Annual report 2013-14
AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council)
BA (British Academy)
BAJS (British Association of Jewish Studies)
CBS (Centre for Biblical Studies)
CJS (Centre for Jewish Studies)
EAJS (European Association for Jewish Studies)
ERC (European Research Council)
JRRI (John Rylands Research Institute)
MES (Middle Eastern Studies)
R&T (Religions and Theology)
REES (Russian and East European Studies)
SALC (Scool of languages and Cultures)
SALC RNF (SALC Research Network Fund)
SALC RSF (SALC Research Support Fund)
1. History and vision:
The major theme of the Centre remains the exploration of Jewish/non-Jewish relations in both teaching and research. This theme embraces, for example, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (Dreyfus, Gelbin, Langton, Williams); Jewish-Christian relations (Langton, Brooke and visiting fellow Benli); Jewish-Muslim relations (Smithuis); Jewish-Arab relations (Behar); Jewish/non-Jewish philosophy (Samely). In 2013-2014, the theme of the Sherman Lectures was medieval Jewish and Christian society and culture (Prof. Miri Rubin, Queen Mary University of London). The theme for the Sherman Lectures in 2014-2015 will be Jewish perspectives on the New Testament presented by Prof. Amy-Jill Levine (University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University). Our research seminars in 2013-2014 were dedicated to contemporary Jewish life and Israel studies. Similar topics are discussed in the seminars scheduled for 2014-2015.
Recent grant successes, such as the newly awarded Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Dr. Jan Lorenz (see below) and Prof. Langton’s Darwinism project, bear witness to the Centre’s research focus on Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Centre is an institutional initiator and host for external research grants, and more generally as a catalyst and context for the development of external research grant applications by its members and its PhD students, which have a very high success rate (see below). Members of the Centre are currently managing grants to the value of circa £931,500 (see below Table 4). This does not include two of the CJS-affiliated members who hold BA and Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships (Haralambakis and Williams) and whose applications were encouraged and/or evaluated before submission by CJS staff. The Centre creates and maintains a high international profile by aggregating and maximizing awareness of the activities, projects, grants and publications of its academics, and through its public lecture series, seminar series, a constant stream of international academics attached to the Centre, and the internet journal Melilah edited from the Centre. It maintains an extremely effective, up-do-date and comprehensive website ( It also acts as a conduit for inner-University relations, bringing together staff that are located in different divisions of the School and different Schools of the University, and supports and collaborates closely with the John Rylands Research Institute (JRRI) in its own attempts to attract wider academic interest in important Library research resources. In the reporting period, the Centre has also directly financed very substantial Library acquisitions (see 3.2).
2. Management and membership
2.1. Management structure
Prof. Alex Samely (MES)
Prof. Daniel Langton (R&T)
Seminar Series Convener:
Dr. Jean-Marc Dreyfus (History)
Planning committee:
Prof. Alex Samely (MES)
Prof. Daniel Langton (R&T)
Dr. Jean-Marc Dreyfus (History)
Dr. Moshe Behar (MES)
Ms. Sophie Garside (MES)
Dr. Cathy Gelbin (German)
Dr. Renate Smithuis (R&T, co-editor of the journal Melilah together with Prof. Langton)
The planning committee did not meet in 2013-2014.
Administrator (PhD student, paid hourly rate):
Mr. Marton Ribary (MES)
2.2. List of members
2.2.1. Core CJS members within Manchester University:
Dr. Moshe Behar (MES)
Prof. George Brooke (R&T)
Dr. Jean-Marc Dreyfus (History)
Dr. Dan Garner (R&T)
Ms. Sophie Garside (MES)
Dr. Cathy Gelbin (German)
Prof. John Healey, FBA (MES)
Ms. Malka Hodgson (MES)
Dr. Adi Kuntsman (School of Social Sciences)
Prof. Daniel Langton (R&T)
Prof. Yaron Matras (Linguistics)
Prof. Alex Samely (MES)
Dr. Renate Smithuis (R&T)
In 2013-14 Dan Garner was appointed Lecturer in Jewish Studies to cover Daniel Langton's research leave, 2013-15. Dr Garner was also made fellow of the Centre.
Adi Kuntsman spent five years at the University of Manchester as research fellow, exploring the role of digital media in Israeli culture and politics and more recently, in the Israel/Palestinian conflict. In 2014 she moved to Manchester Metropolitan University where she works as lecturer in Information and Communications.
Retired or Emeritus from Manchester University
Prof. Philip Alexander, FBA (emeritus, retired from R&T)
Dr. Adrian Curtis (retired from R&T)
Prof. Bernard Jackson (emeritus, retired from R&T, now Liverpool Hope)
Mr. Harry Lesser (retired from Philosophy)
Mr. Bill Williams (retired from R&T)
The following scholars are on research leave during the period indicated:
Prof. Daniel Langton (R&T, September 2013 - February 2016)
Dr. Jean-Marc Dreyfus (History, September 2014- August 2015)
Prof. Moshe Behar (MES, September 2013- August 2014)
Ms. Sophie Garside (MES, September 2013- February 2014)
Dr. Renate Smithuis (R&T, September 2015- September 2016)
Dr. Cathy Gelbin (German, September 2013 – September 2014)
2.2.2. Affiliated Research Fellows
Dr. Rocco Bernasconi (Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano, previously a post-doc in MES)
Dr. Susie Jacobs (Manchester Metropolitan)
Rabbi Dr. Michael Hilton (London, Leo Baeck College)
Prof. Les Lancaster (retired from Liverpool John Moores)
Dr. Ephraim Nissan (London, unaffiliated)
Dr. Ion Popa (Yad Vashem, Jerusalem)
Rabbi Dr. Reuven Silverman (retired from R&T)
Rabbi Dr. Norman Solomon (Oxford)
Dr. William A. Tooman (St. Andrews)
Dr. Yaakov Wise (Manchester, unaffiliated, previously a PhD student in R&T)
Dr. Ion Popa was approved as Honorary Fellow in 2014.
2.2.3. Visiting Affiliated Academics in 2013–14:
Dr. William A. Tooman (St. Andrews)
Dr. William A. Tooman was Honorary Fellow in 2013-14. He is currently collaborating with Prof. Samely on a large grant application.
2.2.3. Visiting Affiliated Academics in 2014-15:
Prof. Wang Benli (Suzhou University of Science and Technology, China)
Prof. Natalie Polzer (University of Louisville, USA)
Wang Benli, Associate Professor of Anglo-Jewish History and Jewish-Christian relations, holds a 12-month visiting research fellowship at SALC from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015.
Natalie Polzer, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, holds a 5-month visiting research fellowship at SALC from 1st August 2014 to 31st December 2014.
