2017/18 Academic Year
The EAJS is pleased to announce that twelve events will take place (and in some instances have already taken place) in the 2017/18 academic year as part of the Conference Grant Programme in European Jewish Studies:
- Rabbinic Instruction in Context: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Transmission of Religious Knowledge and Praxis in Antiquity and Late Antiquity [Göttingen, 18-19 September 2017]
- Ukrainian Jews: Revolution and Post-Revolutionary Modernization. Policy, Culture, and Society [Kyiv, 15-16 October 2017]
- Jews in Europe in Immediate Postwar Period [Frankfurt am Main, 3-5 December 2017]
- 25th Annual International Conference on Jewish Studies [Moscow, 4-6 February 2018]
- Digital Humanities & Jewish Epigraphy [Utrecht, 19-21 February 2018]
- Young Scholars’ Conference “Genocides, Mass Murders and Deportations in Ukraine during WWII: How to Work with Sources [Kharkiv, 17-19 April 2018]
- New Loyalties, Old Dramas: Jewish Community Life in the Aftermath of the Great War in Central and Eastern Europe [Bucharest, 10-12 May 2018]
- Emotions in Rabbinic Literature: Methods and Approaches [Groningen, 14-15 May 2018]
- Greek expanded, Greek transformed: The Vocabulary of the Septuagint and the Cultural World of the Translators [Oxford, 18-20 June 2018]
- Theories and Histories: Jewish Studies in Other Disciplines [Durham, 9-11 July 2018]
- Aramaic Language and Literature: Local and Global Influences on the Targums and Targumic Aramaic [London, 9-11 July 2018]
- EAJS XIth Congress [Krakow, 15-19 July 2018]
Abstracts for these nine events can be found below.
1. Rabbinic Instruction in Context: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Transmission of Religious Knowledge and Praxis in Antiquity and Late Antiquity
Location and Date: Göttingen, 18-19 September 2017
The proposed conference revolves around religious education in the (late) ancient Mediterranean from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, while focusing on the role of Judaism and on Jewish Studies. In doing so, it shall examine aspects of the intra- and intercultural transmission of religious knowledge and praxis, as they emerge from Jewish, pagan, Christian, and Islamic literary evidence. Each of the main papers (followed by a response) shall offer a comparative analysis of selected relevant texts, drawn from classical Rabbinic literature on the one hand, and from
one of the aforementioned religious traditions, on the other. Through the comparative/contrastive textual reading of the literary evidence, the event shall highlight some current ways of interdisciplinary inquiry into Rabbinic Judaism and related traditions, and, at the same time, explore new paths of interdisciplinary research into religious education in the orbis mediterraneus and its environment in (late) antiquity.
This conference is dedicated to the fate of Ukrainian Jews during the revolutionary period (1917–1921), as well as the early years of post-revolutionary modernisation. A revitalisation of Jewish political life in Ukraine characterized these epochs, as evidenced by the proclamation of national-personal autonomy and the emergence of Jewish representation in Ukrainian governmental bodies. During this period, Jewish literature and art in Eastern Europe also underwent a profound series of transformations. Occurring alongside these positive developments, however, were waves of brutal anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine. During the post-revolutionary period, Jews in the Soviet Ukraine took part in broad and wide-ranging social experiments, such as the creation of Jewish national districts, Jewish collective farms and Yiddish-language academic institutions. This event will bring together scholars and members of the public to discuss these under-explored areas of Ukrainian history.
The Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, together with the Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt, is organising this international conference on the key findings of academic research that has been done in the field of postwar Jewish history in Europe. We invited close to twenty experts who have contributed to the research field to present their most important findings. These invited participants include post-doctoral students, researchers, as well as professors from Europe, the United States and Israel. The conference will feature six thematic panels with 2-3 presentations, which are meant to last about 20-minutes each and will be followed by a short Q&A period.
Our conference is the 25th international conferences of Jewish studies held by Sefer. It brings together all researchers Jewish studies at the post-Soviet space, as well as those researchers who deal with topics related to the Jews in the former Soviet Union. Conference devoted to the broad theme on Jewish studies (Jewish history, Jewish thought, Jewish languages and literatures, Jewish history of science and knowledge, Jewish material heritage, and Jewish topics in the Social and Political Sciences and so on). Our conference in 25 years has become an important platform for meeting and exchanging ideas of researchers in the field of Jewish studies in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, Poland, Baltic States etc. The conference was a large number of panels dedicated to the Bible and Semitic, Jewish thought, Jewish history, ethno-cultural contacts, Jewish literature, art and music, sociology and psychology, and others.
