Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program

Affiliated Faculty

Jeffrey Auerbach, Ph.D., Professor

Jeffrey Auerbach, Ph.D., Professor

Dorothy Clark, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Dorothy ClarkDorothy Clark, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Dr. Dorothy Clark is a professor of English.  She earned both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at UCLA and received an M.A. in English and a secondary English Credential from CSUN.  Dr. Clark has been teaching as full time faculty at CSUN since 2001. 


Her interests and courses include Children’s Literature, Yeats, interdisciplinary courses on good and evil, and the Holocaust with a focus on issues of memory and representation.  The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Dr. Clark has been a board member of the 1939 Society (the largest Holocaust survivor organization in the U.S.) for over a decade.  She helped to initiate the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program’s trips to Poland, leading the first trip in conjunction with Loyola Marymount University in 2010.

Prof. Clark has taught classes on the Holocaust and American Culture and the Rhetoric of Memory—focusing on the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.

Current Research Interests:

Holocaust education and preserving an “authenticity of memory”; children’s literature and new media; representations of good and evil in popular culture.

Recent Selected Publications:

Co-editor, Frontiers in American Children’s Literature. Accepted for publication by Cambridge Scholars Press, January 2014.

"Healing Shattered Worlds: The Unforeseen Effects of a Second Generation Daughter's Return to Her Parents' Polish Village." Tikkun Magazine, Tikkun Daily, December 2011.

“Hyperread: Repurposing Children’s Literature and Digital Storytelling.”  Postmodern Reinterpretations of Fairy Tales. How Applying New Methods Generates New Meanings.  Ed. Anna Kérchy.  The Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.

“Being’s Wound: Evil and Explanation in The Killer Inside Me,” in the Enigma of Good and Evil: The Moral Sentiment in Literature, edited by A. Tymieniecka, Analecta Husserliana Book Series 85, The Netherlands: Springer Publications,  December 2005.


  • Member of the Editorial Board (Polish Peer Reviewed Journal):  A/R/T Journal: Analyses/Rereading/Theories: A Journal Devoted to Literature, Film and Theatre
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Children’s Literature Association (ChLA)
  • American Literature Association (ALA)
  • Children’s Literature Society, American Literature Association

Beth Cohen, Ph.D., Lecturer

Beth Cohen, Ph.D.Beth Cohen, Ph.D., Lecturer


  • Ph.D. Holocaust History, Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University, Worcester, MA. 2003.
  • M.Ed. Developmental Psychology, Harvard University.
  • B.A. Psychology, Adelphi University. This included one year in the Tel-Aviv. University Overseas Students Program with a focus in Jewish Studies.

Research and Teaching Interests

The Holocaust and its aftermath including the intersection of the Holocaust and American Jewry, and the appearance of the Holocaust in public consciousness and memory from postwar until today.

Her current research focuses on child survivors’ postwar experiences. In addition to articles and a book on the Holocaust, she has volunteered as an interviewer for the USC Shoah Visual History Foundation and consulted to The March of the Living, PBS Frontline “Memory of the Camps, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, and other film and educational projects.


“Reconstituted Families After the Holocaust “ in Ofer, Dahlia and Cohen, Sharon, eds, New Research from the Kestenberg Archives, Berghann Books (forthcoming 2015).

 The Youngest Remnant,” in K. Darian-Smith, Childhood, Culture, and Heritage. Valentine-Mitchell, 2013.

“The Myth of Silence: Survivors Tell a Different Story,” in Sundquist, Eric and Cesarani, David, After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence. Routledge, 2012.

“Holocaust Survivors in the United States,” entry in Cambridge Encyclopedia of Judaism and Jewish Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

“Face-to-Face: Holocaust Survivors and the American Jewish Community, 1946-1954” Approaches to Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany, Wayne State University Press, 2010.

Holocaust Survivors in America, Albany, NY: New York Archives Journal, Spring 2008.

Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press in association with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, 2007.

“From Case File to Testimony: Reconstructing Survivors’ First Years in America.Casden Annual, Vol. 6:  The Impact of the Shoah on America and in Jewish American Life. PurdueUniversity Press, 2009. 