2.2.5. Post-doctorate positions:
Dr. Gábor Gergely (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, REES)
Dr. Maria Haralambakis (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, R&T, also CBS)
Ms. Katharina Keim (Research Associate at the JRRI, one year)
Dr. Adi Kuntsman (Simon Research Fellow)
Dr. Jan Lorenz (Research fellow, MES)
Dr. Ben Williams (Leverhulme Early Career/JRRI Fellow)
Dr. Maria Haralambakis returned to Manchester in September 2013 to begin a three year British Academy postdoctoral fellowship entitled 'Moses Gaster (1856–1939): Eclectic Collector'.
Dr. Jan Lorenz returned to Manchester in September 2014 to begin a one-year post-doctoral research fellowship funded by a European Jewish charity entitled 'Becoming oneself, becoming another: Conversion to Judaism in contemporary Poland'. He was appointed after a CJS internal competition and application by Prof. Samely.
Dr. Ben Williams took up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the JRRI to carry out a three-year project entitled ‘Reading the Bible in the Ottoman Empire: A New Chapter in Early Modern Jewish Exegesis’.
2.3. Doctoral students affiliated with the research centre or group
2.3.1. Current PhD students with their topics and supervisors (18):
Kyung Baek, The Gospel of Matthew and Rewritten Bible (Brooke)
Victoria Biggs, Storytelling, Community, and Memory among Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Youth (Carson)
Julianne Burnett, Was Moses a Magician? (Swanson)
Edmund Chapman, Afterlives: Benjamin, Derrida and Literature in Translation (de Groot and Spencer)
Peter Choi, The Reception of Leviticus in Second Temple Jewish Literature (Brooke)
Eyal Clyne, Orientalism in Israeli Academia (Behar)
Marci Freedman, The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela (Mossman and Smithuis)
Izabella Goldstein, Songs of the Jewish Underworld in Pre-World War Two Warsaw (Bithell and Fanning)
Jan Gryta, The Politics of Memory and Jewish Heritage: Warsaw - Krakow - Lodz after 1989 (Gelbin and Ochman)
Katharina Keim, The Aggadot of the Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer and their relation to Second Temple Judaism (Alexander)
Jarod Jacobs, The Hebrew Language of the 'Biblical' Dead Sea Scrolls (Brooke)
Jessica Keady, Purity and the Community of the Dead Sea Scroll (Brooke)
Ros Livshin, Political Nonconformity in Minority Communities: Representations of the Anglo-Jewish Experience in the Oral Testimony Archive of the Manchester Jewish Museum (Langton)
Michelle Magin, The Three Faces of Germany: Secondary School Holocaust Education Programs in Pre- and Post-unification Germany (Gelbin)
Marton Ribary, Legal abstraction in Roman and Rabbinic law (Samely, Parkin and Giglio)
Roman Vater, 'A Hebrew from Samaria, not a Jew from Yavneh': Adya Gur Horon and the clash over the Hebrew nation (Behar)
Tereza Ward, Social and Religious Jewish Non-conformity: Representations of the Anglo-Jewish Experience in the Oral Testimony Archive of the Manchester Jewish Museum (Langton)
Several PhD students hold competitive School and/or externally funded studentships.
2.3.2. Recently completed PhD projects (5):
Hedva Abel, Aspects of the Lemmatic Sequencing and Thematic Agenda of the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (Samely)
Jan Lorenz, Remaking of Jewish sociality in contemporary Poland. Haunting legacies, global connections (Macdonald and de Souza Torresan)
Ion Popa, A History of Denial: The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust, 1938-Present’ (Dreyfus)
Aron Sterk, The Epistola Anne ad Senecam in its Literary and Historical Context (Samely and Alexander)
Andrew Wilshere, The Rights of the Other: Emmanuel Levinas’s Meta-Phenomenology as a Critique of Hillel Steiner’s An Essay on Rights (Steiner and Samely).
3. Highlights/achievements over the 12 month period.
3.1. Research funding, post-docs
The Centre won a string of external and internal research grants, in addition to successful sponsorship of post-doctoral applications. As a result there will be 3 new post-docs in 2014–15 (see 2.2.5), one of them (Lorenz) with strong links to the School of Social Sciences.
3.2. Cross-disciplinary research and links
Collaboration with the John Rylands Research Institute was very successful. One seed corn project was funded by the JRRI after competitive bidding (e.g. Samely/Keim in table 4 below, leading to Keim under 2.2.5), whose purpose is to enhance the dissemination and research exploitation of the resources of the University Library. CJS staff were also involved in evaluating, and contributing to the support of, a JRRI-sponsored, successful early career application by Dr. Williams (see 2.2.5).
We have furthermore made possible an expansion of resources of the University Library in medieval Jewish and related studies by identifying and paying from CJS-administered funds for the acquisition of hundreds of electronic and physical publications, an investment in excess of £10,000 (this will continue into next year). This expansion is laying the foundation for future research and is targeted at an academic field in which Manchester already has important international significance, through the Cairo Genizah fragments whose digitization and description was one of the major AHRC-funded projects of earlier years.
We continued to provide a meeting ground for academics to share formal information, exchange informal advice, and experiment with ideas across a number of different subject areas within SALC and beyond, with regular communication in particular between members in MES, R&T, History, German, REES and Social Studies.
Furthermore, as secretary of the European Association for Jewish Studies (2010–14), Prof. Langton was involved in the establishment of a comprehensive database of Jewish Studies related funders in Europe for the association's members (currently listing 120 funders, including information on past projects each has funded). This has resulted in an extremely sophisticated in-house expertise in European sources of funding for Jewish Studies.
3.3. Research Output and Dissemination
Senior CJS staff have continued to add to their substantial publications, making an outstanding collective contribution to the University’s REF submission, while younger scholars who have emerged from the CJS mould are coming on stream with major monographs (see the Appendix, Mayers). Our website continues to attract international attention (20,844 page views in last 12 months), as does the online journal Melilah (19,317 page views; see below). We have added a Twitter account to our existing channels of communication (website, newsblog, email list).
4. Research Awards and Applications

