THE EAJS TEAM
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
EAJS President (2023-2027) and Trustee/Director
Dr Javier Castaño (Madrid) [website]
Javier Castaño is a Senior Research Scientist in Jewish History at Spain’s National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid. He completed his PhD in Medieval History at the University Complutense. Throughout his academic career he has focused on the Jews in Iberian medieval society and the early modern Mediterranean Diaspora. He held visiting teaching positions at the EHESS in Paris, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and research fellowships at Harvard University, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He is an editor of the journal Sefarad (2006-15).
He has published studies on the social and regional mobility of medieval Iberian Jews, the relation between economic behaviour and religion, and the socio-economic mechanics behind religious conversion in the early modern period. He has been involved in controversies regarding the interpretation and uses of Jewish heritage in Spain. His current research focuses on the study of Jewish archival documents and halakhic texts in Hebrew script scattered through Iberian archives and libraries (Ginze Sefarad project) preparing a palaeographical and diplomatic edition of the documentary corpus.
He became a member of the EAJS at an early stage in his academic career, convinced that the strengthening of the European scholarly interaction and integration would be one of the keys to a better understanding of regional Jewish societies, that transcended political and linguistic borders, as well as for the study and safeguarding of their cultural heritage.
EAJS Secretary and Trustee/Director
Professor François Guesnet (London) [website]
Professor François Guesnet teaches Modern Jewish History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He held research and teaching positions at Leipzig, Potsdam and Oxford universities, at Dartmouth College, at the Hebrew University Jerusalem and the University of Pennsylvania, and short-term teaching positions at Vilnius University and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
He holds a PhD in Modern History from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, and specializes in the early modern and 19th century history of Polish Jewry. He is co-chair of the editorial board of Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry. In his research, he looks at Jewish social history in Eastern Europe, the history of Jewish communal institutions and their political culture. He has worked on the history of Jewish-non-Jewish relations, antisemitism, and continues to investigate the history of the matting of hair.
His book publications include Polnische Juden im 19. Jahrhundert: Lebensbedingungen, Rechtsnormen und Organisation im Wandel (1998), Der Fremde als Nachbar. Polnische Positionen zur jüdischen Präsenz in Polen. Texte seit 1800 (2009), and, with Gwenyth Jones, Antisemitism in an Era of Transition: The Case of Post-Communist Eastern Central Europe (2014). Together with Glenn Dynner, he published Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis. Studies in Honor of the 70th Birthday of Professor Antony Polonsky (2015), Negotiating Religion. Cross-disciplinary perspectives, co-edited with Cécile Laborde and Lois Lee (2017), and, with Jerzy Tomaszewski, Sources on Jewish Self-Government in the Polish Lands from Its Inception to the Present (2022) and served as co-editor of several volumes of Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry.
François Guesnet believes in the potential of the European Association for Jewish Studies to foster academic cooperation across Europe, especially after the challenge of the Covid19-pandemic and the continued war waged against Ukraine. He wishes to contribute to strengthening academic working relationships across Europe, one of the building blocks of European civil society. He held the role of EAJS Secretary for July 2014 to July 2018. Since 1 January 2023, he functions as interim Secretary, and was nominated by the EAJS Executive Committee for Secretary 2023-27.
EAJS Treasurer and Trustee/Director
Dr Pablo Torijano (Madrid) [website]
Pablo A. Torijano is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid. He has held research fellowships at Helsinki University, Göttingen University and at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from NYU and a second one in Hebrew philology from UCM. He is specialized in Second Temple Judaism and LXX Textual Criticism. He has published Solomon the Esoteric King (2002) and edited among other titles The Text of the Hebrew Bible and its Editions. Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian Polyglot (2016; co-edited with Andrés Piquer), and Textual Criticism and Dead Sea Scrolls Studies in Honour of Julio Trebolle Barrera. Florilegium Complutense. (2012; co-edited with Andrés Piquer Otero). Currently, he is preparing the Critical edition of 3-4 Kingdoms for the Septuaginta Unternehmen.
