Skip to main content

Dana Steingold

Steingold photo

Dana Steingold is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in international affairs, and minoring in Jewish Studies. She is a rising sophomore, but academically she is entering her second semester of her Junior year. Dana plans on continuing her education after graduation from the University of Illinois.

In Spring 2024, Dana took JS 495: Jewish Life in Central Illinois, where the class analyzed the U of I’s Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives (CIJCA). Dana loved this course as it was an opportunity to look into a part of American Jewish history that had been unknown to her. Dana learned about the trials and struggles of living in a smaller Jewish community and how Jewish identity can look different in all types of areas.

This course was personal to Dana because she learned about her family's history in the rural Illinois area. She was able to look into the forgotten Jewish community of the Illinois Spring Valley area, as well as her own family history. This course provided her with a greater understanding of the Jewish community, as well as what it means to be Jewish in all sorts of places. Dana uncovered history that had been forgotten by the world, such as the Mark Nathan’s Jewish Orphanage’s relation to the small rural town of Depue, IL. Dana says, “this course changed my life and I am grateful that I took it. This course helped me move towards my future goals because I want to work in the international sphere as an advocate for the State of Israel. Having the opportunity to see smaller communities and learning about how Jews of all backgrounds show pride in their culture was absolutely inspiring and has taught me the importance of the land of Israel and our need to fight for its existence.” The work Dana compiled for this course will be featured in an article published by the Chicago Jewish Historical Society this upcoming summer. She will be working as an intern for the society as she continues her research and study of Jewish communities of all origins.