Jason J. Block

Fromer Undergraduate Scholar 2014

Jason "Jackson" Block is a Business Administration student with Public Policy, Global Poverty & Practice, and Jewish Studies minors at the University of California, Berkeley. He is from Santa Clarita, CA and he has been actively involved in the Jewish community. He has served as president of Berkeley's Jewish Student Union since 2014, volunteers weekly with various non-profit organizations on and off campus, and works as an undergraduate fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.

Daniel Fisher

Magnes Graduate Fellow (2014-2015)

Daniel Fisher is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. Daniel’s research explores social, historical, and literary questions in the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish biblical interpretation. He is currently writing a dissertation entitled, “Memories of the Ark: Cultural Memory, Material Culture, and the Construction of the Past in Biblical Societies.” The project develops a cultural biography of the Ark of the Covenant, exploring its use and reuse as a site of memory before and after its loss.

Zoe Lewin

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2012-2014)

Zoe Lewin, art history and rhetoric major at UC Berkeley, researched a collection of nearly 500 postcards and contributed to developing an inventory of these materials, which includes accession information, descriptions, and transcription of Hebrew texts.  The over 3,000 postcards in this collection document Jewish life, sites, cityscapes, and cultures across the global diaspora. 

Liora Alban

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2012-2014)

Liora Alban has been involved in archival work at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life since 2012. Her time here has taught her the myriad of ways in which Jewish traditions simultaneously borrow from and shape Jewish material culture. She appreciates that The Magnes Collection offers space for her and others to explore their interests in a
art and religious study.

Alex Makabeh

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2013-2014)

Alex Makabeh, UC Berkeley Environmental Science and Pre-Medical major, worked on documenting a collection of over 150 artifacts from Iran. The materials are being inventoried, researched, catalogued, and shared across social media platforms, integrating the Magnes online collection catalog ( with Flickr and Google Maps. 

Erin Faigin

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2013-2014)

Erin Fagin, UC Berkeley History major, applied her knowledge of Yiddish to help catalog circa 100 previously uncatalogued Yiddish books and journals printed in California during the first half if the 20th century. The project is carried out with the participation of Magnes Graduate Fellow, Eli Rosenblatt. 

Christine Liu

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2012-2014)

Christine Liu, double major in History and Economics at UC Berkeley, worked on small archival collections, which document a wide variety of topics, ranging from art collecting in Southern California to Jewish history in Germany from the 18th through the 20th centuries. 

Anna Bella Korbatov

Undergraduate Research Apprentice (2013-2014)

Anna Bella Korbatov, UC Berkeley class of 2015, studies Political Science. Anna Bella collaborated on a major inventory project devoted to the extensive collection of postcards at The Magnes. The over 3,000 postcards in this collection document Jewish life, sites, cityscapes, and cultures across the global diaspora. 

William M. Brinner (1924-2011)

Professor of Near Eastern Studies (UC Berkeley)

A native of the San Francisco area, Professor Brinner studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught Arabic and Islamic studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies from 1956 until his retirement in 1991, having served as Chair of the Department several times. Professor Brinner also served as a visiting professor at Harvard, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, University of Washington, and at three Israeli universities.

Shalom Sabar

Folklorist and Art Historian

Shalom Sabar is Professor of Jewish Art and Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sabar is the last Jewish baby born and circumcised in the ages old neo-Aramaic speaking Kurdish-Jewish community of Zakho. He earned his PhD in Art History from UCLA (1987), writing on the illustrated marriage contracts of the Jews in Renaissance and Baroque Italy.


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