This Winter School will introduce students and scholars of Judaic Studies to some fundamental methods of digital humanities, focusing on Jewish epigraphy. The participants will acquire the essentials of EpiDoc, a subset of the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines (TEI XML). They will learn how to encode Jewish inscriptions in right-to-left languages (e.g., Hebrew and Aramaic), as well as encode text-bearing objects (e.g., stone slabs, mosaics). The participants will apply their digital toolset in the field, during a visit to the 17th century Jewish cemetery in Ouderkerk. The Winter
School will increase the awareness of students and scholars of Jewish epigraphy to DH tools, and provide a basic training for encoding research data. This will eventually result in more Jewish epigraphy databases, a major academic desideratum.
The purpose of the project is to conduct a workshop as a research platform for the presentation and discussion of modern approaches and methods of working with sources about World War II. The workshop will bring together young researchers from Ukraine and acknowledged experts from Canada, Poland, and Ukraine. The key stages of the project are as follows: participant recruitment; preparatory work; project promotion among experts and the Kharkiv audience; conduct of the workshop itself (open to the general public); and reporting and processing of the workshop results. The workshop will comprise presentation, discussion, and practical components. Participants will have an opportunity to present and discuss their projects with invited experts. The latter will also give master classes on how to work with sources about World War II. The workshop audience will include students and faculty members of HE institutions, staff of museums, scientific and cultural institutions in Kharkiv.
The conference focuses on the impact of the aftermath of the Great War on the dynamic structures generated in Eastern and Central Europe, especially on the dramas involved by the civil loyalty changes in connection with the new national states created in the region, as well as on the consequences of the rise of the anti-Semite extreme right movements. The conference aims at tackling for the first time the problem of multiple cultural and political identities within the larger group of Eastern and Central European Jewry, each with its own cultural and political affiliation according to the regional ethnic patterns, especially after 1918 when new national states were established. The current conference plans to bring together scholars working on these different Jewish historical traditions in order to identify elements of mutual influences and cultural cross-fertilisation; the conference plans to open up a field of research on multiple identities of the Jewish communities from Eastern and Central Europe, to initiate collaborative projects and to put together the structure of a volume of conference proceedings as a scholarly tool and starting point for further work.
Emotions, a natural embodied phenomenon, are the incentive for action for every organism in its attempt to maintain its well being. In cultures, emotions go through restrictions and channeling, interpretation and explanation, and are suggested to the member of the society as a model of proper behaviour and proper reaction toward people and events. How emotions are expressed, and even how they are felt, is unique to every culture and is marking the accepted behaviour and the semiotic sphere of the society. Rabbinic Judaism developed from within the diversity of groups and ideologies of the late second temple period; it presents itself as the sole proper heir of biblical culture. Indeed, it is the origin of Judaism as we know it, which claims continuity from the Bible to this day, overcoming historical difficulties such as the destruction of the temple, and a diasporic existence. As a culture which emerged from a disappearing predecessor, the rabbis had to construct their vision of what their culture is and what an accepted member of their society should be, and with it, they had to establish proper emotionality. In order to engage the members of their prospective communities, to establish themselves as the Jewish people, heirs to the biblical culture, and to distinct themselves from all other religions and ideologies of the time, the rabbis had to emotionally engage their congregation with the oral Torah, the halakha, the marker of their culture, and with the protagonists of biblical narratives, their holy text. We seek in this workshop to develop an approach of studying emotions in rabbinic literature, mapping them and learning of their function. We are looking forward for a productive meeting of exchange knowledge, approaches and opinions with the hope to develop this new field of research.
The conference will bring specialists within Jewish studies on the Septuagint together with classicists, linguists, historians, and historians of religion. It will be devoted to the special vocabulary of the Septuagint in relation to the Greek language as attested in ancient literature and documents. Septuagint vocabulary will be examined, along with its Hellenistic cultural background, with a focus on particularly rich semantic fields such as politics and the judiciary, education, or the sacrificial cult. Methodological studies will be welcomed, alongside studies of particular words and semantic fields. With the conquests of Alexander the Great the Greek language came to be used over a far wider geographical area than ever before, and by people from far more diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. As the earliest surviving translation into Greek of a major body of existing literature, the Septuagint provides a crucial example of the impact that this process had on the Greek language itself. This impact is not immediately obvious in the vocabulary of the Septuagint, which is drawn from the existing resources of the Greek language: many of the Greek words used have a rich history in classical literature, while others have a background in documentary sources such as papyri and inscriptions. However, the functions of these resources are expanded to meet the demands of a Jewish culture.