Professor Miri Rubin (London) [website]
I am an historian of later medieval Europe with broad interests across history and the humanities. I was educated at the Hebrew University with a BA in History, and MA in Medieval History, before progressing to a PhD at the University of Cambridge, completed in 1984. My doctorate studied charitable activities in Cambridge and its region from c. 1150 to the Reformation, and it was published as Charity and Community in Medieval Cambridge (CUP, 1987). Following a postdoctoral research fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge, a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship at the Faculty of History in Cambridge, and an year as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, in 1989 I secured a CUF Lectureship at the University of Oxford and Pembroke College. At Oxford I published two books, Corpus Christi: the Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (CUP, 1991), and Gentile Tales: the Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (Yale UP 1999); there I founded with Daniel Frank and Martin Goodman a seminar in Premodern Jewish History. My own work on the religious cultures of medieval Europe increasingly concerned Jewish-Christian relations. In 2000 I took up a Chair at Queen Mary University of London and soon successfully applied for a Leverhulme Major Research Award which I held from 2003 to 2006. During that period I completed a study of the understandings of the Virgin Mary, published as Mother of God: a History of the Virgin Mary (Allan Lane, 2009), where I explored links between anti-Jewish sentiment and the Marian cult. In 2009 I received an AHRC Network grant in support of research on the first text to articulate a child murder accusation against Jews, a project published in 2014 as a translation of the Vita et passio Willelmi Norwicensis as a Penguin Classic. I served as Head of the School of History at QMUL 2012-2015, and have supervised over 30 PhDs, all successfully. In 2017 I delivered the Wiles Lectures, published in 2020 as Cities of Strangers by CUP. Since 2020 I have served as President of the Jewish Historical Society of England.
EAJS Trustee/Director and President-Elect
(Elected as EAJS President for 2027-31)
Professor Miriam Rürup (Potsdam) [website]
Rürup is the Director of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies and a Professor for European-Jewish Studies at Potsdam University. From 2012 to 2020 she was the Director of the Institute for the History of German Jews in Hamburg (IGdJ) and between 2010 and 2012 worked as a research fellow at the German Historical Institute (DHI) in Washington, D.C. (USA). From 2006 to 2010 she was assistant professor at the history department of Göttingen University, working on a history of Jewish responses to statelessness in Europe after WWII. She holds a PhD in Modern History from Technical University of Berlin with a doctoral thesis on the history of German-Jewish Student Fraternities in Imperial and Weimar Germany (published with Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen in 2007).
Since January 2020 she has been chairwoman of the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft (academic working group) of the Leo Baeck Institute in Germany. As such she is currently working on a project on the German-Jewish Diaspora after 1933.
She is an advocate of working with Digital Humanities in Jewish History and Jewish Studies. She thus developed the online source edition “Hamburg Keydocuments on German-Jewish History” which went online in 2016 and will also be part of a soon to be launched online-portal on Jewish History Online.
She serves on various boards such as the Advisory Board of the Neue Synagoge – Foundation Centrum Judaicum (Berlin), the Board of Directors of the German Israeli Foundation (till July 2023), the Academic Advisory Board of the Minerva Institute for German History at Tel Aviv University and others.
Miriam Rürup is co-editor of various academic journals such as Aschkenas (since 2013) and the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book (since 2014) as well as the founding editor of the online source edition “Key Documents on German-Jewish History.” Her research areas and topic of interest are German-Jewish History of the 19th and 20th Century, German contemporary history, women and gender history, history of law and human rights and migration history, with a strong interest in diaspora cultures.
Dr Marzena Zawanowska (Warsaw) [website]
Marzena Zawanowska holds a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies (2008), awarded by the University of Warsaw in cooperation with Tel Aviv University where she conducted her post-doctoral research. She is an Associate Professor in the Mordechai Anielewicz Center for the Study and Teaching of the History and Culture of Jews in Poland housed at the Faculty of History, (University of Warsaw), where she serves as a vice-dean for finances and research. For many years, she was also affiliated with the Center for Jewish Studies, Department of Cultural Studies at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (2003–2012), as well as with the Department of Hebrew Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw (2003–2016), and served as a Curator of Manuscripts in the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute (2015–2023).
Her research interests include medieval Karaite Bible exegesis (especially Karaite, written in Judeo-Arabic), but also the borderlines between Judaism and Islam, as well as the history of Jewish thought and literature. Her authored book on Yefet ben ‘Eli’s Arabic commentary on the Abraham’s cycle appeared in Brill within the series “Karaite Texts and Studies”: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben ʿEli the Karaite on the Abraham Narratives (Genesis 11:10–25:18) (Leiden: Brill, 2012). She was head of a major project in publishing bilingual edition of all Ch. N. Bialik’s (Hebrew and Yiddish) poetry into Polish (2010–2012). And conducted research on the Karaites and Karaism as Portrayed in Medieval Rabbanite Sources. Currently, she is leading a group exploring medieval Hebrew poetry in Al-Andalus and preparing a multi-volume Polish translation of selected works from the period (2018–2023).
