In one of my recent conversations with Dr. Yael Granot-Bein, I have been reminded how much I have learned and how my life has changed in the past few years. Three years ago, when I was defending my MA dissertation at the University of Bucharest, I could have only dreamed of becoming the person I am today.
A year ago, I was preoccupied with classes, papers and exams together with my wonderful classmates from the Weiss-Livnat MA Program. Also, I was looking through the fellowships available for Holocaust students and scholars. Luckily for the future of Holocaust studies, there are many awards and outstanding candidates to fill in these positions.
Now I am a second year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Haifa, and I have recently been awarded two amazing fellowships at the most prestigious museum in the field, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As a Ph.D. candidate, filling in and submitting applications for fellowships is part of daily life. You can only hope that committees will find your work interesting. However, fellowships are not only about funding, but also about the feeling of appreciation you get when selected as a fellow. The thought that scholars in the field think your research is important gives you confidence. By receiving a fellowship, you also challenge yourself to become a better student or scholar, and I believe that only by constantly challenging yourself, you can learn and evolve.
I am honored to be selected as an EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure) fellow and as a Visiting Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. I am looking forward to conducting research in the voluminous USHMM archive, and I am certain that I will have an interesting and enriching experience.
As an EHRI fellow, I will be working on my project called “A Database: An Essential Step in Reconstructing Jewish Childhood Experience in Wartime Transnistria.” This project aims to facilitate students’ and researchers’ access to the archival materials found at the USHMM, on the topic of Jewish children in Transnistria during the Second World War.
Throughout the 2016-2017 Academic year, I will be a fellow in residence at The Mandel Center. During my time there, I will work on my dissertation, Jewish Children in Orphanages in Transnistria (1942-1944). History and Memory. In addition to conducting archival research, the Mandel Center encourages discussions between fellows by organizing weekly meetings where fellows have the opportunity to present their work, and to receive feedback from others. I realized how important it is to talk about your research, thoughts and ideas while I was taking classes at the Weiss-Livnat MA Program. These discussions helped me gain new perspectives and improved my writing and research skills. I can only be thrilled about the thought of being able to continue discussing my research, this time at USHMM.
I would like to thank the faculty and staff from the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies, many thanks to my supervisor Dr. Joanna Beata Michlic, and to Dr. Raphael Vago for the guidance and support. Also, I would like to thank EHRI for giving me this six weeks fellowship and to USHMM for awarding me the Yetta and Jacob Gelman Fellowship on the Holocaust in Romania.
To read about the EHRI fellowship call: http://www.ehri-project.eu/ehri-fellowship-call-2016-2018
To read about the Mandel Center annual fellowship call: https://www.ushmm.org/research/competitive-academic-programs/fellowship-competition