The annual conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies 2018 will seek to put key Jewish Studies questions in dialogue with the broader intellectual concerns of different academic disciplines. How do Jewish identities intersect with notions of inclusion and exclusion? In what ways does research into Jewish diasporas contribute to debates about transnationalism? How does the diversity of Jewish communities’ sociality, religion and culture reflect the social diversity of their localities? The conference will explore how Jewish Studies can both engage with existing intellectual agendas of the humanities and social sciences and provide a model of inquiry that goes beyond disciplinary boundaries. We welcome papers that explore Jewish traditions in different parts of the world and in different historical periods.
The 9th meeting of the International Organization of Targumic Studies will focus on two closely related aspects of Targumic Literature which have become increasingly topical: (1) the Aramaic dialects of the Targums within their Late Antique environment and (2) the development of targumic literature within its wider interpretative milieu. These aspects will be addressed in two topics each: Local influences on the dialect of Onqelos/Jonathan; The provenance and integrity of the dialect of the Late Targums; The relation between targumic and classical rabbinic exegesis; and the signs of non-rabbinic, late rabbinic or local environments in the Targums. Finally, the conference seeks to include a cultural programme by organizing an Aramaic performance of textual recitation, accessible also to the non-specialist.
As an essential part of its mission to promote academic Jewish Studies in Europe, the European Association for Jewish Studies organises every four years a major Congress devoted to all periods and fields of Jewish Studies. In 2018 the event will take place in Kraków, the capital city of the historic Kingdom of Poland and one of the most important centres of Jewish life in Europe since the late middle ages. In reference to this centuries long legacy the Congress will address the topic of searching roots of Jewish traditions. It is organised by the Institute of Jewish Studies, Jagiellonian University, in cooperation with the Alef Foundation and with the kind support of other institutions.
2016/17 Academic Year
The EAJS is pleased to announce that nine events took place in the 2016/17 academic year as part of the Conference Grant Programme in European Jewish Studies:
- International round-table seminar “How to communicate Jewish cultural heritage: the development of Jewish cultural route in Lithuania” [Kėdainiai, 7 – 8 September 2016]
- Interwoven Regional Worlds: Jews and Christians in Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria, 1349-1648 [Regensburg, 12 – 14 September 2016]
- Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam [Warsaw, 26 – 28 October 2016]
- Letters in the Dust: The Epigraphy, Archaeology, and Conservation of Medieval Jewish Cemeteries [Utrecht, 7 – 8 November 2016]
- 24th International Annual Conference on Jewish Studies and International Youth Conference on Jewish Studies in Moscow [Moscow, 30 January – 2 February 2017]
- Jewish books and their Christian collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia [Oxford, 22 – 23 May 2017]
- New Approaches to the History of the Jews under Communism [Prague, 23 – 25 May 2017]
- Jews on the Move: Exploring the movement of Jews, objects, texts, and ideas in space and time [Edinburgh, 10 – 12 July 2017]
- Jews and Christians between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: Co-existence and Conflict [Budapest; New Dates: 10 – 21 July 2017]
The international round-table seminar, ‘How to communicate Jewish cultural heritage: the development of Jewish cultural route in Lithuania’, is an important event for the sustainable development of Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania. It aims to unite academics, politicians, businessmen and other stakeholders, in order to promote Jewish heritage, actualization and usage for better education and sustainable tourism. This seminar will bring experts in the fields of Jewish heritage, history, tourism promotion and ‘cultural routes’ together with local initiators to discuss how to develop Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania, its advantages over other routes in the region, how to discover its “diamonds” and promote them, and to determine the next steps. The seminar would also work as a discussion platform for the analyses of Jewish ‘cultural routes’ as means for promoting better understanding of European Jewish history and its heritage. The event will also work as a networking tool creating partnerships necessary for the sustainable development of Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania.
By focusing on the migrations of Jews as well as on the interactions and connections among Jews and Christians in these regions, the aim of the conference is to explore the various interwoven life worlds of the Jews by applying the concepts of global history on the history of three larger regions. The history of the Jews in the neighboring duchies of Bavaria, Austria and the Kingdom of Bohemia has previously been investigated principally in regard to regionally limited aspects. Given the external factors imposed by the different Christian sovereigns and city municipalities creating rather distinct circumstances for Jews, it appears especially promising to investigate the scope for action open to the Jews beyond their regional communities in the ever-changing conditions in the southeastern parts of the Empire, in particular since these regions played a leading role in the late medieval and early modern times also in a European context.