In addition to the trustees, the following members serve on the Executive Committee
Professor Elisabeth Hollender (Frankfurt) [website]
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Hollender is member of the Executive Committee and president of the EAJS 2018-2023. She teaches medieval Judaism and a variety of topics in Judaic Studies at the Department of Jewish Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt since 2011, having held research and teaching positions at several German universities, and research fellowships at the Hebrew University Jerusalem and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). She was professor for the religion of Judaism at Bochum (2009-2011) and held a guest professorship at Graz (2002).
She holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from Cologne University and a Habilitation from Duisburg University. She specializes in medieval Hebrew poetry and liturgy, and more specifically in Ashkenazic piyyut and its commentaries. In her research, she reconstructs the inner-Jewish cultural transfer with regard to liturgy and piyyut, investigates the potential of liturgy for the reconstruction of medieval Jewish (cultural) history, and uses detailed comparisons to identify individual, regional, and temporal trends.
Her books include Qedushta‘ot des Simon b. Isaak nach dem Amsterdam Mahsor. Übersetzung und Kommentar (1994), Clavis Commentariorum of Hebrew Liturgical Poetry in Manuscript (2005), Piyyut Commentary in Medieval Ashkenaz (2008), Liturgie und Geschichte. Der Aschkenasische Machsor und jüdische Mobilität im Mittelalter – Ein Methodologischer Versuch (2015), and, with Dagmar Börner Klein, Rabbinische Auslegungen zum Buch Ester (2000). Together with Joachim Yeshaya she edited Exegesis and Poetry in Medieval Karaite and Rabbanite Texts (2016), together with Joachim Yeshaya and Naoya Katsumata, she edited The Poet and the World (2019). Together with Annelies Kuyt, she edits Frankfurter Judaistische Beiträge – Frankfurt Jewish Studies Bulletin.
Elisabeth Hollender first attended an EAJS congress as graduate student in 1990 (Troyes), and has ever since regarded the European Association of Jewish Studies as an important part of her intellectual home, complementing the small departments of Jewish Studies she was and is associated with. International cooperation, inspiration by colleagues from other European countries, and communication among scholars working under partially comparable conditions are among the factors that enable us to advance our research and to develop study programs that will educate the next generation of scholars and teachers in Jewish Studies
Dr Vladyslava Moskalets (Lviv) [website]
Vladyslava Moskalets is Associate Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv) and researcher at the Center for Urban History (Lviv). Vladyslava Moskalets studies Jewish social history, focusing on issues of elite transition, intercultural relations, social mobility in 19th-century Habsburg Galicia, Yiddish reportage literature. She is currently working on the book “Jewish Industrial Elites in Drohobych and Borislav, 1860-1900” and is conducting a research project on the urban elites of Lviv in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Vladyslava teaches courses on Jewish social history, history of migration, history of Ukraine in the long 19th century, and Hebrew language. She is an active public historian, publishing popular articles and blogs in Ukrainian media.
In 2013-2017 Vladyslava Moskalets studied in the joint doctoral program of UCU and the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University (Krakow) and received a Ph.D. in history from the Jagiellonian University in 2017. Vladyslava was an external collegiate at the Doctoral Program Galizien (University of Vienna) in 2013-2016. Fellow of the Institute for the History of Polish Jewry and Israel-Poland Relations (March-May 2016). Fulbright Scholar (2018-2019), Northwestern University, Chicago. During the spring semester of 2023, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching Ukrainian history. She received the Maier Balaban Award from the Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw) for the best dissertation in 2018.
Professor Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (Paris) [website]
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, Ph.D. Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2002). After Postdoctoral years at Princeton University and the Hebrew University (Scholion Institute) he was CNRS researcher in Aix-en-Provence, France. Since 2010 he is Chair for Hebrew and Aramaic Language, Literature, Epigraphy and Paleography from the 400 BCE to 400 CE at the EPHE, PSL in Paris. His work focuses on Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Rabbinics and Computational Humanities with a special interest in book collections, liturgy, paleography and Jewish-Christian relations.
