Faculty

The following foundations,
individuals, and agencies
have given generously:

Eli Reinhard

Paul & Sheri Robbins

Eda & Joseph Pell

Sherri Sager

Temple Emanu-El
of San José, California

Jewish Federation
of Silicon Valley

Middle East Studies Consortium


San José State University
Jewish Studies Program
Victoria G. Harrison, Ph.D., Coordinator
408-924-5547

Mira Z. Amiras

Mira Z. Amiras

Professor, Comparative Religious Studies
Ph.D. in Anthropology, U.C. Berkeley

Prof. Amiras founded and has coordinated the Middle East Studies Program since 1987. Her geographical area of expertise is the Middle East and North Africa, and her courses include Magic, Science and Religion; Middle Eastern Traditions; Islam, Politics and the West; Jews, Zionism and the State; Jewish Mysticism, Magic and Folklore.

The author of Development and Disenchantment in Rural Tunisia: The Bourguiba Years (1992), her current research is on Amazigh (Berber) identity and language revitalization in North Africa and in the Amazigh diaspora.

Bruce Bramlett

Bruce Bramlett

Lecturer, History and Religious Studies
ABD, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Bruce Bramlett teaches Holocaust and genocide studies in schools throughout the South Bay, and offers courses on these topics and on modern European Jewish History at Sonoma State and SJSU. He is Associate Director for the Helen and Joe Farkas Center for Holocaust Studies, located at Mercy High School in San Francisco.

Constantine Danopoulos

Constantine Danopoulos

Professor, Political Science
Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia

Constantine Danopoulos teaches a wide range of courses in international relations and comparative politics. He has received the 2003–04 Professor of the Year from Pi Sigma Alpha of the SJSU Political Science Department and is the recipient of the David Ben Gurion Medal for Academic Leadership from Sde Boker, Israel (1999).

Author of numerous articles on civil-military relations and Warriors and Politicians in Modern Greece (1984).

Victoria G. Harrison

Victoria G. Harrison

Jewish Studies Program Coordinator
Ph.D. in English, Rutgers University

Victoria Harrison coordinates the Jewish Studies Program, bringing cohesion and interdisciplinary commitment to the minor and working closely with Hillel and the larger community to extend programming as widely as possible.

Author of essays on American and Jewish-American literatures and Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics of Intimacy (Cambridge 1993).

Donny Inbar

Donny Inbar

Lecturer, Jewish Studies
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Donny Inbar's research focuses on the roots and birth of Jewish show business and Yiddish theater. He has lectured, taught, and published extensively on Jewish and Israeli arts and culture and on the Hebrew Bible. In Israel he led two parallel careers in Israeli theater and media, and translated plays, prose and poetry. In San Francisco he served as the Cultural Attaché at the Consulate General of Israel. He now serves as Associate Director for Arts and Culture at the Israel Center of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation.

 

Rina Katzen

Lecturer, Hebrew Language
Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaica Study, U.C. Berkeley

One of the two founding Jewish Studies Program faculty members, Mrs. Katzen has been teaching Hebrew at SJSU for thirty-eight years. She can be credited with keeping the Jewish Studies Program alive through her commitment to her teaching and to the program.

David Mesher

David Mesher

Professor of English
Ph.D., University of Washington

David Mesher's academic scholarship focuses mostly on Jewish writers. He taught for five years at Tel Aviv University and has written several essays in Hebrew for Israeli publications. Earning the 2001–02 College of Humanities Award for Innovative Teaching, Prof. Mesher teaches courses in world literatures, American literature, Holocaust literature; new to his repertoire is a freshman seminar on the history, culture and strategies of board games.

Jonathan Roth

Jonathan Roth

Professor of History
Ph.D., Columbia University

Professor Roth's academic focus is ancient military history, especially that of the Roman Imperial Army, first century Judaism and Christianity from a historical perspective, and race and ethnicity in antiquity. He earned SJSU's Outstanding Professor award for 2005-06. He directs the Burdick Military History Project at SJSU.

Author of numerous articles on ancient military history and Roman Warfare (Cambridge, 2009), Professor Roth has also created a course for the Teaching Company--48 half-hour lectures on War and World History, available on DVD and CD.

George Vasquez

George Vasquez

Professor, Department of History
Ph.D., Columbia University

Dr. George Vásquez lived and worked in the Middle East for 12 years, traveling extensively throughout Arabia, including the United Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait, as well as in the Sudan, Lebanon, Iran, and Turkey. He has written on the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia for the London-based Middle East Magazine. At SJSU he has taught courses on the history of Islam and the First Gulf War. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the Rise of Islam and on the Modern Middle East. He is a frequent reviewer for the Journal of Mediterranean Studies and has written as well on historiography and Latin American intellectual history. He has directed three NEH seminars at SJSU on Latin American Nationalism.

Brent Walters

Brent Walters

Lecturer, Comparative Religious Studies
M.A. in Theology, Boston Theological Institute

“Better than an iPod, more meaningful than a boyfriend, more helpful than Wikipedia” (RateMyProfessor.com comment for Mr. Walters). Earning the highest ratings possible from his students, Mr. Walters brings his extensive knowledge and passion to bear on his subject: the Bible and Biblical history. A collector of early Judeo/Christian writings about religion, philosophy, science, medicine, literature, and the arts, his private library—which he began building at age 15—numbers 85,000 pieces.

Mary Warner

Mary Warner

Associate Professor of English
Doctor of Arts in English, University of Michigan

After graduating from high school, Mary Warner entered the School sisters of Notre Dame, where she pursued a degree in English and English Education. She taught in Catholic high schools for nine years, working in Cresco, IA, and New England, ND. She earned her Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and subsequently taught at Black Hills State (composition, English methods, Foundations of American Education), supervised student teachers, and advised a Native American high school 130 miles from Black Hills State. She later taught at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Currently an Associate Professor of English at San José State University, Mary Warner is the author of  “Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story.”

Marilyn Wyman

Marilyn Wyman

Lecturer, Art History and American Studies
Ph.D., University of Southern California

Professor Wyman's areas of interest include American, Modern, and African Art as well as studies in American culture. She has published and delivered numerous papers on the art of indigenous and/or marginalized cultures within the US and in Africa. With a Koret grant, she has created a digital archive of several thousand images for use in her Jewish Art and her American Jewish Art courses.