Skip to main content

Jewish Studies Program Alumni

  • Marc Beherec, Ph.D.

    Marc Beherec, Ph.D.

    Anthropology (Archaeology), 2011

    Dissertation: "Nomads in Transition: Mortuary Archaeology in the Lowlands of Edom (Jordan)"

    Marc defended his dissertation in 2011; his advisor was Thomas Levy. He subsequently joined AECOM, a publicly-traded international Fortune 500 company based in Los Angeles, and one of the largest full-service planning, engineering, and construction firms in the world. Marc serves as cultural resources project manager for the Los Angeles office, where he leads a team of specialists who conduct cultural resources inventories and impact analyses, cultural resources construction monitoring, site eligibility testing, Native American coordination, and archaeological data recovery excavations in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. He is an active member of the Society for California Archaeology and a frequent contributor the organization’s annual conference and Proceedings.
  • Erez Ben-Yosef, Ph.D.

    Erez Ben-Yosef, Ph.D.

    Anthropology (Archaeology), 2010

    Dissertation: "Technology and Social Process : Oscillations in Iron Age Copper Production and Power in Southern Jordan"

    After defending his dissertation in 2010, Erez conducted a post-doctoral research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) focusing on the ancient copper mines of Cyprus. Since 2011 he has taught in the Department of Archaeology and the Graduate Program in Archaeology and Archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University. He is the head of the Levantine Archaeometallurgy Laboratory, and the director of the Central Timna Valley Project (CTV), a multi-year multidisciplinary research targeting various aspects of the archaeological record in the vicinity of the copper ore deposits of the southern Aravah, Israel ( The first phase of the CTV project focuses on copper production at the time of ancient Israel (the United Monarchy) and the early Edomite Kingdom.

  • Margie Burton, Ph.D.

    Margie Burton, Ph.D.

    Anthropology, 2004

    Dissertation: "Collapse, Continuity, and Transformation:  Tracking Protohistoric Social Change Through Ceramic Analysis. Case Studies of Late 5th-Early 4th Millennium Societies in the Southern Levant"

    Margie Burton received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California San Diego in 2004. She is currently Program Manager for the Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability at the Qualcomm Institute and for the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology. From 2005-2014 she was Research Director at the San Diego Archaeological Center, a non-profit curatorial, education and research organization located in Escondido. Her main research interests are ceramic and ground stone technologies and their relationship to socio-economic change. She has worked on archaeological projects in the southern Levant and southern California. She earned her BA from Stanford University in Cultural and Social Anthropology (jointly with a BS in Biological Sciences) and her MBA from UC Berkeley. For recent publications, see

  • Daniel Frese, Ph.D.

    Daniel Frese, Ph.D.

    History (Ancient Israelite), 2012

    Dissertation: "The Civic Forum in Ancient Israel: The Form, Function, and Symbolism of City Gates"

    Daniel graduated in 2012 from the History Department with a Ph.D. in ancient Israelite history. His dissertation was entitled "The Civic Forum in Ancient Israel: The Form, Function, and Symbolism of City Gates," and was co-directed by William Propp (History) and Tom Levy (Anthropology). Since graduating, Daniel has been a Visiting Scholar in Judaic Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at Franklin & Marshall College, and is currently Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at the University of Kentucky. Daniel's research focuses broadly on the social and religious history of the southern Levant during the Iron Age, including art and architecture, the Hebrew Bible, and archaeology. 

  • Aaron Gidding, Ph.D.

    Aaron Gidding, Ph.D.

    Anthropology, 2016

    Dissertation: "Approaches to Production and Distribution in Anthropological Archaeology: Views from the Early Bronze Age of Jordan and Israel"

    Aaron Gidding is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and an Associate Researcher in the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research at UC, Santa Barbara. Aaron worked over a decade with Prof. Tom Levy on excavations in the Faynan region. His dissertation focused on understanding the organization of labor and production at the copper manufactory Khirbat Hamra Ifdan. Dating to the terminal phase of the Early Bronze Age, the work at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan further developed our understanding of the way that pastoralists managed early intensive copper production. Currently he is developing a project to sample copper production sites in the Arava Valley in Israel. This work will continue his primary research interests: the origins of long-distance commodity exchange and the socio-political contexts that enable communication-less trade. Other research interests include digital methods in archaeology, archaeomagnetism, radiocarbon and archaeometallurgy.

  • Margarita Levantovskaya, Ph.D.

    Margarita Levantovskaya, Ph.D.

    Literature, 2013

    Dissertation: "Rootless Cosmopolitans: Literature of the Soviet-Jewish Diaspora"

    After defending her dissertation in 2013, Margarita (Maggie) Levantovskaya began teaching in the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There she teaches courses on post-Soviet culture, Russian language, and twentieth-century Jewish literature and film. Her current research project examines representations of cultural identity and diaspora in contemporary fiction about the migration of Russian-speaking Jews in the late-twentieth century. She is particularly interested in the work of Russian, Russian-Israeli and Russian-American authors. Her project interrogates the place of Jews in the larger Russophone diaspora and highlights the ways in which ex-Soviet Jews challenge traditional conceptions of Jewish diaspora. Maggie is also conducting research on "experiments with autobiography" in the work of Russian-Jewish fiction writers and visual artists.