Title and Duration of Award 

Start-Finish Date (or of Application)

PI and Co-applicants 

Awarding Body, Amount 

Temporary Appointment in Israel and/or Palestine Studies



Pears Foundation, £142,000

Research project ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’

Feb 2012–Jan 16

Dreyfus, co-recipient

European Research Council, c. £446,000 (of £1,2m total)

Research project ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Jews’, 9 months



AHRC, £96,161

Training and development grant

Apr. 2014– March 2015


British Academy, £3500

Workshop on ‘Moses Gaster's scholarship and collection in a European Context’



Jean Monnet Centre, £1000

Conference Colloquia scheme for the Manchester meeting of 2015 BAJS

2014– 2015


A prestigious European Jewish charity, £3000

Production costs of the Centre’s research periodical Melilah, 3 years



A prestigious European Jewish charity, £3000

Major Research Fellowship, Darwin’s Jews

Sept. 13–Aug. 15


Leverhulme Trust, £95,122

Centre for Jewish Studies research seminar series


Langton and Dreyfus

SALC Network and Research Fund, £800

Collaborative PhD fellowship with Manchester Jewish Museum



A prestigious European Jewish charity, £42,000

Collaborative PhD fellowship with Manchester Jewish  Museum

2010–Jan 2015


AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award;  £51,000

'Modern Reading Habits and the Hebrew Bible: Developing a Multi-disciplinary Methodology'

Jan.–July 14


SALC Research Support Fund, £2660

Research fellowship 'Becoming oneself, becoming another. Conversion to Judaism in contemporary Poland'

Sept. 14–Aug. 15

Samely, J. Lorenz

A prestigious European Jewish charity, c.£30,000

Cataloguing Moses Gaster’s correspondence with the Samaritan community in Nablus

Jan.–July 14

Samely, K. Keim

John Rylands Research Institute Seed Corn Funding, £2500

Application: The Role of Unity in the Scholarly Reading of Historical Sources

Submission Oct. 2014


European Research Council, €2.5m

Translation project 'Abulafia's Secrets of the Torah in the Kabbalistic Library of Pico della Mirandola (1463-94)'



British Academy Small Grant, £10,000

Pilot project for John Rylands Hebrew manuscripts catalogue revision



Private donation, £5000

Application: Hebrew manuscripts catalogue revision and digitization; Inventories and Cataloguing; in collaboration with the JRRI

Submission Sept. 2014


A prestigious European Jewish charity, £150,000


Some figures are rounded; for other post-doc funding, see 9.1.
5. Research events organised

Please see for details




Approx Attendance

12-15 May 2014

Sherman Lectures: ‘Thinking about Jews in Medieval Europe: Explorations with Text, Images and Sounds’

4-part lecture series and master class given by Prof. Miri Rubin, (Queen Mary University of London)



CJS Research Seminar Series

Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Hull), Marc Hecker (IFRI, Paris), Yaron Peleg (Cambridge), Tanja Müller (Manchester), Julie V. Gottlieb (Sheffield), Aron Sterk (Manchester), Tamar Drukker (SOAS) and William Tooman (St Andrews University)


May 2013

‘NGOs and Corpses’ – Workshop of the ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’ research project

Elisabeth Anstett (CNRS), Jean-Hervé Bradol (CRASH, MSF), Caroline Reeves (Harvard), Tony Redmond, (HCRI), Edith Rogenhofer, (MSF), Claire Magone (MSF), Andrea Michelle Skzil (University of Sussex, Brighton), Rony Brauman (MSF), Kjell Anderson, (The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Netherland), Morris Tidball-Binz, (International Committee of the Red Cross)


9–11 Sep 2013

‘Corpses: Search and Identification in post-Genocide and Mass Violence Contexts’ – 2nd annual conference of the ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’ research project

Tony Platt (San Jose State University, USA), Tim Thompson (Teesside University, UK), Luis Fondebrider (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense, Argentina), Francisco Ferrandiz & Luis Rios (CCHS-CSIC, Spain), Isaac L. Baker & Brittany Card (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, USA), Belen Rodriguez Cardoso (Banco Nacional de Datos Genéticos, Argentina), Ernesto Schwartz-Marin (Durham), Victor Toom (Northumbria), Admir Jugo & Senem Skulj (Bosnian Bones, Spanish Ghosts), Rémi Korman (EHESS), Gabriel Finder (University of Virginia, USA), Nicky Rousseau (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Rachel Hatcher (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), Karel Berkhoff (NIOD), Vieceslav Bitjutsky (Memorial, Russian Federation), Caroline Bennett (Kent, UK), Frances Tay (Manchester, UK).


7 Oct 2013

‘The nature of anti-Semitism’ – Free one-day conference of the Centre for Jewish Studies in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester (at the IWMN)

Paul Kelemen (Manchester), Dr. Christoph Kreutzmüller (Haus der Wannsee Konferenz, Berlin), Patricia Duncker (Manchester), Michael Berkowitz (UCL), Caroline Fournet (Groningen)


20 Jan 2014

‘Migration and Culture in London’s East End 1800 to the Present’ – Town meeting of the ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Jews’ project at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, London

Sander L. Gilman (Emory), Rachel Lichtenstein (London), Munsur Ali (London), Jane Earl, (London), Ruth Novaczek, (London)


Feb 2014

‘Mein Kampf workshop’ - Workshop of the ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’ research project

Maiken Umbach (Nottingham), Neil Gregor (Southampton), Jon Shute (Manchester), Michael Hoelzl (Manchester), Ion Popa (Manchester), Atreyee Sen (Manchester), Angus Kennedy (The Institute of Ideas, London), Philippe Coen (Hate Prevention Initiative)


11-12 May 2014

‘Jews on the Move: Particularist Universality in Modern Cosmopolitanist Thought’ – International conference of the ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Jews’ project held at the Leo Baeck Institute London

Daniel Wildmann (Leo Baeck/Queen Mary), Robert Fine (Warwick University), Michael Keith (Oxford), Dr Ben Gidley (Oxford), Saskia Sassen (Columbia), Cathy Gelbin (Manchester), Ruth Novaczek (London), Sander Gilman (Emory), Mica Nava (University of East London), Wayne Cristaudo (Charles Darwin), Ilse Lazaroms (Hebrew University), Philip Spencer (Kingston University), Xun Zhou (Essex), Claire Sutherland (Durham),


