Ashley Walters is an assistant professor of Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston. She completed her PhD in American and East European Jewish History with a PhD minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stanford University. She is currently working on a book titled, Intimate Radicals: East European Jewish Women and Progressive American Desires, which explores how unconventional romances among leftist radicals helped produce a new cultural mythology of the East European Jewish woman in early-twentieth century America. She is a co-editor of and contributor to the recent volume, Matrilineal Dissent: Women’s Writing and Jewish American Literary History, published in 2024 by Wayne State University Press. At the College of Charleston, she teaches courses on modern and American Jewish history, Jews and gender, and southern Jewish history.

Research Assistant

Leah Davenport is one of the research assistants at the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture. She is a senior at the College of Charleston and is majoring in Jewish Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She joined the Pearlstine/Lipov research team in 2022 after her studies sparked an interest in Jewish communities of the South, specifically in the Lowcountry, of which she is a native. Leah was instrumental in finishing research on synagogues across South Carolina. In addition to her work with the Center, Leah is the Peer Facilitator for the both of the Jewish Studies First-Year Experience seminars in Fall 2024. She is currently planning to go on graduate school for social work, where she hopes to earn her MSW with a certificate specializing in hospital social work.

Research Assistant

Erin Thomason is a research assistant for the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture. She holds bachelor’s degrees in History and Religious Studies from the College of Charleston. She is currently working for the iCharleston program as a Site Director in Rome, Italy with first-year bridge students during their first semester abroad. Erin plans to pursue a PhD in the History of Medicine. Her research interests center on the treatment of those with disabilities over time, with a focus on the many ways that societal thought processes and biases towards those with disabilities affect the way disabled patients are treated by physicians.

At the Pearlstine/Lipov Center, Erin assists Dr. Walters in archival research on the history of Jews and sex work in Charleston. This research is part of Dr. Walters’ broader book project on the history of Jews, sex work, and the Atlantic World.

In addition to her work at the Center, Erin is the Nemirow Family Research intern, assisting Dr. Gibbs’ ongoing research on interview practices for aged Holocaust survivors and the gerontological science surrounding memory and recollection in different interview formats. Erin has also worked on a variety of research projects including an upcoming publication surrounding spirituality in Asheville, NC. Her work specifically focused on the connections between New Age spirituality and the anti-vaccine movement, conducting on-site interviews with those who identify as both.

Research Assistant

Jules Silberberg is a junior at the College of Charleston, majoring in Jewish Studies. She joined the Jewish Studies Program after her sophomore year, during which she began engaging more with Hillel and the Jewish Studies Center. Jules has always had an interest in her family history, which blossomed into her current program of study. She is especially interested in Jewish history prior to WWII. In the spring of 2024, Jules was awarded the Ludwig Lewisohn Prize for the Best Paper in Jewish Studies. Her winning submission, “Lizchor,” is a personal reflection about her experiences as part of the College of Charleston’s “Tracing the Holocaust” study abroad program in Poland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

As a research assistant for the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, Jules is working on digitizing the Kalushiner Society Minute Book (1927-1936), which is housed in Special Collections. In addition to her work on behalf of the Pearlstine/Lipov Center, Jules is a student intern at the historic Charleston Library Society in Charleston, SC. She plans to pursue a career in archival work – specifically pertaining to the Jewish press – after she graduates from the College of Charleston.