BA Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Area Specialist at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library, UCL
Why did you choose Hebrew and Jewish Studies?
I have always been interested in Jewish studies, in particular, being Polish, I wanted to know more about the history and culture of Polish and Eastern European Jews. It’s partly because of Poland’s past and partly as a result of family history – my grandfather is a Holocaust survivor and has a great private collection of Hebraica and Judaica that always fascinated me. I wanted to know more about the history of the people that for centuries had such a strong presence in Poland and was curious about the mutual influence of Polish and Jewish cultures on each other as well as the impact of Eastern European Jews on the culture and society of modern Israel.
I chose the HJS Department at UCL because of its outstanding academic reputation, the extremely warm welcome that I received during my initial interview, and the year in Jerusalem that was to be part of my BA studies which later proved to be an unforgettable experience.
What stands out about your time in the Department?
“I had the great pleasure to be taught by many brilliant, extremely knowledgeable, kind and open-minded teachers that are world-renowned experts in their fields.
I had a wonderful time studying in the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at UCL. What stands out most to me is the expertise of the faculty members combined with their great passion for the subjects taught. This passion inspires students and makes learning both easier and more enjoyable. I had the great pleasure to be taught by many brilliant, extremely knowledgeable, kind and open-minded teachers that are world-renowned experts in their fields. The Department is extremely supportive of its students and their needs and makes every effort to ensure that everyone feels at home.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I’m currently back at UCL where I work as an Area Specialist at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library. One of my main responsibilities is the development of the Polish collections. In my other role at UCL, I also catalogue Jewish Pamphlets. Prior to this, I worked at the Leo Baeck College Library and at the British Library where I worked in various capacities, including retrospective cataloguing of the BL Hebraica and Judaica collections.
How did HJS prepare you for your career?
“Knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish studies has often given me a distinct advantage in applying for roles that would have been unattainable to me otherwise...
I believe that the knowledge I gained during my BA studies in the HJS Department has helped me significantly in developing a career in librarianship. Although, I have since completed a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies as well, most of the professional library positions that I have held so far would, likely, not have been possible without my Hebrew BA. Librarianship is an increasingly expanding and competitive field. Knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish studies has often given me a distinct advantage in applying for roles that would have been unattainable to me otherwise and has helped me gain important professional library experience.
What would you say to students thinking of joining the Department?
I have studied in a number of countries and at different universities and departments but I will always remember the years I spent at the UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department as the most enriching, memorable and enjoyable university experience. The wonderful, warm, supportive and welcoming atmosphere, outstanding teaching, small classes, and being part of one of the leading world universities will give you the best student experience you could wish for. I can’t recommend it enough.