His print publications include The Impact of Yom Kippur on Early Christianity (2003), an edition and commented translation of Mishnah Bikkurim (2011), a textbook on Qumran (2016), an edition and commented translation of the Community Rule (with Thierry Legrand, 2017), the coedited volumes Aramaica Qumranica (with Katell Berthelot, 2010), L’identité à travers l’éthique (with Katell Berthelot & Ron Naiweld, 2015), Scriptures, Sacred Traditions and Strategies of Religious Subversion (with Moshe Blidstein & Serge Ruzer, 2018), Diversity and Rabbinization. Jewish Texts and Societies Between 400 and 1000 (with Gavin McDowell & Ron Naiweld, 2021), and Jewish Studies in the Digital Age (with Gerben Zaagsma, Miriam Rürup, Michelle Margolis & Amalia Levi, 2022) and 75 articles.
His electronic publications include the THesaurus Antiquorum Lectionariorum Ecclesiae Synagogaeque, a database on Jewish and Christian fixed liturgical readings, pilot editions (with Hayim Lapin) of the eRabbinica-Mishnah and Mekhilta deRabbi Yishmael. He has published the first open source segmentation models for segmentation and transcription of Hebrew manuscripts. He is codirector of eScriptorium, a cutting-edge open source platform for analyzing and transcribing manuscripts (with Peter Stokes), communicating PI of the ERC Synergy MiDRASH (with Judith Schlanger, Avi Shmidman and Nachum Dershowitz), co-PI of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Digital Age programme (with Judith Schlanger) and coeditor of eRabbinica, a platform for the publication of editions of Rabbinic texts. Since 2018 he has been speaker of the Digital Forum of the European Association of Jewish Studies and member of its Executive Board. He has co-organized three manuSciences summerschools on the study of manuscripts with Material Sciences, Computer Sciences, Philology and Digital Humanities (with Ira Rabin, Oliver Hahn, Peter Stokes and Eberhard Mahnke).
Professor Bart Wallet (Amsterdam) [website]
Bart Wallet holds the position of full professor of Jewish studies: early modern and modern Jewish history, at the University of Amsterdam. His area of expertise lies in Jewish urban cultures, with a particular emphasis on the role of Amsterdam in Jewish history. Presently, he leads a project examining the history of the Amsterdam Jewish quarter, employing both a cultural history and an applied history approach. Prior to his current role, he lectured at KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Wallet serves as a co-editor-in-chief for Studia Rosenthaliana: Journal of the History, Culture and Heritage of the Jews in the Netherlands, and he also serves as an editor for the European Journal of Jewish Studies. Additionally, he is a member of the steering committee of the Digital Forum of the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS). For more than ten years, he has served as a co-secretary for the Dutch Association of Jewish Studies.
In collaboration with colleagues from the Open University of Israel, King’s College London, and his own department, Wallet has successfully organized six international winter/spring schools in Jewish studies. These events have been conducted in partnership with local universities and academic institutions in various locations such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Prague, Madrid, and Wroclaw.
Wallet has authored several publications, including “Reappraising the History of the Jews in the Netherlands” (2017), which he co-edited with Hans Blom, David Wertheim, and Hetty Berg. Additionally, he co-authored “Jews in the Netherlands: A Short History” (2023) with Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld. His research has encompassed topics such as early modern Yiddish historiography, the integration of Jews into Dutch society, and nineteenth-century Jewish book cultures.
As a member of the executive committee, Wallet will focus on European wide collaboration in terms of education and research, furthering digital humanities literacy and further integrating student members within the EAJS.
Dr Milan Žonca (Prague) [website]
I hold an undergraduate degree in Hebrew Studies and Comparative Religion from Charles University in Prague. My doctoral studies at Queen Mary, University of London, under the supervision of Prof Miri Rubin, focused on examining intellectual diversity within Ashkenazic Jewish communities during the late Middle Ages (1350–1500). After the completion of my PhD studies, I held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences, studying the intellectual profile of Jewish scholars active in late medieval Prague.
Currently, I serve as a Lecturer in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Since 2017, I have also held the position of head of the academic board at the Prague Centre for Jewish Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Additionally, since 2022, I have taken on the role of Vice-Dean for International Relations at the Faculty of Arts.
