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The Don Kunitz Award for Academic Excellence in Jewish Studies

The Kunitz award honors the best undergraduate work each year, for categories such as short essays, research papers, creative projects and senior theses. We will give four awards of $125.00 each to one student from each category.


This award was made possible by donations from the family, friends and community of Don Kunitz, a librarian at UC Davis. He continued his varied intellectual interests even after he retired, attending many lectures and colloquia on campus. Don was a warm person with a wonderful sense of humor. He was very much a cultural and secular Jew. This award keeps his memory alive for those of us who knew him and, at the same time, perpetuates his spirit in a manner he would find extremely worthwhile.

Kunitz Award PhotoKunitz Award Photo 2

How to Submit:

        **If you took a JS course in Spring 2016 and did well, please consider submitting your work!**


    1. E-mail your paper as an attachment to:
    2. In your e-mail, make sure to include the following information: your full name, phone number, mailing address, permanent address, e-mail address, and the course title & instructor’s name.
    3. We are currently accepting submissions from Spring Quarter 2015. We will accept submissions on an on-going basis until April 3, 2017.


    2016 Winners

    • Short Essay Winner: Megan Cliff
    • First Prize Research Paper: Marie Yelavich
    • Second Prize Research Paper: Peter Mills
    • Jewish Studies Scholarship: Zoe Robinow

    2015 Winners

    • Lara France (First Prize- Research Paper)
    • Jack Mizes (Second Prize- Research Paper)
    • Natascha Starr (First Prize- Short Essay)


    Pictured: Lara France

    2014 Winners

    • Josh Rushakoff (First Prize- Research Paper)
    • Eric Cavalli (First Prize- Short Essay)
    • Natalia Hess (First Prize- Long Essay)


      2013 Winners

      • Rachel Pevsner (First Prize- Short Essay)
      • Brittany Gatchell (2nd Prize- Short Essay)
      • Hannah Goldner (First Prize- Creative Project)

      Pictured: Rachel Pevsner, Brittany L. Gatchell



      2012 Winners

      • Jared Law (First Prize- Research Paper)
      • Emily Fox (First Prize- Short Essay)
      • Jonathan White (First Prize- Mid-length Paper)
      • Jonathan Dyer (Honorable Mention)

      2012 Kunitz winners

      Pictured: Emily Fox, Jonathan White, Jared Law

      2011 Winners

      • Tina Mirzazadeh (First Prize)
      • Maya Makker (Second Prize)

      Pictured: Tina Mirzazadeh, Charlene Kunitz, Maya Makker

      2010 Winners

      • Emma Goldin (First Prize- Senior Thesis)
      • Lauren Crosby (First Prize- Research Paper)
      • Stacey Kaplan (Co-Winner First Prize- Short Essay)
      • Jamie Forrest (Co-Winner First Prize- Short Essay)

      2009 Winners

      • Kimmi Bell (First Prize)
      • Alena Egense (Second Prize)
      • Laura Weissberger (Second Prize)

      Kunitz Awardees 2009
      Pictured: Alena Egense, Kimmi Bell, Charlene Kunitz, Laura Weissberger

      2008 Winners

      • Rachel Gordon (First Prize)
      • Sarah Faye (Second Prize)
      • Emma Goldin (Second Prize)