“Helping Hands? The Resettlement of Holocaust Survivors in America, 1946-1954.” In Steinert and Weber-Newth, eds. Beyond Camps and Forced Labour. Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution. Proceedings of the first International Multidisciplinary Conference at the Imperial War Museum, London,   January 2003, Osnabrueck (Secolo Verlag) 2005.

“In the Shadow of Genocide: A Comparison of Literature by the Descendants of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust,” Journal of Armenian Studies, Spring 2001.


  • Social Studies History Association
  • American Jewish Historical Society (Academic Council Member)
  • Association for Jewish Studies
  • Western Jewish Studies Association

Helen Ernst Dosik , Ph.D., Lecturer

Helen Ernst Dosik , Ph.D., Lecturer


  • Ph.D., M.A., University of Southern California, Sociology
  • B.A., University  of Illinois, Chicago, History, Biology and Chemistry
  • Illinois State Certificate, Secondary Education, Social Studies  


Sociology. Areas include medical sociology, marriage and the family, life span development, sociology of emotions, gender, sociological theory, social psychology, social gerontology, and Jewish medical ethics.

Faculty leader for CSUN Jewish Studies Program and History Department trip to Poland (2011) and Poland - Berlin (2012). 

Teaching Awards: Polished Apple Award, 2004; Department of Sociology Certificate of Appreciation, 2009; WRAD (Writing Reading Across Disciplines), Faculty Fellowship 2010-2011.


“Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Multidisciplinary Students in a Sociologically Focused Course.” Presentation at Annual Western Jewish Studies Association Conference, April 7, 2013.


Faculty advisor at CSUN to AEPi , 2011-2012; member, The 1939 Society,  Second Generation Los Angeles;  MEMBER, American Sociological Association.

Former Director of Communication; Manager, Public Relations Programs, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s  Medical Center, Chicago, IL.

Former Managing Editor, American Journal of Medical Technology, Houston, TX.

 “Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Multidisciplinary Students in a Sociologically Focused Course.”  Presentation at Annual Western Jewish Studies Association Conference, April 7, 2013; Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Serves on CSUN Gerontology Interdisciplinary Advisory Board since 2002; serves on Scholarship Committee of SAGE Society – Sonja Marchand Gerontology Scholarship since 2007. 

Elaine Goodfriend, Ph.D., Lecturer

Elaine Good friend Elaine Goodfriend, Ph.D., Lecturer

  • Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, History
  • Office: Santa Susana Hall 418
  • Phone: 818.677.6875 or 818.677-6762 (messages for Jewish Studies), 818.677-3392 (messages for Religious Studies)


June 1990: Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies, University of California at Berkeley.  

September 1982 - June 1983: Fulbright Grant, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

June 1980: M.A., M.L.S. Concurrent Degree Program in Near Eastern Studies and Librarianship, U.C. Berkeley. Wheeler Fellowship in the Humanities.

December 1976: B.A. in Semitic Languages, Cornell University;  Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and graduation with honors.



Teaching courses in Ancient Near East, Bible (Hebrew Bible and Christian Bible), Jewish history, women in Judaism and Jewish culture, general religious studies.

Research in Hebrew Biblical studies.



"Food in the Hebrew Bible," in Food and Jewish Traditions. Editors: Aaron Gross, Jody Myers, and Jordan Rosenblum. Forthcoming.

"Leviticus 22:24: A Prohibition of Gelding for the Land of Israel?" in Current Issues in Priestly and Related Literature: The Legacy of Jacob Milgrom and Beyond. Editors: Roy E. Gane and Ada Taggar‑Cohen, et al. Resources for Biblical Study. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, Spring 2015.

"Ethical Theory in the Hebrew Bible," Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality.  Editors:  Elliot N. Dorff & Jonathan K. Crane. Oxford University Press, 2012. 

Author of 118 sample annotations for's "Tagged Tanakh." This project  is the Jewish Publication Society's endeavor to publish the Hebrew Bible/Tanakh as an electronic, online text, integrating the original Hebrew with JPS's English translation and selected commentaries. My annotations linked the Hebrew Bible with sources from the Ancient Near East.

