Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

CJS adds faculty with specialties in Hebrew and Middle East history

The Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) has added two new professors to its program: Sari Havis, lecturer of Hebrew, and Jonathan Sciarcon, assistant professor of history.

“In addition to being wonderful teachers and colleagues, Sari and Jonathan bring with them areas of expertise that fit very powerfully into our ever-growing teaching and research commitments to Israel studies, intercultural bridge-building and global studies,” says Sarah Pessin, director of CJS. 

Havis heads up a new Hebrew language program for DU, teaching courses in beginning and intermediate Hebrew, as well as new courses on Israeli culture — including an Israeli Culture Through Film class in winter and spring quarter.

Havis is a native Israeli with a love for the Hebrew language and Israeli culture. She comes to Denver from the University of Kansas.

“I am passionate about Hebrew,” Havis says. “It is my vision that gradually the Hebrew program at DU will grow in numbers and in its course offerings. Through my Israeli Culture Through Film course and by facilitating future Israeli guests on campus, I hope to enrich not only DU students and faculty, but also Denver at large.”

Sciarcon’s expertise is in Middle East history, including research on Iraqi Jewish history and new courses on Israel and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“What brings me to my subject is perhaps personal,” says Sciarcon. “My father’s side of the family lived peacefully in the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years, and my father still speaks Ladino.”

Sciarcon received his PhD in modern Middle East history at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He will teach courses on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the history of Israel and the history of U.S.-Israeli Relations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *