Shmary Brownstein received a Bachelor’s equivalent during his studies at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ. He received his Master’s degree in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in 2014. He entered the doctoral program at the Near Eastern Studies department at UC Berkeley that same year. During his time in the program he has studied Biblical criticism, rabbinics, and modern Hebrew literature, among other subjects. Shmary is currently working on his dissertation project, which focuses on Habad Hasidism and the thought of the seventh Habad rebbe, R. Menahem Mendel Schneerson. He is looking at the ways R. Schneerson uses the rabbinic and Hasidic tradition that comes down to him in his own thought, and how these methods map on to his negotiation of his own position as leader of the Habad movement vis-a-vis his predecessors. Shmary contributed to a seminar on Hasidism and the crossing of boundaries at the 2015 AJS conference.