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The Jewish Idea: Morality, Politics, and Theology

Tikvah Summer Fellowship for College Students       June 18, 2015—July 31, 2015

2015 Tikvah Summer Fellows


Bezalel Apfel, Yeshiva University
Bezalel Apfel, a Teaneck, New Jersey native, is a rising junior in the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva University, where he is studying philosophy, classics, and biology. Before beginning his studies at YU, Mr. Apfel spent three years in Israel learning Talmud and Jewish thought at Yeshivot Kerem B’Yavneh and Mir. He is currently working as an editorial assistant for Professor Aaron Segal of YU on a forthcoming compendium on Jewish philosophy entitled Jewish Philosophy Past and Present: Contemporary Responses to Classical Sources. Mr. Apfel has formerly interned for the intergovernmental affairs office of Governor Chris Christie and as a research assistant for NGO-Monitor.

Yakov Ashkenazi, King’s College
Yakov Ashkenazi is an Israeli student currently studying towards an undergraduate degree in economics and politics at King’s College London. Having grown up in Jerusalem, Mr. Ashkenazi moved to London in 2011 to pursue higher education and has been living there since. He has been a member of various political organizations in the U.K., including the Henry Jackson Society, Chatham House, and the Royal United Services Institute. For fun, Mr. Ashkenazi enjoys reading in the park, tennis, good music, and wine.

Angelina Ellyason, UCLA
Angelina Ellyason recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in political science, concentrating on political theory. She started her college career thinking she would head to dental school and instead found her way to the field of law. During her time at UCLA, Ms. Ellyason served on the executive boards of her university’s Rotaract Club and Chabad on Campus, was a research assistant for a public-policy group focusing on Los Angeles-based sex trafficking, and devoted a significant amount of time to UCLA’s Undergraduate Law Journal as an editor. However, her fondest university memories involve her involvement with UCLA’s Jewish news magazine, Ha’Am, for which she served as head content editor, social-media manager, occasional artist, and avid writer. Ms. Ellyason has always been interested in the intersection of Judaism and feminism and is hoping to gain a new perspective through the Tikvah fellowship. In her free time, Angelina enjoys hosting dinner parties, reading and writing near the beach, and discovering new places, people, things, and ideas.

Yakir Forman, Yeshiva University
Yakir Forman is a rising junior at Yeshiva University in New York, where he studies mathematics and physics. Originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, Mr. Forman writes occasionally for the YU’s Jewish thought magazine, Kol Hamevaser; volunteers to teach interactive science lessons to local public-school students; and is a peer tutor in mathematics.

Jonathan Green, Yeshiva University
Jonathan Hart Green is a recent graduate of Yeshiva University. He spent his first two years at the University of Toronto studying political science and transferred to YU in his junior year. He holds an H.B.A. in political science and Jewish studies (concentration in Jewish philosophy), and is particularly interested in the intersection between Jewish and political thought. During his time at YU, Mr. Green has been the editor-in-chief of the Political Science Journal of YU, an undergraduate fellow at the YU Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and a member of the on-campus a cappella group, the Y-Studs. Last summer, he participated in the Hertog Political Studies Program in Washington, D.C. He aims to make a contribution to academia and/or rabbinics and looks forward to setting out on that path this fall.

Sharon Huberfeld, Stern College
Sharon Huberfeld is a rising senior in Stern College for Women, majoring in political science with a minor in art history. At Stern, she serves as president of the YU J. Dunner Political Science Society, functions as the arts and culture editor of The Observer (the student-run newspaper), and explores New York City in her free time. After graduation in May 2016, Sharon hopes to attend law school.

Zachary Ingber, Brown
Zachary Ingber received his B.A. in history and political science from Brown University. He completed an honors thesis in which he proposed a new framework for understanding the constitutional due-process rights of foreign nationals detained in U.S. military prisons. During his senior year, Mr. Ingber was an undergraduate fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies as well as a research assistant to a professor writing a book on the legal framework of post-Civil War reconstruction. On campus, Mr. Ingber served as president of the Brown RISD Hillel, as an opinions columnist for The Brown Daily Herald, and as founder and president of the Brown Policy Union, a student-driven debating society modeled on the Oxford Union. He has extensive think-tank experience researching Al-Qaeda and military theory at the Henry Jackson Society and American Enterprise Institute, and completed the Hertog Political Studies Program. Mr. Ingber is looking forward to the Tikvah Summer Fellowship for College Students and engaging with Jewish philosophy and questions of Jewish identity.

