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Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors, who are declared Judaic Studies majors or minors from any academic year, offer prospective students a personal point of contact for inquiries about the Judaic Studies program. Ambassadors warmly welcome new students into the department and provide valuable student insights into the Judaic Studies experience. Moreover, ambassadors participate in campus-wide fairs and actively contribute to creating student-centric events and activities each term.

The 2024-25 Student Ambassadors

Full Name: Ari Leflein (he/him/his)

Degrees: Judaic Studies & History Majors

Year in College: Senior, Class of 2025

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Favorite Judaic Studies Class: Judaic 351 - “Anne Frank in Context”

Student Organizations: Michigan Journal of History

When I started at U of M, I planned to explore my interest in history by becoming a history major. However, exceptional cross-listed courses in the History and Judaic Studies Departments prompted me to pursue a double major in History and Judaic Studies. Since then, my experiences with the Judaic Studies Department, and in Judaic Studies courses, have been central to my college education; I have enjoyed taking a range of classes on intriguing topics—from Yiddish, to the “History of American Jews,” to “Anne Frank in Context”—and even working with Judaic Studies professors as a student researcher. My education in the Judaic Studies Department has enabled me to better understand my own identity and provided me with the unique opportunity to learn from professors who want to facilitate deeper understandings and who are eager to support students in their educational endeavors!

The nuanced subjects explored in Judaic Studies courses and the in-depth class discussions have made me more confident in my ability to ask novel, important questions and to write in a way that is productive and contributes to broader conversations. I am currently using these new skills to research and write an honors thesis on the Nuremberg Trials and their important precedent inthe field of international law—a topic that I have been exploring since high school and one which afforded me the opportunity to attend and speak at an event at The Peace Palace in The Hague. I also enjoy working at the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization and as an associate editor at the Michigan Journal of History. In my free time, I enjoy throwing pottery on the potter’s wheel and kayaking on Lake Michigan!

Full Name: Sophie Reed (she/her/hers)

Degrees: Judaic Studies & History Majors

Year in College: Senior, Class of 2025

Hometown: Grand Rapids/NYC 

Favorite Judaic Studies Class: all of them

Student Organizations: research 


Full Name: Sara Taub (she/her/hers)
Degrees: Communication and Media Major, Minor in Judaic Studies
Year in College: Senior, Class of 2025
Hometown: Birmingham, MI
Favorite Judaic Studies Class: Judaic 389 - "Jewish Literature"
Student Organizations: University of Michigan Dance Team, WolvHERine, Guest on MiSHEgan Podcast

I took my first Judaic Studies class my sophomore year and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every course I have taken in the department! The faculty go above and beyond to ensure that they connect with students and that we are connecting to the course material. As a Student Ambassador, I hope to bring more attention to the department and the classes that we offer, something I wish that I had known earlier in my time at Michigan. I am looking forward to spending my final year at Michigan serving the Judaic Studies department!