2020 Great Jewish Books Summer Program Faculty and Staff

2021 faculty and staff will be announced shortly.

Core Faculty

Rachel Green is assistant professor of comparative literature and Israel/Palestine Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her BA in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from the University of Chicago and her PhD in Middle Eastern languages and cultures from the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Green works comparatively in Arabic and Hebrew, focusing on the diverse literatures of Israel and the Arab East (the “Mashriq”), including Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and the countries of the Arab Gulf. Her teaching and research interests include empathy and the history of emotion, group and intergroup formations, and the environment and climate change. She is currently working on her first book, about liberal discourses of emotion along seamlines of privilege and belonging/exclusion in the Middle East. She has published on the translation of empathy between Hebrew and Arabic and has also written articles and book reviews for Haaretz, the Journal of Jewish Identities (JOJI), the E3W Review, and the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World (SCTIW).

"The staff really did a phenomenal job of making every participant feel welcome, as well as running varying activities … I felt almost as if the program were in person.”

— 2020 Great Jewish Books student

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.

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.

Guest Author

Molly Antopol’s debut story collection, The UnAmericans (W.W. Norton), won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, the French-American Prize, the Ribalow Prize, and a California Book Award Silver Medal. The book was longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Sami Rohr Prize, among others. The book appeared on over a dozen “Best of 2014” lists and was published in seven countries. Her writing has appeared widely, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Granta, One Story, The Sewanee Review, The New Republic and San Francisco Chronicle, and won a 2015 O.Henry Prize and a 2020 Pushcart Prize. She’s the recent recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the American Academy in Berlin, the American Library in Paris, and Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and has taught in their Creative Writing Program since 2008. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer of Creative Writing at Harvard. She’s at work on a novel, which will also be published by Norton.


Sadie Gold-Shapiro, Activity Leader. Sadie is a curious historian, Yiddishist, and translator living on Nipmuck, Pocomtuck, and Nonotuck land in so-called western Massachusetts. They can usually be found in dusty and/or digital archives poking around in the past, or up on stage, playing with their klezmer band Burikes (“beets” in Yiddish). They participated in the Yiddish Book Center’s 2014 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program and were also a 2016–2017 graduate fellow. This will be their third year staffing Great Jewish Books. They are excited to get to know you!

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.