"Book of Exodus," "Prostitution," and "The Ancient Near East." Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Editor: Judith Baskin. Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Central commentaries for the weekly Torah portions Yitro, Mishpatim, Tazria, and Metzora. The Torah: A Women's Commentary. Editors: Tamara Eskenazi and Andrea Weiss. New York: URJ Press, 2008.

Contributions to Women in Scripture:  A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, and New Testament.  Editors: Carol Meyers, Toni Craven, and Ross Kraemer.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.    

"Could keleb in Deuteronomy 23:19 Actually Refer to a Canine?" in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom.  Editors: David P. Wright, Avi Hurvitz, and David Noel Freedman.  Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1995. 

"Adultery," "Prostitution," Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1992.


Terry Hatkoff, Ph.D., Lecturer

Terry Hatkoff, Ph.D., Lecturer

PhD, USC, 1978 Sociology

MA, Northeastern University, 1973, Sociology

BA, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1971, Sociology and Education


Sociology at CSUN since 1978 with interests in Gender Roles, Social Psychology, the Family and the Jewish Community.

Family and Consumer Sciences with focus on family studies since 1986.

Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program since 1996; Developed the Service Learning/Internship class in JS; serving on the JS Interdisciplinary Program committee


Involved in the Jewish community at the synagogue, and federation level (served on the board of each); faculty advisor to first Jewish sorority on campus (2009=2013);CSUN Hillel advisory Board 1999-2003


“Fieldwork in the Jewish Community” published in AAHE Volume on Service Learning in Religion and Theology, Spring 2002.

Jody Myers, Ph.D., Professor

Jody Myers, Ph.D.Jody Myers, Ph.D., Professor


  • Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985.
  • M.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977.
  • B.A., cum laude, History, Brandeis University, 1975.


Jewish culture and history, contemporary religious thought, American religious life, sustainability and nature.


Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest: The Kabbalah Centre in America (Praeger Publishers, 2007).

Seeking Zion: Modernity and Messianic Activism in the Writings of Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003). 

Selected Articles:

“Kabbalah Centre: Marketing and Meaning,” for Controversial New Religions, Second Edition, eds. James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

“Jewish Service-Learning Partnerships between Hillel and the Public University: A Case Study,” co-authored with Renée Cohen Goodwin, Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Vol. 87, (Winter/Spring 2012).

“Teaching Contemporary Israel through the Internet and Student Blogs” in Coping with Diversity: Language and Culture Education, eds. Hanna Komorowska and Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich (Academica, Warsaw, 2011).

“Kabbalah for the Gentiles: Diverse Souls and Universalism in Contemporary Kabbalah,” in Kabbalah and Spiritual Revival: Historical, Sociological and Cultural Perspectives, Boaz Huss, ed. (Ben-Gurion University Press, 2011). 

"The Myth of Matriarchy in Contemporary Jewish Women's Spiritual Writings," Jewish Social Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (Fall, 1997).

"The Secret of Jewish Femininity: Hiddenness, Power, and Physicality in the Theology of Orthodox Women in the Contemporary World," in Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition, ed. T.M. Rudavsky, (New York University Press, 1995).  Co-authored with Jane Rachel Litman.

"Messianism and Zionist Ideologies," in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, volume VII (Oxford University Press, for the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1991).

Michele Paskow, M.A.H.L., Lecturer

Michele Paskow, M.A.H.L., Lecturer

  • Jewish Studies
  • Office: Santa Susana Hall 420
  • Office Hours: Wed. 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.
  • Phone: 818.677.6878 or 818.677-6762 (messages)





           HEBREW UNION COLLEGE, New York, NY: Rabbinic Ordination, 1991; M.A. Hebrew Literature, 1989

           UNITED STATES ARMY CHAPLAINCY SCHOOL: Officer's Basic Course, 1990 - Ft. Monmouth, NJ;