6. International links (Academic and non-academic)
6.1 For visitors to/from Manchester (in addition to visiting fellow, 2.2.3)
Prof. Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University London), Sherman Lecturer, 12-15 May 2014
Prof. George Brooke with Yeshiva University, New York (revision of Dead Sea Scroll principal editions)
6.2. Visiting students
Sophie Garside secured £5,000 of student bursaries from the British Friends of the Hebrew University to support Manchester students visiting the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This grant is teaching related)
7. Public engagement
7.1. Radio and TV appearances:
Moshe Behar in Seder Yom (with Keren Noybach) of the Israeli Radio station Reshet Bet about his new book Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought, 26 June 2013
Yaakov Wise in The Sunday Programme of BBC 4 Radio about how the new Manchester Eruv will affect Jewish life, 11 August 2013
Yaakov Wise in Beyond Belief (with Ernie Rae) of BBC Radio 4 about what causes religions to change beliefs or traditions which have been fixed for hundreds of years, 23 September 2013
Yaakov Wise in The Sunday Programme (with Ed Stourton) of BBC Radio 4 about the history and value (around £150k) of the Haggadah recently found in Bury, which has been dated to 1726, 13 October 2013
Yaakov Wise in The Sunday Programme (with William Crawley) of BBC Radio 4 about the recent controversy of Chief Rabbi Mirvis' engagement with the pluralist educational institution Limmud 27 October 2013
Jean-Marc Dreyfus in the talk show 'Bibliothèque Mazarine' on the French TV channel Public Sénat on looted art and cultural objects with the French minister of Culture, Ms Aurélie Filippetti on 24 January 2014
Jean-Marc Dreyfus in ‘The Report on the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonné’, BBC Radio 4, 30 January 2014
Jean-Marc Dreyfus in ‘Mein Kampf copyright’, an interview given to The Jewish Hour,3 February 2014
George Brooke about the Dead Sea Copper Scroll and Manchester scholar John Allegro in ‘Raiders of the Lost Past’, Yesterday Channel, 19 February 2014
Philip Alexander in ‘The Talmud’, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 29 May 2014
7.2. Newspaper articles:
Simon Mayers’ comments in Simon Rosckers, ‘Fishing for the original chips’, The Jewish Chronicle, 3 September 2013
Simon Mayers’ comments in Charlotte Oliver, ‘Catholic Church probes Chesterton sainthood bid’, The Jewish Chronicle, 25 September 2013
Philip Alexander, ‘Schama got it in the neck, but got it right’, comments on Simon Schama's BBC documentary series Story of the Jews on The Conversation, 30 September 2013
Yaakov Wise’s comments in Paul Burnell, ‘How Greater Manchester's eruv has changed life for Jews’ published on-line on BBC News, 18 January 2014
Cathy Gelbin, ‘How Jews hothoused cosmopolitanism’, essay in the Jewish Chronicle, 7 February 2014
7.3. Public lectures and presentations:
Cathy Gelbin, 'Jews on the Move: Legacies of Modern German Cosmopolitanist Thought', the annual Collinson Lecture at the University of Liverpool, 2 May 2013
Cathy Gelbin, 'Juden auf Wanderschaft: Traditionen des kosmopolitischen Gedankens' at Goethe Universität Frankfurt, 17 June 2013
Daniel Langton, 'Chance or Providence? Religious Perspectives on Divine Action' at the annual conference of the Science and Religon Forum, University of Chester, 5-7 September 2013
Moshe Behar, 'Early Zionist settlement in Palestine and the possibility of pre-1948 mizrachi intellectual history' at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near Eastern Studies, New York University, 7 October 2013
Harry Lesser, 'Plan Dalet, 10th March, 1948: Examining the ethics of the Haganah's preparations against invasion' at the Menorah Synagogue ARK series, 13 October 2013
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, 'Public activities in France and perspectives following the parliamentary mission on looted art in the Holocaust' at a workshop at the Sénat, Salle Monnerville, Palais de Luxembourg on 30 January 2014
Norman Solomon, 'A Welsh Jew Faces the Twentieth Century' at the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society 125th Anniversary Symposium, 30 March 2014
Philip Alexander (keynote speaker), 'The Jewish-Christian Controversy in Late Antiquity: Counter-Exegesis and Counter-Narrative as Polemical Strategies' at the third annual colloquium of the Middle East Institute of the Abo Akademi University, Turku, Finland, 5-7 June 2014 (The presentation was made before an audience of diplomats, political activitists and academics.)
7.4. Knowledge transfer:
Moshe Behar’s speech at the screening of the award-winning documentary 'Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah', Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies Seminar Series, SOAS London, 23 October 2013
Harry Lesser, 'The causes of anti-Semitism', a presentation to students of Performing Arts studying "Cabaret" at Pendleton College, Salford, 6 November 2013
Book launches for three CJS related publications Blackwell's Bookshop on Oxford Road, Manchester (in association with CIDRAL) on 26 November 2013 (Renate Smithuis and Philip Alexander, From Cairo to Manchester: Studies in the Rylands Genizah Fragments (2013); Alex Samely et al, Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity (2013), and Maria Haralambakis, The Testament of Job: Text, Narrative and Reception (2012))
Harry Lesser, two sessions about the topic of Faith and Cultural Awareness from the perspective of Judaism at Pendleton College, Salford, 17 December 2013 (for the benefit of Business and Accountancy students)
Alex Samely, 'Do we justify our lives through our work? Strivers and shirkers, art and religion in Jewish and philosophical perspectives' at the Manchester Day Limmud, a full day of Jewish learning for the general public on 2 February 2014
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, ‘Jews of Alsace in the 19th and 20th Centuries, ruptures and continuities’, a presentation for the Summer School on ‘Holocaust and Jewish Studies’ at Royal Holloway London, 19 June 2014
