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MILLER CENTER FELLOWS AND VISITING SCHOLARS

Dr. William Scott Green

Dr. William Scott Green joined the University of Miami as senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education in July 2006. In the newly created position, he has overall responsibility for enhancing the quality of the undergraduate experience and strengthening the integration of university-wide undergraduate curricular and co-curricular initiatives.

He also holds an appointment as professor of religious studies and senior fellow in the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies. Green previously served as dean of the College at the University of Rochester and Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Judaic Studies. He led the development of Rochester’s innovative undergraduate liberal arts curriculum and founded its Department of Religion and Classics. Green earned an A.B. in religion at Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in religion from Brown University. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.


Dr. Jeffrey S. Shoulson

Jeffrey Spencer Shoulson, Ph.D., assistant professor of English literature for the University of Miami, who has been with the University since 1995, received his doctorate from Yale University. His areas of specialty include early Jewish literature and the representations of Jews and Judaism in English literature. Fluent in both Biblical and modern Hebrew as well as several other languages, Shoulson was recently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a Fulbright scholar.

“Professor Shoulson brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the Judaic Studies Program and will help to revitalize it and take it to the next level,” said Professor Haim Shaked, Director of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies. “We very much look forward to working with him and building a first-rate academic program in Judaic studies at the University of Miami.”

UM’s Judaic Studies program, which is non-theological in orientation, offers students of all religions the opportunity to explore the multi-faceted historical and cultural record of the Jewish people. The program will be restructured to provide students an in-depth liberal arts education as well as exposure to a variety of career fields. Institutionally part of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Judaic Studies Program works closely with the Miller Center, the first University located academic and research center in the United States to focus primarily on 20th and 21st Century Jewish studies as well as trends affecting the future of the Jewish people.

Shoulson is a member of the board of trustees of the Havurah of South Florida and has taught adult education classes at Temple Judea, Temple Israel, Beth Shira, and Temple Beth David in Miami and through the Florence Melton Adult Mini School. He also serves as an Associate Master of Hecht Residential College and lives on the Coral Gables campus of UM with his wife, Margery Sokoloff, and their two children, Sophia and Oliver.


Dr. Ira M. Sheskin

Jews may be only 0.2% of the world’s population and 2% of America’s population, but the study of that population is both fascinating and controversial. The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami announces the establishment of a Jewish Demography Project within the Center. Dr. Ira M. Sheskin of the UM’s Department of Geography is the Director of the Project. Dr. Sheskin has been a member of the Judaic Studies Faculty for 25 years.

Dr. Sheskin has completed or is currently working on 31 major demographic studies for Jewish Federations throughout the country and has been a consultant to numerous synagogues, day schools, Jewish agencies, and Jewish Community Centers throughout the country. Dr. Sheskin has been a member since 1988 of the National Technical Advisory Committee of United Jewish Communities, which completed both the 1990 and 2000 National Jewish Population Surveys.

His publications include a book entitled Survey Research for Geographers. Survey research is a major tool in the study of Jewish demography. He is the author of numerous articles on Jewish demography. His latest book, How Jewish Communities Differ, has just been published by the North American Jewish Data Bank at the City University of New York. He is a member of the Board of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, serves on the Editorial Board of Contemporary Jewry, and is the current Chair of the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group.

The major purpose of the Project is to promote Jewish demographic research among scholars. The Project also has a community service component, aiming to communicate the results of Jewish demographic research to the Jewish community in a fashion that will facilitate its employment for planning purposes. The Project will publish Florida Jewish Demography as a vehicle for communicating results of academic research with Jewish communities throughout the State.

Jewish demography is to be defined in broad terms, including, but not limited to, the subject areas of Jewish geography, demography, religiosity, Jewish education, social service needs, and Jewish philanthropic behavior. The analysis of these subject areas and their relationship to major issues within the Jewish community, particularly the issue of Jewish continuity, is an important focus of the activities of the Project. Another focus is the study of the methodologies used within the field of Jewish demography.

The Project will attempt to work in cooperation with other academic and community organizations in the pursuit of its goals, including the North American Jewish Data Bank at the City University of New York, United Jewish Communities, and Jewish Federations throughout the country.