                 Officer’s Advanced Course, 2000 – Ft. Jackson, SC

           HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM: Graduate study, Hebrew Literature, 1986-87; Summer study, 1983

           UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES: B.A. Hebrew Language and Literature June 1986,

                 cum laude





Mira Rosenthal, Lecturer

Mira Rosenthal, Lecturer

Mira Rosenthal earned her Advanced Teaching credential in 1978 at the Gordon Seminary, Haifa, Israel. In the first twenty years of her teaching career, she mainly focused on teaching higher education Hebrew classes and Algebra, as well as training new teachers at the Marcus Army School for the IDF and at the Damum Correction Facility Center. In 1978 Mira shifted her focus from teaching native speaking Israelis to teaching Hebrew only to immigrants at Leo Baeck High School, Haifa.

From 1999 to present, Mira has been teaching Hebrew at the Whizin Center for Continuing Education as well as Hebrew grammar and conversation at the American Jewish University's Rabbinical School and at the Jewish Education department. Mira is also a part time faculty member at CSUN's Modern & Classical Languages and Literature department where she teaches beginning and intermediate Hebrew as a second language.

Cheryl Spector, Ph.D., Professor

Cheryl SpectorCheryl Spector, Ph.D., Professor

  • Ph.D., English, Cornell University, 1986
  • M.A., English, Cornell University, 1979
  • B.A., English, magna cum laude, Rice University, 1976

Teaching areas:

Jewish-American writing, intertextuality, American literature (esp. fiction, 1820-present)

Research interests:

Freshman success, transfer success, common reading programs, learning communities, freshman pedagogy, faculty development

Audrey Thacker, Ph.D., Lecturer

Audrey Thacker, Ph.D., Lecturer

Jennifer Thompson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Jennifer ThompsonJennifer Thompson, Ph.D.

Jewish Studies
Amado Professor of Applied Jewish Ethics and Civic Engagement
Office: Santa Susana 232
Phone: 818.677.2963


Ph.D., Ethics and Society,
Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
B.A., summa cum laude, Brandeis University, English & American Literature; minor, Comparative Religion; Women's Studies Program
Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany: International Summer Academy, "Research Strategies in Faith Development and Biographical Study in Contemporary Religion"
Harvard University: Special Student in Anthropology

Courses taught include: Applied Jewish Ethics, American Jewish Experience, Contemporary Ethical Issues, Introduction to Judaism, Freshman Seminar, Feminist Ethics, Gender and Judaism, Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, Thinking Historically About Theology, Christian Ethics, History of Christian Thought, Thinking Through Theological Education, Modernization of Jews and Judaism, American Jewish History, Survey of Jewish History.

Selected publications:


eText: Applied Ethics, 2015

biographical article:
“Because their children are Jewish.”, July 14, 2010,

“Look Who's Raising Jews.” The Jewish Daily Forward, May 19, 2010,

Selected Awards/Honors:
Community Engagement Discipline-Based Grant, Office of Community Engagement, California State University, Northridge, 2013, 2014

Incentive Regional Allocation Grant for Mapping the Jewish Valley project, The Valley Alliance of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, 2012

Seminar on Debates about Religion and Sexuality, Harvard Divinity School, 2012

Center for Ethics, Emory University, Ethics and Servant Leadership Summer Internship Program, 2009

Graduate Fellowship, Center for Study of Myth and Ritual in American Life, Sloan Center on Working Families, Emory University, 2005–2010

American Academy of Religion

Association for Jewish Studies

Society for Scientific Study of Religion

Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry

Society of Jewish Ethics

Kassandra Wilsey, M.A.

Kassandra WiseyKassandra Wilsey

Kassandra graduated top of her class with a Masters Degree in Recreation Management from California State University Northridge. As a part-time instructor in both the Recreation and Tourism Management Department and the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program, she teaches outdoor education, and environmental sustainability. She also teaches Environmental Judaism which is an examination of teachings on the natural environment found in Jewish literature and oral teachings, with an emphasis on values and practices related to respect for natural life and environmental conservation. It is her goal to bridge the growing gap between students and their natural environment with hopes of a more sustainable future.