About us

Gershon Engel is from the New York metro area. He has studied at many different kinds of Batei Midrash of all different ideological outlooks. He is currently a student in the CUNY BA program focusing on international relations, Middle East studies, and documentary filmmaking. He is also currently involved in a number of initiatives on the side and is excited to be a part of this project.

Shlomi Helfgot is a second-year student at Yale University, with interests in philosophy, linguistics, art history, and computer science. He has an abiding fascination with the methodology of Talmud learning, the literary output of Franz Kafka and the ante-Nicene fathers, and nonstandard 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 on the UJSC board.

Chaya Juni is a sophomore 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 a 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.

Ned Krasnopolsky is a junior 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 biblical texts.

Ephraim Meiri is a Junior studying computer science at Yeshiva University, with a minor in Jewish studies. Ephraim is a graduate of the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, and studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh. His main interests are in the traditional and academic study of the Talmud and Tanakh, as well as textual criticism of rabbinic texts. Otherwise, Ephraim is probably either starting some side project with hopes to finish eventually, or doom scrolling on academia.edu.

Robert Odell is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey and now splits his time between New York and Chicago. He is majoring in Religious Studies with minors in History and Classics. His university coursework has focused especially on new strains of French phenomenology, modern Jewish thought and Latin medievalism. Personally, he is interested in how modern thought can allow us to reflect on medieval Jewish thought, Plato and his antique and early modern reception, and jazz guitar.

Max Parness is a 3rd year at the University of Chicago studying European and Russian History. Before the U of C, He graduated from SAR High School and spent a year in Bayit V’Gan at Yeshivat Torat Shraga. At UChicago, Max is very active in the Hillel, having served as Vice President of the orthodox community on campus. He also currently moderates the community’s weekly discussion on the Parsha. Max’s other interests include data analytics in sports, jazz drumming, and reading non-fiction. He is especially excited to be hosting the conference at his home school.

Dov Pfeiffer is a Junior at Yeshiva University studying Jewish Studies and Mathematics. He has interests in a wide array of Jewish studies topics and is currently especially interested in Second Temple Jewish writings, and Jewish philosophy in medieval Provence.