BIAJS Student Essay Prize

Each year, BIAJS runs a student essay prize. Two prizes of £400, ordinarily for one outstanding undergraduate and one postgraduate essay by students at institutions in the UK and Ireland, are awarded annually. Details of the 2023 competition will be announced during the 2022-23 academic year.

BIAJS 2023 Student Essay Prize Deadline: 19th June

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2023 BIAJS student essay prize. Two prizes of £400, ordinarily for one outstanding undergraduate and one postgraduate essay by students at institutions in the UK and Ireland, are awarded annually.

Undergraduate submissions should be a final year dissertation from the current academic year on a subject relating to Jewish Studies.

Postgraduate offerings should be an essay (excluding dissertations) submitted to their institution in the current academic year on a subject relating to Jewish Studies. Submissions by postgraduate research students are not considered.

Only one submission per candidate is allowed, although departments may submit as many prize-worthy candidates as they wish. Please provide an electronic copy of the essay, clearly identified as an undergraduate or postgraduate entry, and the email address of the student. Submission can be made either by the supervisor of the essay or the department of which the student is a member and should be sent to David Tollerton ( The deadline for submission is Monday 19th June 2023.

The prize winners will be announced in July at the BIAJS 2023 conference.

Past Prize Winners


Maximilian Ferst (UCL) for ‘Borderlanders: How Zionism and Arab Nationalism Undermined Arab-Jewish Identities’.

Leo Franks (University of Aberdeen), for ‘“Rays of the Spirit of Poetry…”: Haham Moses Gaster and the Advent of Cultural Zionism’.

Andras Schweiczer (University of Manchester), for ‘Red, White, and Green: Three Aspects of the Debates on Zionism between 1897 and 1917’.

Mary Whittingdale (University of Oxford), ‘The Dynamics of Divestiture: Comparing Motifs of Garment Tearing in the Narratives of Joseph and Tamar’.



Phoebe Brandon (University of Oxford) for the essay ‘Challenging the “Plight” of the Agunah: An Exploration of Feminist Orthodox Responses to the Problem of Chained Women in Israel’.


Martin Lindner (University of Cambridge) for the essay ‘“Wer ‘ihr’? Wen meinst du mit ‘ihr’?”’[‘“Who ‘you’? Whom do you mean by ‘you’?”’]: Questions of Jewish Belonging in Anna Mitgutsch’s Haus der Kindheit [House of Childhood] (2000) and Doron Rabinovici’s Ohnehin [Anyway]’ (2004)’.

Honourable mention:

Ellie Birkett (University of Manchester) for the essay ‘Voices of the Past: Narrating Red Army Rape in Post-War Eastern Europe’.




1st: Aviv Reich (University of Oxford) for ‘Israel Zangwill: Negotiating Jewish Identities in English’.

2nd: Sophie Rejali (University of Birmingham) for ‘Redeeming Dr Miklós Nyiszli in Light of Primo Levi’s “Grey Zone”‘.



Ryan Comins‘, ‘A Linguistic Analysis of the Wisdom of Solomon’  (Cambridge).

Isobel Carter, ‘The Role of Autobiographical Hardships in Avrom Sutzkever’s Volumes of Short Stories: Griner Akvariyum, Di Nevue Fun Shvartsaplen, and, Dortn Vu Es Nekhtikn Di Shtern’ (UCL).


Robert Walker, ‘The Competency of the Greek Translator of Deuteronomy’  (Cambridge).

Hollie Eaton, ‘Blackguards in Bonnets: Women’s Suffrage, Religion and interfaith Relations, 1910-1914’  (Manchester).

Miruna Belea, ‘The Magical Use of Religious Texts: A cognitive approach to religious and cultural textual elements on an amulet from Gaster’s Collection at The John Rylands Library’ (Manchester).



Fergus Selsdon Games,  ‘Soviet Nationality Policy and the Movement for Soviet-Jewish Emigration During the Brezhnev Era’ (University of Manchester)



Anna Mullins, ‘A Gendered Analysis of Prisoner-Physicians in KL Auschwitz, with a focus on Dr Gisella Perl’ (University of Birmingham).



Adam Groves, ‘From Gaza to the Streets of Britain: British Social Media Coverage of the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict’ (Southampton).

