Kylie Unell

My name is Kylie Unell and I am a 3rd year doctoral student at NYU concentrating in Jewish thought. I currently live on New York's Upper West Side, though I am originally from Kansas, lived in Israel and spent some years in North Carolina. I am the founder of and organization called "Rooted" which uses Jewish thought to help instill a love of Judaism in Jews in their 20s and 30s, and was recently named one of New York's Jewish "36 Under 36" as an aspiring Jewish philosopher (a title chosen for me, not by me). My present scholarly interests are German Jewish thought, with a particular emphasis on connecting the world of German Jewry with the world of Booker T. Washington, a black American leader who American Jews flocked to in the 1900s. That being said, I have studied American Jewish thinkers, Eastern European thinkers, and German Jewish thinkers more broadly. I am most interested in how different people understand Judaism, their relationship to God, and the path to attaining the good life. My approach to learning has always been based around seeking patterns and making connections between my every day life and the ideas presented in Jewish philosophy and Jewish history. My focus feels like it changes as often as my life does, but the truth is that I have been in the process of creating a vast map of Jewish thought for the last 8 years, since I started studying Jewish ideas in college. Though I only attended Jewish day schools during my life, I did not grow up with a strong background in Jewish studies. When I began taking Jewish studies classes in college, it felt as though I was exploring myself for the first time because of the doors opened by thinkers contemplating life's biggest question through a Jewish lens. They asked and attempted to answer basic questions about the human condition, God, the role of the Jews in the world, what it means to be Jewish, and so many other areas of my life that seemed to obvious to ask about openly and too complicated to answer on my own. The world of Jewish thought has taught me that there is no single right answer, but many answers and life is about finding the ones that speak to you. I am excited for the opportunity to find some answers that speak to you and be a part of the experience of coming into understanding and feeling understood.

Kylie Unell Favorite Subjects

Judaism in Pop Culture & Media




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