The Morris and Shirley Rapoport Award in Jewish Studies

The Morris and Shirley Rapoport Award in Jewish Studies is given by the program to a Rice undergraduate student who has demonstrated exemplary achievement and dedication in Jewish Studies courses over his or her undergraduate career. The recipient has submitted outstanding work in the field and has shown a commitment to integrate the study of Jews and Judaism into his or her major area of study, in keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the minor in Jewish Studies.


2024: Lily Primus, Samuel Raphaelson

2023: Lindsey Schirn, Grace Stewart

2022: Natty Askanase, Alyson Resnick

2021: Danielle Kessler, Sophia G. Pereira

2020: Daniel Cohen

2019: Katherine Webber, Chloe Wilson

2018: Colton Cox

2017: Sonia Hamer

2016: Rachel Landsman

2015: Sparrow Gates, Jeremy Reiskind

2014: Ashley Pelton, Christal Porter

2013: Hannah Bosley

2012: Jennifer Phillips

The Morris and Shirley Rapoport Jewish Studies Essay Prize

The Morris and Shirley Rapoport Jewish Studies essay prize is a competitive annual prize open to undergraduate students from any department. Applicants may submit a scholarly essay of up to 2,000 words or work of art that addresses some element of Jewish history, culture, or experience in any academic field. Artistic submissions may include creative writing, pieces of artistic expression, and musical compositions. Submissions will be judged by a committee of Rice faculty, and the prizes will be presented at the Humanities reception during graduation weekend. Winning essays will be shared on the Jewish Studies website.

First prize is $1000 with two honorable mention prizes of $200 each.

To maintain anonymity, students should only include their name on the cover sheet and not within the essay pages. Essays with this cover sheet must be submitted by April 5th, 2024 to


2024 first prize: Tom Shamrakov "Alfonso X's Cantigas de Santa Maria—A Pluralist Ruler or an Antisemite? Two Sides of the Same Coin.

2024 first prize: Skyler Zinker "Arab-Jews in Israel: Caught between Diaspora and Dissonance

2023 first prize: Elias Hensen "A Community Psalm of Lament from Humanities Students" 

2023 first prize: Anna Rajagopal "I Visited a Jewish Funeral Home"

2022 first prize: Kavya Sahni "Delis and Tandoors: The Role of Jewish and Indian Restaurants in American Culture" 

2022 honorable mention: Alyson Resnick "Food and the Holocaust"

2022 honorable mention: Julia Engelhardt "The Enlightenment and the Jewish Question"

2021 first prize: Julia Engelhardt “A Modern Lament of the Individual”

2021 first prize: Eugene Parks “Scream the Truth at the World: The Oyneg Shabes Archive and the Jewish Resistance”

2021 honorable mention: David Ocampo “Death Marches: The Last Episode of the Holocaust”

2021 honorable mention: Marlo Wilcox “Ghettoization: Evidence of the Functionalist Argument”

2018 first prize: Sonia Hamer “Printed on her Body”

2018 honorable mention: Gary Dreyer “Stranger Lands”

2018 Chloe Wilson “Becoming the “Other” in Jewish Feminism”