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, ‘Hallervorden, a German doctor’ a documentary by French TV channel France 3 (Dr Dreyfus was awarded €20,000 by the Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah, Paris)
Jan Lorenz, ‘The Passage’ (2013, 53 minutes), an ethnographic documentary about being and becoming Jewish in contemporary Poland
Renate Smithuis, ‘The Rylands Ganizah Collection’, a new website offering contextual information for, and access to, the 15,000 fragments of the spectacular Genizah Collection that have been digitized and catalogued by the Rylands University Library (
7.5. Reports:
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, ‘Der Holocaust. Kontexte und Foschungsansätze’ at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte Munich, Akademie für politische Bildung Tutzing, 9-11 April 2014
George Brooke, ‘Manchester and the Dead Sea Scrolls - stimulating imaginations, creativity and heritage conservation’, on-line report on Manchester’s contribution to Dead Sea Scrolls research, and to the conservation and display of fragile artefacts published on the SALC’s research impact website (
Renate Smithius, ‘The Rylands Genizah Collection - Opening a window on a thousand years of Jewish life in Cairo’, on-line report on a key asset of the John Rylands Library in Manchester published on the SALC’s research impact website (
7.6. Research papers:
Jean-Marc Dreyfus’s public lecture on the evanescent memory of the three satellite camps of Drancy: Austerlitz, Levitan and Bassano, at the United Hebrew Congregation (UHC) in an event organised by the Leeds branch of the Jewish Historical Society, 22 May 2013
Elliot Cohen, 'Niggunim: Meditative Melodies from the Hasidic Tradition' at the British Psychological Society's Transpersonal Section 16th annual conference, Scarborough, 20-22 September 2013
Les Lancaster on 'Practice in kabbalistic psychology: integrating tradition and the transpersonal' at the British Psychological Society's Transpersonal Section 16th annual conference, Scarborough, 20-22 September 2013
Moshe Behar, 'Reappraising the "Arab Question" within Zionism: Evidence from four pre-1937 controversies between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi intellectuals' at a session convened by Prof Behar on 'Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Prospects, Possibilities, Limitations' at the annual conference of The Middle Eastern Studies Association, University of Arizona, 13 October 2013
Gábor Gergely, 'The nightmare of Jewish-Gentile intermarriage in The Hen-Pecked Husband (János Vaszary, 1938): anti-Semitism in Hungarian film before the ban on Jewish participation in the industry' at the CREES-CEELBAS workshop series Ideologies, Identities and Images in Motion, University of Manchester, 30 January 2014
Maria Haralambakis, ‘Moses Gaster, Frederick Horn and the Settlement of Samarin (1882)’ at the workshop on 'Europe, the Jews of Romania, and Moses Gaster' at University College London, 19 May 2014
Moshe Behar (co-organiser), ‘Centennial to Flora Saporto: Thoughts on the Possibility of a Mizrahi-Femininst Alliance’ at the ‘Jewish Thought in Arab Societies, 1880-1960’ workshop at Ben Gurion University, 26-28 May 2014
Philip Alexander and Katharina Keim, 'Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer and Bere'shit Rabbah: Intertextual Relations?' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Marci Freedman, 'A Professor Controversiarum Judaicarum: Constantijn L’Empereur and the Jews' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Maria Haralambakis, 'Moses Gaster as a collector and translator of Romanian and Slavonic folklore' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Daniel Langton (EAJS secretary), 'Jewish Interest in Questions of Racial Superiority and Evolutionary Theory in the Late 19th Century England' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Simon Mayers, 'Myths and Stereotypes of "the Jew" in English Catholic Discourses (1850-1929)' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Marton Ribary, 'Imposing Order on the World in Rabbinic and Roman Legal Thought' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Renate Smithuis, 'The Sermon as a Conduit for Philosophy: Jacob Anatoli's Goad for Students (Malmad ha-talmidim)' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
Aron Sterk on 'The Jew in the Polyptych: The image of a Jewish courtier in late 15th c. Portugal on the eve of the expulsions in Nuno Gonçalves' at the 10th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Paris, 20-24 July 2014
7.7. Panel discussions:
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, participant of the debate ‘The Left and Israel: Is the debate closed? under the auspices of the Labour Friends of Israel/Institute of Ideas, House of Commons, London, 24 April 2013
Moshe Behar, 'Future prospects' a panel discussion at the conference 'Israel at 65 Years: Dimensions of national identity' with Yakub Halabi, Amal Jamal and Csaba Nikolenyi at the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, 12 November 2013
Moshe Behar, ‘The Possibility of Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought’, a panel discussion with Laleh Khalili (SOAS), Sami Zubaida (Birkbeck College), and Yair Wallach (SOAS), at SOAS London, 19 November 2013
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, ‘Écrire l’histoire de la Shoah’ ('Writing the History of the Holocaust') at a roundtable discussion of the conference ‘Après la violence: Europe-Amérique Latine, Expériences croisées’ (After violence: Europe-Latin America in comparison), Montevideo Edificio Mercosur, Uruguay, 8-9 May 2014
Daniel Langton, participant in a consultation workshop on 'Teaching the Holocaust in a Multireligious World' as part of the Programs on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust run by the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum, 19-20 May 2014
8. Key Research Publications over the 12 month period
Publications associated with active members that make a contribution to the work of the Centre. This enumeration is indicative rather than comprehensive. Please see the detailed list below.

