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Graduate Students at UCLA

The following is a list of UCLA graduate students conducting research on or related to Israel.

Yair Agmon
Department of Information Studies
Advisor: Anne Gilliland

Agmon’s research focuses on marginalized groups who were shunned by mainstream archives, and are currently undertaking archival work informally in pursuit of control over their records, independent knowledge production, and government accountability. More specifically, Agmon’s research investigates the legal, regulatory, and professional boundaries that prohibit such community based organizations from gaining a formal recognition as archival intuitions which would secure their autonomy and legal status. Prior to his doctoral program, Agmon received an MFA in Photography and Media from The California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Yael Assor
Advisors: C. Jason Throop (Chair, UCLA), Sherry B. Ortner (UCLA), Akhil Gupta (UCLA), Jarrett Zigon (UVA)

Assor’s research focuses on the ongoing process of shaping Israel’s healthcare policies. Her dissertation will explore how public expectations of policymakers’ ethical conduct shape healthcare decisions in Israel’s nationalized healthcare system. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Assor completed a BA in Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology and an MA in Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sarah Johnson
Advisor: David Myers

Johnson’s research focuses on modern German-Jewish history, particularly that of the German Zionist movement both in Germany and in Palestine during the interwar period. The main emphasis of her research is on the history of German Zionist institutions, processes of community building, and migration. Prior to attending UCLA, Johnson received an MA in Modern History from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and a BA in History and German Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Janice Levi
Advisors: Andrew Apter, Aomar Boum, Ghislaine Lydon,  Sarah A. Stein

Levi's research examines the historical precedent behind the development of Jewish communities in Western Africa in the 20th century, with a focus on a community in present-day Ghana. Her research analyzes physical and dialogical encounters along the coast and through the interior of Western Africa. The project also examines the role of Israel in Ghana during the independence era to the present day and their response to these emerging communities. Levi has completed an MA History (UCLA), MA African Studies (Indiana University), and BA History (University of Oklahoma).

Yotam Menda Levy
Advisors: Jennifer Bolande and Vishal Jugdeo

Menda Levy's research focuses on the “Farhud” (from Arabic: looting, rubbery), a series of pogroms perpetrated against the Jewish population in Iraq 1941. The research will explore the representation and presence of the Farhud in Israeli poetry and culture and how despite their significance, the events of the Farhud have not been assimilated into the Israeli discourse. As part of his artistic process, Menda Levy will produce a visual work that combines historical research and documentary imagery with experimental visual techniques. Prior to his studies at the MFA Art School at UCLA, Mende Levy completed his BFA at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Molly Oringer
Advisor: Susan Slyomovics

Oringer’s work broadly concerns the anthropology of statehood, citizenship, and constructions of belonging. Her dissertation research focuses on the cultural, social, and historic realities of the Jewish community in Lebanon and its diaspora (including those in Israel), as well as the relation between these communities and the Lebanese state. Oringer received her MA from NYU in Near Eastern Studies and a BA in Religion from Smith College.