Professor of History
Affiliate Faculty, Judaic Studies
, Judaic Studies

353C ARTSCI

513-556-3024

Katherine Sorrels is an Associate Professor of History, Affiliate Faculty in Judaic Studies, and Chair of the Taft Health Humanities Research Group at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests are in modern European and North American Jewish history, the history of medicine, and disability history. She is also involved in a number of digital and public humanities projects. She teaches on Migration and the Refugee Experience, Immigration in World History, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Nazi Medicine, Scientific Racism, Holocaust History and New Media, Modern European Historiography, History of Health and Medicine, and Disability History.

Her current book project is On the Spectrum: Jewish Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability in the Britain and North America. Her focus is on the Camphill movement, an international network of intentional communities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that was founded in Scotland during WWII by Austrian Jewish refugees. The key figures in the history of the autism diagnosis, on both sides of the Atlantic, were Austrians and through Camphill, she reconstructs the larger story of how Austrian refugees transformed British and North American approaches to disability. Her research is based on archival work and oral histories in Austria, Britain, the United States, and Canada. She was interviewed on this project for two Botstiber Foundation podcasts, which can be found here: Episode 1Episode 2.

On the Spectrum extends work on antisemitism, scientific racism, and internationalism in 20th century Central and Eastern European Jewish history that she explored in her first book, Cosmopolitan Outsiders: Imperial Inclusion, National Exclusion, and the Pan-European Idea, 1900-1930 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). She has also published on Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jewry, Medical and Digital Humanities, and disability history and theory. This includes articles and two co-edited volumes: Disability in German-Speaking Europe: History, Memory, Culture (Camden House, 2022) and Ohio under COVID: Lessons from America's Heartland in Crisis (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming May 2023). When Sorrels is not working, she is usually gardening, listening to gardening podcasts, reading gardening books, and watching gardening shows. Her enthusiasm sometimes outpaces her talent (there have been casualties) but she continues to dig in the dirt.

 
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Jay Twomey

Associate Professor, Judaic Studies

101A ARTSCI

513-556-3915

Primary areas of interest include the (literary/theoretical/cultural/political) reception of biblical texts.  He is the author two books, The Pastoral Epistles Through the Centuries (2009) and 2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict (2013), and the co-editor of Borges and the Bible (2015).  His current work focuses on St. Paul in and around recent American cultural and political contexts.  He teaches courses on the Bible and literature, and the Bible in literary theory.
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Valerie A. Weinstein

Professor & Graduate Program Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Niehoff Professor of Film and Media Studies, Judaic Studies

3314 French Hall

513-556-6656

Valerie Weinstein earned her PhD in German Studies with a concentration in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University in 2000. She came to UC in 2012 after having served on the faculty at Williams College, University of Nevada, Reno, and Tulane University. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, from Feminist Theory to Nazi Cinema. Prof. Weinstein is the author of Antisemitism in Film Comedy in Nazi Germany (Indiana University Press, 2019) and co-editor, with Barbara Hales and Mihaela Petrescu, of Continuity and Crisis in German Cinema 1928-1936  (Camden House, 2016) and, with Barbara Hales, of Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Cinema (Berghahn Books, 2021). Weinstein has authored refereed articles and book chapters on gender, sexuality, and Jewishness in German film between the two world wars, and on other topics ranging from early twentieth-century anthropological film footage to Turkish-German literature, to music videos by the heavy metal band Rammstein.
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Gary Weissman

Area Director of Literary and Cultural Studies, Department of English • School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies, Judaic Studies

229A ARTSCI

513-556-3206

Gary Weissman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literary studies (e.g., Ways of Reading Literature; Theories of Authorship; Theorizing the Short Story), film studies (e.g., Horror Films; History of Animation; Introduction to Film Theory), and critical theory (Introduction to Critical Theory; Narrative Theory). He is an associate professor of English, an associate professor in the School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies, and an affiliate faculty member of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of Fantasies of Witnessing: Postwar Efforts to Experience the Holocaust (Cornell University Press, 2004), which examines contestation between scholars, survivors, and filmmakers over which representations of the Holocaust get it "right"; and The Writer in the Well: On Misreading and Rewriting Literature (The Ohio State University Press, 2016), which examines literary interpretation as a collaborative, writing-based practice by exploring student responses to a single short story; and articles and book chapters on Holocaust scholarship, literature, film, and photography, as well as articles on literary analysis and pedagogy.
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Jeffrey Zalar

Associate Professor; Ruth J. & Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair of Catholic Studies; Affiliate Faculty Member, Department of Judaic Studies; Supporting Faculty Member, Ph.D. in Modern Jewish History & Culture, University of Cincinnati/Hebrew Union College-J, Judaic Studies

ARTSCI

513-556-2220

My research and professional writing center on religion and intellectual culture in modern Germany.  My teaching seeks to integrate learning on three levels: the dissemination of disciplinary knowledge; training in pre-professional cognitive skills (analysis, oral disputation, higher-order reading comprehension, targeted and convincing writing, etc.); and the inculcation of intellectual and social virtues.  The emphases of my university service are faculty development work, academic program creation, and the enhancement of student learning cultures.

Emeriti Faculty

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Steven B. Bowman

Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies

French Hall

513-556-2297

Staff

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Sokoni Hughes

Program Manager - Cluster III, Judaic Studies

3428D French Hall

513-556-4109

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Evajean S O'Neal

Business Administrator, Judaic Studies

1210B Crosley Tower

513-556-6657