UMass Amherst
Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
 

Faculty

Aviva Ben-Ur, associate professor

[vita | email | webpage | (413) 577-0649 | fax: (413) 545-5876]

Aviva Ben-Ur is Associate Professor in the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Adjunct to both the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Department of History. She earned her Ph.D. from Brandeis University (1998) and her M.A. and M.Phil. degrees from Columbia University (1992; 1994). She is the author, with Rachel Frankel, of Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogue of Suriname (Hebrew Union College Press, forthcoming), and A Ladino Legacy: The Judeo-Spanish Collection of Louis N. Levy (Alexander Books, 2001). Her current book projects include Sephardic Jews in the United States: Where Diasporas Met (under contract with New York University Press) and “Jewish Identity in a Slave Society: Suriname, 1660-1863,” for which she has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship. Her articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Journal of Southern History, American Jewish History, American Jewish Archives, Jewish History, Journal of Jewish Studies, and Studies in Bibliography and Booklore.

Aside from the A.C.L.S., she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Fulbright Program; the University of Washington, where she was the Hazel D. Cole Fellow in Jewish Studies; and the John Carter Brown Library, among others. She has taught at the National University of Ireland, Galway; the University of Washington; and Queens College.

She has served on the Advisory Boards of Sephardic House, the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Religious Heritage, and on the Academic Councils of both the American Sephardi Federation and the American Jewish Historical Society. She has been a Fellow of the UMass Five College Center for Crossroads in the Study of the Americas, a Lilly Teaching Fellow, and the recipient of both a University of Massachusetts Center for Teaching Course Enhancement Grant and Faculty Research Grant.

Professor Ben-Ur teaches “Jewish Utopia/Dystopia” (Judaic 323); “Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Medieval World” (Judaic 325); “American Jewish Diversity (Judaic 343); “Sephardic Literatures and Cultures of the Spanish Diaspora” (Judaic 353); “Jewish Travelers and Travel Liars: Exploration and Imagination, Medieval to Modern Times” (Judaic 373); “The Jewish Experience in America” (Judaic 375); and “The Jewish People II: Medieval to Modern Times” (Judaic 102), the semesterly gateway course for Jewish Studies majors and minors.

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