Emilie Wiedemann,  ‘Processes of narrative construction and the politics of memory in the interpretation of Holocaust art’ (Edinburgh).


undergraduate – 1st place Molly Whyte ‘Women in Britain and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933-1945’ (Southampton); – joint second prize David Clarke ‘The British Government, The Palestine Question And Orientalism,1945-1948’(Edge Hill) and Nathan Taylor ‘A Crisis of Identity: Reflections on the York Massacre of 1190 and the Account of William of Newburgh’ (Nottingham)

postgraduate – not awarded


undergraduate – Louise Pedersen, ‘The Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum: An Assessment of the ‘Orphan Experience’ 1841-1914’ (Nottingham)

postgraduate – not awarded


undergraduate – Rhian Evans ‘The Early Transmission and Interpretation of Malachi’ (Manchester); – Leo Mercer ‘Is a Nonfoundationalist Jewish Philosophy Possible? The Thought of Tamar Ross and Peter Ochs as Case Study’ (Manchester)

postgraduate – not awarded


undergraduate – Katherine Webb ‘Perceptions of Herod: The Jew, The King, The Myth’ (Southampton)

postgraduate – Laura Quick ‘Lamech’s change of mind: early Jewish psychology in the Genesis Apocryphon, with reference to the use of שנא in the book of Daniel’ (Durham)


undergraduate – with special distinction: Magdalena Luszczynska, ‘Father-Son Relationship in medieval Ashkenaz’ (UCL); – Daphna Starr, ‘Clare Winsten: The Whitechapel Girl’ (Leeds)

postgraduate – not awarded


undergraduate – Rebecca Coll, ‘Who should be permitted to represent the Holocaust visually? A comparative study between the art of a survivor, an evader and an empathizer’ (Birmingham)

postgraduate – not awarded


undergraduate – Hannah Atkinson, ‘A Comparison of the Views and Assumptions of the Holocaust Theologies of Eliezer Berkovits and Paul van Buren’ (Manchester)

postgraduate – Tyler Smith , ‘The “Communal Meal” in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, and Philo: An Evaluation of its Purported Cultic Function and Relation to the Eucharist’ (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies)


Joint 1st (postgraduate) – Simon Mayers, ‘An Examination of the Judaism-Jewishness Dialectic within Jewish Studies’ (Manchester)

Joint 1st (postgraduate) – Zoe Jacob, ‘Which theory of secular domestic law best helps underpin the Orthodox Jewish feminist approach to halakhah, and does this theoretical underpinning strengthen Orthodox Jewish feminist position?’ (UCL)


1st – Thomas Sharrard, ‘Representations of London’s East End through literature: Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane’ (Southampton)


1st – Charlotte Alfred, ‘Should Palestinian attitudes to Israeli Jews be explained primarily in terms of religion or modern nationalism?’ (Edinburgh)

2nd – Felicity Griffiths, ‘The Blood Libel and the Papacy’ (UCL)


1st – Helen Bartos, ‘Compare and Contrast the Experiences of Jewish Immigrants in the US, England and One Other English-Speaking Land Around 1900’ (UCL)

2nd – Hannah Ewence, ‘How Can national Socialist Attitudes Toward Motherhood Be Interpreted?’ (Southampton)

3rd – Hannah Judd, ‘With Reference to the Work of Melissa Raphael, Discuss Whether there Is a Need for a Jewish Feminist Response to the Holocaust’ (Birmingham)


1st – Zubin Mistry, ‘Jewish Greek literature: apologetic or assertive?’ (Cambridge)

2nd – Fiona Eatwell ‘Popular Conceptions of the Jew in the Medieval Period’ (Manchester)

3rd – Steven Winter ‘Revisiting the 1948 War’ (UCL)


1st – Helene Bartos ‘The Zionist Movement and Jewish Settlement in the Land of Israel 1881 to 1948’ (UCL)

2nd – Daniel Cowen ‘The Treatise of the Pool of Obadiah Maimonides, 1228-1265’ (Oxford)

3rd – Ophira Starr ‘Are There Modernistic or Even Post Modernistic Elements in the Hasidism?’ (UCL)


1st – Sally Style (UCL)

2nd – Greg Smart (Southampton)


1st – J. Cartaris, ‘Yiddish cinema: Der Dibek’ (UCL)

2nd – S. Schubert, ‘Greek and Roman perceptions of Jews’ (UCL)

3rd – Danny Burkemann, ‘R. Ruether and G. Kittel on Jews’ (Cambridge)


1st – C. Belo

2nd – I. Conn

3rd – E. Krausova (UCL)


1st – R. Esterson, ‘Maimonides’ Position on Creation in The Guide to the Perplexed’ (UCL)
2nd – R. Tragen, ‘The Judgments of the Ruseisin Case: Legalism and Refection on the Nature of Jewish Identity’ (Manchester) and L. Wicken, ‘The Significance of the Spanish Expulsion for the Messianic Idea in Judaism’ (UCL)