Ilan Peleg headshotIlan Peleg, Charles A. Dana Professor of Government and Law, serves as Chair of Lafayette’s Jewish Studies Program

Peleg is a former president of the scholarly society Association for Israel Studies, served for 13 years as Head of Lafayette’s Department of Government and Law, and for 10 years as Chairman of Lafayette’s International Affairs Program. Peleg is a graduate of Tel-Aviv University with B.A. in Political Science and Sociology and a Master’s in Political Science and International Relations, a second Master’s in International Relations from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern. Peleg, who offers courses on Middle East politics, international relations and ethnics politics, is the author of 14 books and close to 100 articles. Among his most important books are two volumes published by Cambridge University Press (Democratizing the Hegemonic State from 2007 and Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within from 2011), a political biography of Israel’s prime minister Menachem Begin (1987), a volume of the foreign policy of George W. Bush (2009), a book on censorship and freedom of expression around the world (1993). Among his edited books there are two volumes on political corruption, Israeli bi-nationalism in Israel, the peace process in the Middle East, victimhood, and more. Peleg has delivered lectures all over the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, and has appeared on CNN, Voice of America, and National Public Radio.


Jessica Carr headshotJessica Carr, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair of Jewish Studies

Carr holds an A.B. from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. Carr teaches as part of the Jewish Studies Program the foundational course on Judaism (required of all students within the Program), as well as courses dealing with the Biblical tradition within Judaism, the history of Polish Jewry, Jews in the Americas, and the Jewish response to the Holocaust. In the area of scholarship, Carr’s main publication is her recently published book, The Hebrew Orient: Palestine in Jewish American Visual Culture, 1901-1938 (State University of New York Press, December 2020), exploring the role that images of Palestine played in the construction of prewar Jewish American identity. Carr is also working on a project comparing visual culture representations of Jewish women from around the world. Her focus now is on women artists in Argentina, especially the art books of Alex Appela.


Jennifer-Gilmore headshotJennifer Gilmore, Assistant Professor of English

Gilmore is author of three novels for adults, including The Mothers (Scribner, 2013), which is currently being adapted for film with Gilmore adapting the screenplay, Something Red (Scribner, 2009), a New York Times Notable Book and Golden Country (Scribner, 2006), also a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (Scribner, 2006). She is also the author of two young adult novels, We Were Never Here (Harper, 2016) and most recently, If Only (Harper, July 2018). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Bomb, BookForum, Huffington Post, Jewish Forward, the Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, the New York Times, Real Simple, Salon, Tin House, Vogue and the Washington Post. She teaches Jewish American Literature, as well as creative writing. Her teaching interests include creative writing, short fiction, novels, screenwriting, creative nonfiction, contemporary American literature, Jewish American literature, young adult literature, and literary publishing.

Monika Rice, Assistant Professor and Robert Weiner and Ilan Peleg Scholar in Jewish Studies

Rice is a former Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at Gratz College. A native of Poland, she earned her B.A. and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, and a Ph.D. in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Rice teaches on the Holocaust, Jewish Humor, Jewish Studies, Jewish-Christian relations, and Jewish Culture. Rice’s first book, “What! Still Alive?! Jewish Survivors in Poland and Israel Remember Homecoming” (Syracuse University Press, 2017) was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. The book chronicles Holocaust survivors’ memories of their first postwar encounters with their former Polish neighbors, as well as the evolution of these earlier memories as the survivors built new lives for themselves in Israel. Rice’s current research is focused on investigating the complex postwar identities of Polish-Jewish doctors. Her other publications have appeared in edited volumes and academic journals including Yad Vashem Studies, Holocaust Studies, Polin, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Nashim. Rice has been a recipient of several prestigious fellowships and grants, and has contributed to international scholarly workshops in the US, Poland, and Israel.