Judaic Studies

Tenure-Track Faculty

Finkelstein, Ari

Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies

3510 French Hall



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.

Kraus, Matthew A

Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Director of Hebrew Program

3508 French Hall



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.

Naveh, Gila O Safran

Professor, Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair, Judaic Studies Department Head

3428B French Hall



Professor Gila Safran-Naveh received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at San Diego, where she received a highly interdisciplinary formation, and one of her undergraduate degrees from The Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is now Department Head and the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair in Judaic Studies, at University of Cincinnati. Her primary scholarly interests are the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Critical Theory, Freud and Judaism, Kafka, and Gender and Judaism. 


Professor Safran-Naveh is author of a pivotal study on parables entitled Biblical Parables and Their Modern Recreations: from Apples of Gold in Silver Settings to Imperial Messages (2000) which was nominated for the 2001 National Jewish Book Award in the scholarly division.
She has co-edited a comprehensive volume in linguistic studies entitled The Formal Complexity of Natural Language (1987).
Presently, she is working on a book-length manuscript entitled Unpacking the Heart with Words: Women Survivors of the Holocaust Writing and Healing. This work investigates problems in memory, writing, healing, and women's unique experience in the Holocaust. 
Professor Safran Naveh has also completed a book of poetry entitled Another Door: A Woman's Inquisitions and is preparing it for press.

Professor Safran-Naveh has published book chapters (in Semiotics, Jewish Literary Studies, Film and Cultural Studies) and numerous scholarly articles and book reviews. She lectures nationally and internationally and serves on national and international committees promoting human rights and the advancement of women.
Professor Safran Naveh has organized and brought to Cincinnati two International Conferences of Semiotic Society of America (in 1988 and in 2010). Among her most popular courses are Literature of the Holocaust, Jewish/Women's Humor, Freud and Judaism, Jews in Film, American Jewish Fiction, and Salon Culture. For her outstanding teaching, Professor Safran Naveh was awarded the University A. B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching (1996), the Edith Alexander Award for Outstanding Teaching (2000), and the prestigious George C. Barbour Award (2006). In 2010, she was elected Fellow of the Academy for Teaching and Learning. The recipient of numerous research and travel grants, Professor Safran-Naveh was awarded the prestigious Skirball Fellowship in Hebrew and Judaica, at the Oxford Center for Postgraduate Jewish Studies (1997). She is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Center and serves on the board of several scholarly journals. Since 2010, Professor Safran Naveh spearheaded the launching of the Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas, transformed Judaic Studies into a full-fledged Taft Department, and created a Joint UC- HUC Graduate Program in Judaic Studies, which is housed in the Judaic Studies Department. Presently, in addition to her regular duties, Professor Safran Naveh serves on the boards of the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute and the Rockwern Academy. 

Perry, Craig A.

Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies Department

3512 French Hall



Prof. Perry is a social historian of the medieval Near East and earned his PhD at Emory University in 2014. 

His current book project is a history of domestic slavery and the slave trade based on documents from the Geniza and other Arabic sources. He is also co-editor of volume 2 of The Cambridge World History of Slavery on the medieval period.

Raucher, Michal

Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Studies



Professor Raucher earned her PhD in Religious Studies at Northwestern University, studying religion, anthropology, ethics and gender studies.  Her current research considers the reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel, where she conducted two years of ethnographic research. Professor Raucher has written on sexuality and gender in Judaism, religion and bioethics, and abortion legislation in Israel. She has received degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Raucher was selected to serve as a Fellow for the Jewish Theological Seminary for 2015-2017, during which time she is teaching and consulting on Jewish ethics.

Adjunct Faculty

Epstein, Ingrid Moen

Visiting Assistant Professor

3513 French Hall



Fisher, Arna

Instructor - Adj

French Hall



Griffith, Dana Gregory

Annual Adjunct Assistant Professor


"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. 

Krome, Frederic James


272L CC Snyder Addition



Professor Krome received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1992. He taught at Northern Kentucky University prior to joining the staff at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in 1998. He has taught classes at UC since 1992.

Porte, Michael S

Professor Emeritus

3513 French Hall



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.

Schaffer, Shannon E

Assistant Professor

3513 French Hall



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.

Schottenstein, Alley

Instructor - Adj



Affiliate Faculty

Cahn, Steven J.

Associate Professor of Music Theory

4225G Emery Hall



Crane, Cynthia A.

Assoc Professor




Fenichel, Henry

Emeritus Faculty

219 Geology-Physics Building



Frierson, Elizabeth B.

Associate Professor

340A McMicken Hall



Gibson, Michelle

Professor Emerita

3322 French Hall



Glaser, Jennifer

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

248C McMicken Hall



Hartman, Janine C

Professor of History,

717D Old Chemistry Building



Katz, Ethan

Assistant Professor


Lause, Mark A.


322 McMicken Hall



Meem, Deborah T.

Professor of WGSS



Opengart, Bea C

Educator Assistant Professor

50C McMicken Hall



Parr, Adrian

Professor and Director of The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center; Department of Political Science & School of Architecture and Interior Design; UNESCO Water Chair (PhD, Monash University)


Rechnitzer, Haim Otto

Associate Professor of Jewish Thought

Selya, Roger M

Professor Emeritus

401 Braunstein Hall



Sorrels, Katherine

Associate Professor of History
Affiliate Faculty, Judaic Studies

301B McMicken Hall



Twomey, Jay

Department Head, Associate Professor

248 McMicken Hall



Weinstein, Valerie A.

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

3314 French Hall



Weissman, Gary

Associate Professor

350F McMicken Hall



Zalar, Jeffrey

Associate Professor; Ruth J. & Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair of Catholic Studies

McMicken Hall




Emeriti Faculty

Bowman, Steven B.

Professor Emeritus

French Hall




Forbes, Brandi

Program Coordinator (NE)

3428 French Hall



O'Neal, Evajean S

Business Administrator

3824D French Hall



Educator Faculty

Brolley, John David

Instructor-Educator; Director of Undergraduate Studies

3506 French Hall



John Brolley is an educator-instructor in the Department of Judaic Studies who specializes in Bible, demonology, creation myth, and theories of religion. He earned his B.A. in Music from Connecticut College, his M.Div. from Emory University, and his M.Phil. in Hebrew and Cognate Studies from Hebrew Union College. He has been teaching at UC since January of 1998.