My research primarily focuses on the cultural and religious interactions between medieval communities, particularly those interactions marked by explicit or implicit polemics. I am also interested in exploring the intellectual history of medieval Jewish communities in Europe, with an emphasis on the role of philosophy and biblical exegesis in Jewish education. I have contributed to the field through studies published in collective monographs (e.g., The Jews of Europe Around 1400: Disruption, Crisis, and Resilience, The Medieval Roots of Antisemitism: Continuities and Discontinuities from the Middle Ages to the Present Day, Studying the Arts in Late Medieval Bohemia) and I have also undertaken translation work, publishing commented Czech translations of the works of Nachmanides and Shem Tov ibn Falaquera.
I would like to use my skills and experience to contribute to the endeavours of the EAJS Executive Committee, with a focus on creating robust language training opportunities for students, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and promoting the vital role of Jewish studies and humanities in addressing present challenges in academia and society at large.
Dr Simon Mayers (UK) [website]
After studying for a BSc in Computation at UMIST and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Essex, Simon spent several years as a business intelligence consultant working on projects for a number of large companies including Nestlé UK, Boots Healthcare International, Saudi Aramco, Deutsche Bank and Linklaters. Simon then abandoned the corporate world, first to pursue a theology diploma at Heythrop College, followed by an MA in Jewish Studies and then a PhD in “Religions and Theology” at the University of Manchester. Simon’s PhD, which was funded by an AHRC grant, examined how Jews were stereotyped and mythicized in a variety of English Catholic discourses during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His main research interests include the history of grim stereotypes and dark mythicizations in modern religious discourses (e.g., constructions of the “Jewish Antichrist”, the “Luciferian Freemason”, etc.)
Combining his experience from working in the business realm and the academy, Simon has been the EAJS Administrator since 2016. As the senior administrator for a small charity, Simon is responsible for managing the EAJS’s day to day operations. His duties include managing a small but talented team of consultants and assistant administrators; managing the EAJS finances, ledgers and operating budgets; liaising with accountants, solicitors, banks and payment partners; submitting annual reports to the charity commission; administering various grant programmes; assisting EAJS members and handling the membership administration; managing the association’s IT systems, website and newsflash; and many other day to day tasks required for the efficient running of the charity.
EAJS Membership Assistant
Mrs Kinga Migalska (Kraków)
Kinga Migalska is a historian and art historian, graduated from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and currently in the process of finalizing her PhD dissertation concerning the history and development of Jewish museums in Poland during the communist era. Her research interest focuses on the fate of Jewish material heritage in postwar Poland. She is an author of several scientific and popular science articles, for example, “The Question of Appropriateness. Museums Established in Synagogues in Communist Poland: The Cases of Łańcut and Włodawa” (Arts, 2019, 8(4)). In the past few years, she has participated in multiple projects inventorying monuments, including the inventory of historic Roman Catholic churches and monasteries in the territories of Vohlynia (Ukraine), and the inventory of the historic Jewish cemetery in Milówka (Poland).
Since 2018, Kinga has been working as a researcher in the Department of Graphics and Drawings in the National Museum in Kraków. In 2017-2018, she was a fellow of the GEOP Doctoral Seminar at POLIN Museum in Warsaw. She is a member of The European Association for Jewish Studies and the Polish Association for Jewish Studies.
Since 2017, Kinga has been the Membership Assistant for the European Association for Jewish Studies, assisting the EAJS Administrator with the processing of new membership applications, communications with new members and other ad hoc membership administration matters.
EAJS Grants Assistant
Dr Željka Oparnica (Rome)
Željka Oparnica is a Jewish History Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. She completed her PhD in History at Birkbeck, University of London in 2022. Her thesis examined politics of Sephardi diaspora in the Balkans in the first half of the twentieth century in the context of broader European and Mediterranean trends of Jewish politics of the time. She was a Leo Baeck Fellow in 2019/2020. She has published on the changing role of Judeo-Spanish for modern Sephardi politics and Sephardi cultural politics. Her current project examines Jewish politics with other minority politics between Trieste and Dubrovnik. In the coming 2023/2024 she will be Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome.
In 2018 Željka participated at the EAJS congress in Krakow on the Southeast European panels which was her first academic conference as a PhD student and scholar. It certainly affected the turn her research and interest developed and she is interested in furthering regional Jewish history network. Together with Dr. Noëmie Duhaut, she co-organised the Southeast European panels in 2023 EAJS congress in Frankfurt and is enthusiastic about furthering transregional connections within the European Jewish studies framework.
In 2023, Željka joined the EAJS as its new Grants Assistant. Her role will be to to assist with the administration of the EAJS’s Conference Grant Programme and Small Research Grant Programme.