In order to enrich her interests in the field of Jewish Studies, 2019 alumni, Avery Weinman embarked on a journey to Israel to explore the culture and expand her studies. Not only was she able to study abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem during Summer 2018, but with the financial assistance from the Center for Jewish Studies at UCSC, she was able to attend Summer Ulpan offered by the University of Haifa International School in 2019 to study Hebrew.
“With this hands on experience of living in such a diverse and highly political region, I was able to see the country through a ‘kaleidoscope.’ There are so many ways to see Israel that aren’t typically explicitly portrayed by the media and it was amazing to see so many types of people existing in the same place.”
Through her studies abroad, she was also able to broaden her knowledge in Mizrahi Jews and Israeli Collective Memory–which were topics she explored in her senior thesis at UCSC. “My research on this topic added necessary color to the context of Israel and addressed that the majority of Israeli Jews do not easily fit within the American understanding of whiteness. As academics, we must add those people to the conversation–the Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Ethiopian Jews who are often left out of the Jewish narrative.”
During her undergraduate years, Avery Weinman wrote for the Leviathan Jewish Journal at UC Santa Cruz, which she recalled to be, “A great joy of my life that gave me the ability to think about my Jewish identity, and what it meant to be Jewish.” Avery was the editor-in-chief, staff writer, and artist from 2016-2019.
Today, Avery is back in her hometown of Davis awaiting acceptance for graduate school where she will be continuing her studies in History and/or Jewish Studies. She emphasizes a family saying: “Cream rises to the top–the hardest workers will be those that succeed.”
During her time at UC Santa Cruz, Avery received many academic awards and fellowships:
- THI Undergraduate Research Fellowship Project: “From Ma’abarot to Mahapakh: How Israel’s Mizrahim Became the Foundation of the Israeli Right” (December 2018)
- Jewish Studies Undergraduate Research Award (June 2019)
- Undergraduate Scholars Conference in Israel Studies – UCLA Nazarian Center Best Presentation Award First Place (June 2019)
- Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award – UCSC Humanities Division (May 2019)
- Hitchcock Award for Best Overall Essay – UCSC History Department (April 2019)
- Linda Peterson Award in Intellectual History – UCSC History Department (April 2019)
- Jewish Studies Undergraduate Research Award (June 2018) Awarded for essay “Revisiting Isaac: Finding Meaning in an Unexceptional Life” in Leviathan Jewish Journal (Winter, 2018)