One of the most complex and ambivalent characters in the Bible is King David. Traditionally considered to be the pious author of the book of Psalms, a brave warrior and a perfect ruler, he was also a vassal of the Philistine king and a sinner whose morally dubious behaviour is criticized in the Bible itself. Little wonder, therefore, that his image underwent significant interpretative changes in perception and reception in different monotheistic traditions. So far, scholarly research has mostly focused on the ways he was appropriated by some of these traditions in isolation from others. The proposed conference will question this dominant exclusive approach and attempt to scrutinize perceptions and receptions of King David and his book in different monotheistic traditions from late antiquity until the early modern period in a more inclusive fashion. Its aim is to take a new, critical look at the process of biblical creation and subsequent exegetical transformations of this figure, with particular emphasis put on the multilateral fertilization and cross-cultural interchanges among Jews, Christians and Muslims in different genres of their respective religious literature and arts.
Medieval Jewish cemeteries are found at the crossroads of epigraphy, archaeology and conservation, three disciplines that should, but do not easily, intersect. Much of the epigraphic evidence has been decontextualized when Jewish medieval gravestones have been uprooted and reused as building material. Fortunately, many of them survive in non-original locations, their inscriptions still visible. Conversely, for understandable religious sensitivities, archaeological excavations are not conducted in burial grounds whose headstones are still in situ. Thus, data is analysed as two distinct sets: textual or material, though scholars could benefit from engaging with each other’s records. This workshop aims to provide a forum for collaboration, ultimately reuniting – although figuratively – the medieval funerary inscriptions with the men, women and children they sought to commemorate.
This will be the 24th international conference of Jewish studies organised by the Sefer Centre. It brings together researchers of Jewish studies in the post-Soviet space, as well as those who deal with topics related to the Jews in the former Soviet Union. The conference is devoted to the broad theme of Jewish studies, with a large number of panels and sessions (including Bible and Semitic studies, Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Jewish Languages and Literatures, Art and Music, Jewish Material Heritage, Ethno-cultural contacts, and Jewish Topics in the Social and Political Sciences). Over the last 20 years this conference has become an important platform for meeting and exchanging ideas among researchers in the field of Jewish studies in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic countries, Israel, the USA and Europe. This year we are planning to combine our traditional international conference with the conference for young researchers (which is aimed at BA and MA students from Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Baltic countries and others). The main working language of the conference is Russian. English is the second working language.
The role of the library as a crucial element for ‘reader communities’ has become a central issue of scholarly debate. How were book collections acquired and assembled, and in what way could they be said to represent the cultural universe of their owners? The purpose of this conference is to consider this crucial question in relation to the widespread phenomenon of Hebrew books read, collected, deposited, and sometimes catalogued in the libraries of Christian scholars and merchants, as well as in universities and theological seminaries. We will explore the diverse reasons for collecting Hebrew books, how they were collected, and whether confessional difference affected the criteria for building libraries? The discussions will range from Europe to the New World.
The experience of Jews under Communist regimes became a hotly debated topic of historiography after the 1950s. Until the 1980s, the Cold War propaganda exerted a powerful influence on the interpretations published on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’. Even after the collapse of the Communist regimes, most works have focused on the relationship between the State and the Jews and the role of Jews in the Communist/Socialist movements. The aim of our conference is to go beyond this political and ideological framework. We are especially interested in contributions focused on the everyday life of Jews, Jewish religious and secular organizations, and the possibilities of ‘being Jewish’ under Communism. It will be the first time that specialists on the history of Jews in different east-central and eastern European states will meet and discuss the different Jewish experiences in those countries, including comparisons with the Soviet model.
Location and Date: Edinburgh, 10 – 12 July 2017
The annual conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies will investigate the theme of ‘movement’ from antiquity to the present. From the earliest accounts, travel and migration, movement across space and time, characterise Jewish history and culture. No less crucial than the movement of people is the movement of texts, objects, and ideas, which travel both physically and intellectually as generations in distant locations engage with these at different times and places. Jews themselves are associated with travel and migration, historically and in cultural production. This conference invites contributions of papers within the broad theme of the conference.
This summer school will serve to introduce MA and doctoral students as well as researchers in their early careers to the history of Jewish-Christian relations in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Arabia, Ethiopia, and South India from the rise of Islam to the eighteenth century CE. The course will explore the effect on Jewish-Christian relations of such issues as imagined Jewish identities (Armenia and Ethiopia), equal power relationships between Jews and Christians (Middle East and India), Jews as a political/military threat to Christians (Ethiopia), Jews and Christians in the same trade guild (South India) as well as Jews in a minority status in non-Western Christian states (Byzantium, Caucasus, Ethiopia). It serves to challenge stereotypes and teach new approaches to history.