BHI Spotlight

Meet Mickey Rubin, graudate student in Jewish Education.

Mickey RubinA search for meaning in his professional goals led TU graduate Michael (aka Mickey) Rubin to pursue a graduate degree in Jewish Education. “I wanted to make an impact and give back,” he explains of his decision to enroll in the MA JE in 2010. Mickey’s undergraduate involvement in TU’s Hillel helped hone his leadership skills, and in an interesting twist, today Mickey holds the full time position at Hillel previously held by his friend from whom he learned so much, Alison Levine. As Director of Engagement, Mickey enjoys his “dream job,” and also teaches Sunday School at Beth El. Mickey also was selected as a founding resident of Baltimore’s Moishe House, a project of the Associated which offers subsidized housing to three talented leaders who organize programming for the 21 – 30 population. Mickey’s inspiration? Another member of the TU family, his father, Sam Rubin, who teaches speech communication.

Meet Danielle Feinstein, dual degree graduate student in
Jewish Studies and Jewish Communal Service.

Baltimore provides a striking contrast to Rex, Georgia, where Danielle Feinstein was the only Jewish student in her high school class. Following her undergraduate studies in history and music education at Georgia Southern University, Danielle served in the Army National Guard, and studied at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach.

Service work defines Danielle, who still travels to South Carolina once a month to play flute and piccolo in the finest band in the National Guard, and works as a counselor at the JCC’s Summer Service Camps.

Danielle's decision to move north to attend Towson University was "scary, but worth it," and she loves being a part of a large and vibrant Jewish community. Danielle is pursuing an ambitious double degree in Jewish Studies and Jewish Communal Service, and is looking forward to the Israel travel seminar this January.


Meet Andy Harkavy, MA in Jewish Communal Service, May 2010.

Ask Andy Harkavy, recent graduate with a degree in MAJCS, about the job market, and he will enthusiastically share his optimism for professionals in Jewish Communal Service. Andy has just headed south to assume his new position as Youth Director/Assistant Director of Education at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Andy studied journalism and Spanish at the University of Georgia before a Hillel Birthright experience changed his career focus. Following a two-year stint as the Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at Ohio State Hillel, Andy enrolled at Baltimore Hebrew University, transitioning to TU in fall ’09. “It was the personal connection and the diversity of the student body that attracted me to BHU,” Andy recalls. Andy’s views continue to be challenged by the broad and varied perspectives of his classmates.

The MAJCS program, with its professional orientation and impressive networks in the Baltimore community, has helped Andy secure excellent part-time jobs and an internship in development with Towson University Hillel. Andy credits the challenging core courses of the MAJCS for helping him grow Jewishly and strengthening his knowledge base. His favorite courses? Black Jewish Relations, Jewish Leadership, and Teaching Israel in the Classroom. Andy advises current students to make connections both in and out of the classroom. “I’ve learned a lot from my Baltimore experience. I’m really happy I came here!”


Meet Alex Salzberg, MA in Jewish Education, May 2011.

“The community here is amazing!” explains Alex Salzberg, when asked why he chose Towson University for graduate Judaic studies. Alex particularly enjoys spending time with other students and faculty affiliated with the Baltimore Hebrew Institute.

After completing interdisciplinary studies in history, government, philosophy and economics at Wesleyan University, including a semester in Egypt studying Arabic, Alex decided to pursue Rabbinical studies. Alex was accepted to the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2008 and wisely decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Jewish Education (administrative track) first at TU.

Alex hopes to be a pulpit Rabbi and views his Jewish Education studies as a practical compliment to his career goal. Alex’s coursework at TU will enable him to fulfill the mechinah (preparatory) requirements at JTS (saving him one year of study), in addition to earning him a powerful MAJE degree. Alex is especially enthusiastic about his newly acquired outstanding proficiency in Biblical Hebrew, knowing it will be important for his future studies. His Biblical Hebrew skills also landed Alex the job of Biblical Hebrew instructor for BHI's adult education Biblical Hebrew course. Alex's students have stated that he is excellent and will be missed as he and wife Clara embark on their new life in New York City.


Meet Lacy LeBlanc, MA in Jewish Studies, May 2011
Thesis: "By Some Kind of Jewish Practice: A Case Study of Doctor Roderigo Lopez and the Early Modern New Christian Experience."

Lacy LeBlanc Born in Lafayette, Louisianna, MAJS graduate Lacy LeBlanc completed her degree while living in Martinsburg, West Virginia with her husband and two children. Although Lacy commuted two hours to attend classes at Towson University, this did not slow down her ambitions. A student of European history, Lacy has a strong interest in museum work. She focused her thesis research on Dr. Roderigo Lopez, the converso court physician of Queen Elizabeth I during a time when Jews were banned from England. Lacy explored how he utilized his Jewish identity, however actual or tenuous, to succeed in non-Jewish society.

Lacy’s advice for prospective students? “Don’t be intimidated. Grad school is hard - especially when you have a program that requires intense language classes - but it's worth it. This has definitely been one of the most rewarding academic experiences I've ever had. Part of it is the program; part of it is the faculty and the students; and part of it is the subject matter. I think I'm definitely more prepared for a career in my chosen field.”

Currently, Lacy is Program Coordinator at The Foundation for Jewish Studies in Rockville, Maryland.

When Lacy’s not studying the past, she is every bit on the cutting edge, with a love for music of almost every genre (Punk Klezmer?). With 13 pairs of fabulous prescription glasses, Lacy’s strong sense of style keeps her looking like a rock star!



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Meet Alex Salzberg, MA in Jewish Education, May 2011.


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