About us

UJSC Chairperson 2022

Me

Shlomi Helfgot is a first-year student at Yale University, with interests in philosophy, linguistics, art history, and computer science, as well as a part-time semikhah student through Yeshivat Har Etzion. He has an abiding fascination with the methodology of Talmud learning, the literary output of Franz Kafka and the ante-Nicene fathers, and Jan Łukasiewicz’s many-valued logics. Shlomi enjoys playing his electrified ukulele and acoustic mbira, and builds snowboards in the spare time that all of these interests’ time commitments leave. He is more than excited to begin work on building community amongst undergraduates passionate about Judaic Studies in his capacity as chairperson of the UJSC!

UJSC Board 2022

Gershon Engel, a Teaneck native for most of his life, has recently begun his studies in CUNY Brooklyn, where he is taking classes in Middle Eastern studies, Film, and Philosophy. For the past two years he has also studied in various batei midrash with a wide range of different outlooks, such as Yeshivat Gvoah Bet El and Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi. Additionally, he spent extensive time volunteering and working in all sorts of roles on the ground in the West Bank, including a stint as a shepherd. He is currently involved in a whole host of initiatives on the side, and is excited to be taking part in this year’s UJSC.

Batya Koenigsberg is a sophomore at Barnard College, studying molecular and cellular biology on the premedical track. In 2019-2020, she studied at Nishmat, the Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Jerusalem, Israel. Outside of biology, Batya enjoys learning about the interaction between the Bible and modern Israeli society, Jews in America, and the Halachic process as it relates to the expanding role of women in Judaism. In her free time, Batya likes to run, read, and do embroidery.

Charles Summers is a freshman at the University of Maryland currently pursuing a degree in government and politics. He writes for his university’s Jewish student newspaper, The Mitzpeh, mainly covering campus news, and occasionally helps serve food at the Hillel. He has spent most of his life in Silver Spring, MD. In his free time, Charles enjoys reading, sketching from life, and listening to Israeli new wave.

Ned Krasnopolsky is a sophomore at Yeshiva University, studying physics and biblical interpretation. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion, he is fascinated by the interpretive techniques of the classical Jewish commentators and how they relate to Midrash and the modern literary method, with a specific focus on the works of Don Isaac Abravanel. In his free time, he enjoys playing the violin and listening to contemporary Israeli music based on the biblical text.

Rivka Werner is majoring in Neuroscience at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is an alumna of Nishmat’s Shana Ba’Aretz Program and a passionate believer in the importance of female Torah scholarship. In her free time, Rivka enjoys exploring Jewish texts, philosophy, and her pantry for good snacks. Rivka is looking forward to this year’s UJSC.

Maxine Lee Ewaschuk is a first year student at the University of Toronto and a Research Trainee at the Bais Yaakov Project. She graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School in 2018 and has spent the intervening years dancing, travelling, and learning Jewish texts. Maxine is interested in studying Jewish visual and performance cultures, theology, halachic methodology, and the phenomenology of aesthetics in religious experience. She also has a visual art practice and enjoys expanding her craft repertoire.

Hannah Vorchheimer is currently a sophomore at Barnard College studying Religion and Jewish Studies with a minor in Arabic. Hannah spent a year studying at Migdal Oz, and graduated from SAR High School in 2019. Hannah is deeply passionate about her Judaism, continued Torah learning, and teaching. She is the VP Education of Yavneh Board, the editor of Columbia’s Journal of Jewish Thought, interns for the Jewish Women’s Archive, and TAs courses for the Tikvah Fund. She is really excited to work on the conference and foster a robust community of undergrad Jewish Studies students!

Chaya Juni is a freshman in the University of Toronto, studying molecular biology, philosophy, and literature. She is an alumna of the Bais Yaakov school system and of Midreshet Lindenbaum. Chaya is passionate about Jewish studies, with particular interest in meta-halakha, Jewish women’s history and issues, and exegetical methodologies. When she not studying, Chaya enjoys a good novel, a good hike, and playing her Celtic harp.

Zev Roberts is a Junior at the University of Maryland majoring in History. He presented at the 2020 conference and is looking forward to being on the board for this year’s conference!