Students play an important role at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, one of the world’s preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting.
“As well as being the meaningful, historical connection to my Jewish heritage… the [URAP] apprenticeship has introduced me to various museum practices and techniques concerning collection cataloging — especially in the digital sphere, researching and fact-checking.”– Ana, former URAP student at The Magnes
Student Research Apprenticeship at The Magnes
Cal students in the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) work closely with curator Francesco Spagnolo and his team on world-renowned research projects. The experience deepens their knowledge in Jewish studies and their professional skills as part of a research organization.
URAP students at The Magnes work hands-on with primary sources from the global Jewish Diaspora; conduct research on the collections both onsite and online; and learn best practices in museum collections management, including cataloging, inventorying, digitizing, re-housing, and fact-checking. Apprentices gain experience in many aspects of museum work, from exhibition preparation to adopting cutting-edge digital humanities tools and perspectives.
UC Berkeley Seminar at The Magnes
In partnership with the Center for Jewish Studies, Professors Ethan Katz and Francesco Spagnolo co-teach History of Jewish Law and Ritual (Jewish Studies 290) at The Magnes. The course explores topics of Jewish ritual and Jewish law from the interconnected perspectives of both halakhah and minhag (normative and non-normative Judaism) across legal and literary texts, music, and objects. Katz and Spagnolo incorporate materials from The Magnes’ collection into their curriculum to deepen students’ learning.
Class Visits to The Magnes
Each semester, professors at UC Berkeley and other Bay Area schools bring their students to The Magnes to study the collections and museology.
The Magnes will host several class visits in February 2023, led by Dr. Spagnolo and collections registrar Julie Franklin.
“There aren’t many places in the world where a group can gather and simply appreciate the beauty and diversity of the human experience. That is why I believe The Magnes is truly a fantastic part of the Berkeley community, for it allows those from all walks of life to come together and learn from each other. I really enjoy talking to our guests and listening to their perspectives on the exhibits, since a museum is where history should be shared and people should feel understood.”– Ian, Visitor Services Representative, UC Berkeley Sophomore, Anthropology Major
Students Working at The Magnes
Each semester, Work-Study students are hired at The Magnes as Visitor Service Representatives and Marketing Assistants.
UC Berkeley’s Work-Study Program provides a greater opportunity to earn rather than borrow money to pay for educational expenses. Giving students access to work with the schedule flexibility they need so they can have a healthy balance between school commitments and their work obligations.
Photo: The Magnes Visitor Services Representative and Work-Study welcoming guests at the front desk.
The Magnes’ Work-Study students are an integral part of supporting the collection, its programs, exhibitions, and community.