2021 Great Jewish Books Summer Program Faculty and Staff

2021 guest authors and activity leaders will be announced shortly.

Core Faculty

Jessica Kirzane is an assistant instructional professor in Yiddish in the department of Germanic languages at the University of Chicago and the editor-in-chief of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Her field of study is American Jewish literature, and she has published (or will soon be publishing) articles on the ethics of representations of African Americans in American Yiddish literature, discussions of intermarriage in American Yiddish newspapers, and the religious and social-evolutionary thinking in intermarriage narratives by San Francisco Jewish writer Emma Wolf and her contemporaries. She is also an enthusiastic translator of Yiddish literature, including work by Yiddish writers Joseph Opatoshu, Yenta Serdatsky, Dora Schulner, Perets Hirschbein, Getsl Selikovich, Miriam Karpilove, and others. She completed her translation of Miriam Karpilove's novel Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle Against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, 2020) with support from a Translation Fellowship from the Yiddish Book Center. She has also published numerous resources and reflections on pedagogy in In geveb and on the Teach Great Jewish Books website of the Yiddish Book Center. 

"[I loved] the community it built... The kindness and warmth from the teachers and the other kids was really nice. It felt looser than a regular classroom, and that made me feel way more comfortable and chill than regular school. I also loved that I have more books to read!”

— 2020 Great Jewish Books online student

Lital Levy is associate professor of comparative literature and a member of the program in Judaic studies at Princeton University, where she teaches in the areas of Hebrew literature, Arabic literature, comparative literature and theory, and Jewish studies. She specializes in contact zones of Hebrew and Arabic within literature, cultural studies, and intellectual history. She is the author of Poetic Trespass: Writing between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine (2014), which investigates the cultural politics of Hebrew-Arabic multilingualism and translation and how Arabic has influenced the formation of Hebrew-based Israeli culture. Her other publications include articles and book chapters on the topics of Arab Jews, Jewish literature and world literature, Jewish memories of Baghdad, and Mizrahi literary history. She is currently completing a book on the intellectual history of Arab Jews in the modern Hebrew and Arabic renaissance movements. 

Sasha Senderovich is an assistant professor in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and a faculty member at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, at the University of Washington, Seattle. His field of study is Soviet Jewish culture; his first book, How the Soviet Jew Was Made is forthcoming (Harvard University Press, 2022). He has also published on Soviet-born American Jewish writers like Gary Shteyngart, Anya Ulinich, Irina Reyn, and David Bezmozgis. Together with Harriet Murav, and with the support of the Yiddish Book Center's Translation Fellowship, he translated from the Yiddish David Bergelson's novel Judgment (Northwestern University Press, 2017). He has also published essays on literary, cultural, and political topics in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the New York Times, the Forward, Lilith, Jewish Currents, the Stranger, and the New Republic.


Margaret Frothingham, Program Assistant. Margaret keeps track of details for several programs at the Yiddish Book Center and enjoys getting to know the students at Great Jewish Books. Margaret is currently working towards her MA/MFA in Children's Literature through Simmons University and holds a BA in English and Art from Wheaton College.

Sylvia Peterson, Program Manager. Sylvia helps run educational programs for all ages at the Yiddish Book Center. Prior to joining the Center in 2014, she worked at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. She holds a BA in classics from Mount Holyoke College and has a passion for art history and museum studies. She’s also an avid baker.