Baltimore Hebrew Institute is proud to share information about affliated faculty, publications, lectures, alumni and programs at the university.





BHI affiliated graduates are pursuing careers and personal goals while enhancing Jewish life. This year's graduates are working in Jewish Federations, Hillels, Jewish camps, and Jewish Day schools, and some also serve as lay leaders for Jewish organizations.  One of our graduates is continuing her education at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Israel.  Each of them have made strong personal and professional connections with their professors, peers and the local Jewish community.  BHI is proud to support these students through scholarships throughout their studies at TU.

2022 Graduates:


Nathan Altshuler, Lowell Brazin, Rachel Gordon, Rose Haas, Sydney Marantz, Aliya Smelkinson, Jodi Teitelman

M.A. Jewish Studies

Yasha Erkkila


Nathan Altshuler is the executive managing director at an independent pharmacy.  He served the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper in the 89th Brigade and has a strong love for Israel. Nathan is a board member of the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Baltimore Zionist District, The Josh M. Rosen Memorial Foundation, and is a co-chair of the Baltimore Jewish Council Leadership Development program. He is also newly married!

After completing two years of college, Rachel Gordon decided to serve two years in the IDF Air force where her excitement and passion for Israel flourished. For her exemplary service with the IDF, she earned the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence. Once she returned to the U.S., Rachel completed her undergraduate studies and earned a BA in Disability Studies.  She is currently serving as the Israel Engagement Coordinator at Johns Hopkins University Hillel where she just returned from leading a Birthright trip.

Sydney Marantz, a native of South Brunswick, New Jersey, has been active in the Jewish community for as long as she can remember.  As an undergraduate at TU, she quickly became involved within the Baltimore Jewish community.  It wasn't until she met Dr. Hana Bor, Director of the Leadership in Jewish Education & Communal Service M.A. program, that she discovered her passion for working in the Jewish community could become a career.  She is starting a new a position at Hillel International in their grants department.  Continue Reading


Collection of nearly 300 letters shared with Cook Library by Jaclyn Cohen ’65 offers researchers first-person glimpse into WWII.



Jews Out of the Question: A Critique of Anti-Semitism

Elad Lapidot

Book review by Dr. Gilad Sharvit

The academic field of the study of Antisemitism is fraught today with ongoing political debates on the legitimacy of the state of Israel and the nature of Zionism. Yet the effects of what one may call “classic” forms of racism and Antisemitism are still well observed in Jewish communities in the USA and Europe. These forms of Antisemitism are at the focus of Elad Lapidot’s wonderful new book Jews Out of the Question: A Critique of Anti-Anti-Semitism. Lapidot, however, does not engage with Antisemitism directly. Rather, in this latest work, he invites us to rethink how we should fight against Antisemitism. He is focused on the responses of Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers to Antisemitism in the 20th century, to suggest, quite surprisingly, that these responses share some rather important assumptions about Judaism. To clarify, Elad’s critique of anti-anti-Semitism does not intend to defend Antisemitism. On the contrary, his book suggests a fundamental affinity, and so a certain complicity between a dominant critique of Antisemitism and the criticized object.  Continue Reading

New Faculty Publications

Benjamin Fisher

Amsterdam’s People of the Book: Jewish Society and the Turn to Scripture in the Seventeenth Century

Fisher, associate professor in the Department of History and Director of Jewish Studies at Towson University, recently authored Amsterdam's People of the Book: Jewish Society and the Turn to Scripture in the Seventeenth Century (Hebrew Union College Press, 2020). Fisher surveys how Jews in the seventeenth-century Netherlands interacted with diverse Protestant movements, new teachings, and Christian religious tests, and how these encounters unexpectedly changed Jewish thinking about Judaism, the Bible and even Jesus and Christianity. A video lecture regarding the book can be viewed at Amsterdam's People of the Book (YouTube).

Gilad Sharvit 

Canonization and Alterity: Heresy in Jewish History, Thought and Literature

Sharvit, assistant professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Towson University, along with Dr. Willi Goetschel, professor of German and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, edited the volume (Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts Book 14) which offers an examination of  varied forms of heresy in Jewish thought, literature and history. The chapters examine how heresy played a role in the Hellenic period and in Rabbinic literature, as well as its influence in Kabbalah and on modern thinkers such as Spinoza, Freud and Derrida and literary figures such as Kafka, Tchernichovsky and I.B. Singer. A video lecture regarding the book can be viewed at Judaism and Heresy: The case of Spinoza, Freud, and Tchernichovsky (YouTube).