Isaac Inkeles, Harvard
Born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Isaac Inkeles is a rising senior at Harvard, where he studies government, focusing on political theory. He has served as editor-in-chief of The Salient, Harvard’s undergraduate conservative publication; blogs editor of The Harvard International Review; and a member of the Undergraduate Council. Until injuries forced him to quit, he played for the Harvard Rugby team.

Eliora Katz, University of Chicago
Eliora Katz will be a junior at the University of Chicago, where she studies philosophy, economics, and Persian (leaving precious little time for her favorite Jewish philosophy courses). A regular contributor to the university’s Chicago Maroon newspaper, she also contributes to Haaretz, The Times of Israel, and The Jerusalem Post. Last summer, she studied at The Herzl Institute while completing research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The previous summer she interned for the mayor of Jerusalem after finishing her gap year at Migdal Oz.

Rachel Katz, University of Chicago
Rachel Katz is a rising M.A. student in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, from which she also recently received her B.A. A recovering math major, Ms. Katz hopes and plans to devote her time to studying medieval Jewish and Islamic political/philosophic thought, in addition to various things more ancient and more modern. She is originally from Southern California.

Aaron Lasker, Penn
Aaron Lasker is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania where he is studying history and intellectual property. Mr. Lasker is also a proud member of the Orthodox Jewish community and occupies positions on several boards of religious life as well as various politically conservative organizations on campus. He often ventures into editorial writing on the side. Aaron likes engaging in theological, political, and moral discussions for fun, and is extremely excited about contemplating the Jewish idea at Tikvah.

Jenna Lifhits, Middlebury
Jenna Lifhits recently graduated from Middlebury College with a double major in political science and Russian. On campus, she served as meals chair for Middlebury Hillel and wrote for the college newspaper. Last summer, Ms. Lifhits participated in the Hertog Political Studies Program, where she studied political philosophy as well as foreign and domestic policy. Following the program, she interned at the American Enterprise Institute and tracked the crisis in Ukraine as part of the Critical Threats Project. Ms. Lifhits wrote her senior thesis on liberal education and the thought of Aristotle, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Michael Oakeshott.

David Lilienfeld, Yale
David Lilienfeld is an alumnus of SAR High School and Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in history. His coursework focused on the history of political thought, historiography, and political philosophy. On campus, Mr. Lilienfeld was vice-president of Yale Friends of Israel and an active member of the Yale Political Union. His professional experiences include working as an investment banker in New York City and as a lobbyist in Brussels. He hopes to pursue graduate study next year.

Daniel Mael, Brandeis
Daniel Mael is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. During his time as an undergraduate journalist he made numerous television appearances on Fox News and the BBC discussing issues related to free speech on campus and the Arab-Israeli conflict. His writing appeared in TIME Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, and Newsmax, among others publications. Mr. Mael was also the subject of the “Weekend Interview” in the January 3, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal. He will join Greenmantle, a macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm, at the end of the summer.

David Rubenstein, Middlebury
David Rubinstein is a rising sophomore at Middlebury College, where he studies political science and history. At Middlebury, he is an active member of the debate team, and is an avid downhill skier. Before coming to Middlebury, Mr. Rubinstein spent a year teaching French in Germany. Mr. Rubinstein is originally from Paris.

Kylie Unell, NYU
Kylie Unell is a rising senior at New York University, concentrating in American Jewish history in the School of Individualized Studies. Hailing originally from Overland Park, Kansas (without having ever encountered Dorothy or Toto), she also lived in Modi’in, Israel and Greensboro, North Carolina before settling in Manhattan.

Aron White, University of London
Aron White is originally from London and has been studying and teaching Talmud, Tanach, and Jewish history in Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem since 2010. He has recently completed his degree in politics and international relations through the University of London International Program (Lead College: LSE). Mr. White has published articles in the Degel journal and on TorahMusings.com about contemporary Jewish issues, including Jewish views of politics and service in the Israel Defense Forces. Mr. White writes a blog on the Times of Israel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and researches Israel-China relations for StandWithUs.