Additional Category: Academic Journal produced at CJS


Edited Collections

Journal Articles

Chapters in Books

Reports and Other Outputs








†Melilah: Manchester Journal for Jewish Studies, edited by two CJS core staff members. Vol. 10 appeared in 2013. For details see below.

8.1 Edited journal
Melilah – Manchester Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 10 (2013)
Academic, interdisciplinary, peer reviewed and open access Journal edited from the Centre. For the journal’s website, please go to:
Vol. 10 theme issue: Israel Studies, edited by Daniel Langton and Renate Smithuis.
Daniel Langton, Abraham Isaac Kook's Account of 'Creative Evolution': A Response to Modernity for the Sake of Zion.
Simon Mayers, Zionism and Anti-Zionism in the Catholic Guild of Israel: Bede Jarrett, Arthur Day and Hans Herzl.
Roman Vater, Down with Britain, away with Zionism: the 'Canaanites' and 'Lohamey Herut Israel' between two adversaries.
Dvir Abramovich, Breaking Taboos in Israeli Holocaust Literature.
Tessa Satherley, 'The Simple Jew': The 'Price Tag' Phenomenon, Vigilantism, and Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh's Political Kabbalah.
8.2. Books by current and recent CJS Fellows or associates:
G. Brooke, Reading the Dead Sea Scrolls: Essays in Method (Society of Biblical Literature, 2013)
S. Mayers, Chesterton's Jews: Stereotypes and Caricatures in the Literature and Journalism of G. K. Chesterton (CreateSpace, 2013) [Dr Mayers completed his PhD with Prof. Langton a while back]
A. Samely in collaboration with P. Alexander, R. Bernasconi, and R. Hayward, Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity. An Inventory, from Second Temple Texts to the Talmuds (Oxford University Press, 2013)
8.3. Edited Volumes:
M. Behar & Z. Ben-Dor Benite, eds., Modern Middle Easterm Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893–1958 (Brandeis University Press, 2013)
J.-M. Dreyfus & L. Haddad, eds., Une médecine de mort: Du code de Nuremberg à l’éthique médicale contemporaine (Paris: Vendémiaire, 2014)
R. Smithuis & P. Alexander, eds., From Cairo to Manchester: Studies in the Rylands Genizah Fragments (Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement 31, OUP 2013)
M. Stoetzler, ed., Antisemitism and the Constitution of Sociology (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).
8.4. Academic Journal articles and book chapters:
Moshe Behar, 'The Possibility of Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought' in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 41:1, 2014, pp.43-61.
Bernard Jackson, 'On the Values of Biblical Law and their Contemporary Application' in Political Theology 14/5 (2013), 602-18.
Daniel Langton, 'Jewish Religious Thought, The Holocaust, and Darwinism: A Comparison of Hans Jonas and Mordecai Kaplan' in Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism 13.2 (2013)
Daniel Langton, 'Speaking Truth after the Shoah: Jewish Post-Holocaust Theologies and Multireligious Conversation' in the Journal of Interreligious Studies 14 (Spring 2014), 42-55.
Marcel Stoetzler & Christine Achinger, ‘German Modernity, Barbarous Slavs and Profit-seeking Jews: The Cultural Racism of Nationalist Liberals’, in Nations and Nationalism 19:4, 2013, pp. 739-760.
8.5. Chapters in Books:
Philip Alexander, 'A Typology of Intertextual Relations Based on the Manchester-Durham Typology of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature of Antiquity' in Michaela Bauks, Wayne Horowitz and Armin Lange (eds), Between Text and Intertext: The Hermeneutics of Intertextuality in Ancient Cultures and Their Afterlife in Medieval and Modern Times (Journal for Ancient Judaism Supplements 6, 2013)
George Brooke, 'Controlling Intertexts and Hierarchies of Echo in Two Thematic Eschatological Commentaries from Qumran' in Michaela Bauks, Wayne Horowitz and Armin Lange (eds), Between Text and Intertext: The Hermeneutics of Intertextuality in Ancient Cultures and Their Afterlife in Medieval and Modern Times (Journal for Ancient Judaism Supplements 6, 2013)
George Brooke, 'Some Scribal Features of the Thematic Commentaries from Qumran' to Philip R. Davies and T. Roemer (eds), Writing the Bible: Scribes, Scribalism and Script (Bible World; Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2013)
George Brooke, 'What is a Variant Edition? Perspectives from the Qumran Scrolls' in In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes: Studies in the Biblical Text in Honour of Anneli Aejmelaeus, edited by Kristin de Troyer, T. Michael Law, and Marketta Liljestroem (Leuven-Paris-Walpole, Ma: Peters, 2014), 607-622.
George Brooke, 'Memory, Cultural Memory and Rewriting Scripture' in Rewritten Bible after Fifty Years: Texts, Terms, or Techniques? A Last Dialogue with Geza Vermes, edited by József Zsengellér (Brill, 2014), 119-136.
Adrian Curtis, '"A Psalm of David, When... ": Reflections on Some Psalm Titles in the Hebrew Bible' in James K. Aitken, Jeremy M.S. Clines, and Christl M. Maier, eds, Interested Readers: Essays in Honor of David J.A. Clines (SBL 2013)
Adrian Curtis, 'Ilimilku of Ugarit: Copyist or Creator?' in P.R. Davies and T. Römer, eds, Writing the Bible (Acumen, 2013)
Maria Haralambakis, 'Romanian Jewish Autograph Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library Collected by Moses Gaster, and their Historical Contexts' in Lumea evreiască în literatura română (The Jewish World in Romanian Literature) ed. Camelia Crăciun (Iaşi University Press, 2014), 177­203.
Bernard Jackson, 'Law and Religion in the Hebrew Bible' in Law and Religion in the Eastern Mediterranean, ed. Reinhard G. Kratz and Anselm C. Hagedorn (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 189-209.
Bernard Jackson, 'Trust in(g) Eric' in As interações sensíveis: Ensaios de sociossemiótica a partir da obra de Eric Landowski, ed. A.C. de Oliveira (São Paulo: Editions Estação das Letras e Cores e Editora CPS, 2013), 81-100.
Les Lancaster, 'Near-death experience and transcendence in Judaism' in J.H. Ellens, ed, Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife: Eternity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, volume 1 (Santa Barbara, Ca: Praeger, 2013), pp. 169-180.
Harry Lesser, 'Spirituality and modernism' to Contemplations of the Spiritual, ed R. Arya (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013)
Ion Popa, 'Visarion Puiu, the Former Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan (Archbishop) of Transnistria – A Historical Study on His Life and Activity Before, During and After the Holocaust (1935-1964)' in Holocaust. Studii și Cercetări [Holocaust. Study and Research] 5:1(6) (2013), 182-203.
Marton Ribary, 'Josephus’ “Rewritten Bible” as a Non-Apologetic Work' in Rewritten Bible after Fifty Years: Texts, Terms, or Techniques? A Last Dialogue with Geza Vermes, edited by József Zsengellér (Brill, 2014), 249-266.
Norman Solomon, 'Jewish Pilgrimage and Peace' in Antón M. Pazo, ed, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages as Peacemakers in Christianity, Judaism and Islam (Ashgate, 2013)
Norman Solomon, 'The Eight-Month Fetus' in As a Perennial Spring: A Festschrift Honoring Norman Lamm (Downhill Publishing LLC, 2013)
Bill Williams, 'A Case of Cosmopolitanism: The Manchester International Club' to Janet Wolff and Mike Savage, eds, Culture in Manchester: Institutions and Urban Change since 1850 (Manchester University Press, 2013)
8.6. Reports and Other Outputs:

Adrian Curtis, 'Geography and Topography in Biblical Interpretation' in Steven McKenzie, ed, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2013)
Alex Samely, c. 5 literary Profile entries (each between 5,000 and 12,000 words long) in Samely et al., Database for the Analysis of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Texts of Antiquity
( )
Norman Solomon, 'Natural Sciences in Judaism' in the Judaism section (Langton and Lancaster, eds) of Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religion ed. Anne L. C. Runchov and Lluis Orviedo (Springer, 2013)
Norman Solomon, 'Natural Sciences in Judaism' in the Judaism section (Langton and Lancaster, eds) of Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religion ed. Anne L. C. Runchov and Lluis Orviedo (Springer, 2013)
9. Statement of planned activities for the next 12 months
9.1. Research funding, publications
Mentoring of post-doctoral applications by Keim, Mayers, Garner to various funding bodies, including British Academy and Leverhulme early career schemes, and other relevant Jewish Studies related foundations (Langton, Samely, Alexander); support of a post-doctoral application for Dr Wolpe (shortlisted for JRRI sponsored Leverhulme Early Career 2013/14) for research involving the University Library’s Haskalah collection
Hosting in Manchester of the annual conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies (President 2014–15: Prof. Langton, theme: Atheism, Scepticism and Challenges to Monotheism)
Editing of a volume of conference papers from the preceding event. A substantial number of other publications are in press or in preparation by members of CJS.
Large grant applications: (a) collaboration with the JRRI on a funding application and international collaboration regarding a revision of Samely’s 1997 draft catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, including eventual publication and digitization (team leaders Smithuis, Alexander); (b) an ERC grant application Samely (see table under point 4 above).
A number of small applications to finance research pilots will be submitted to University-internal and external funding sources, including the SALC RSF and RNF (Smithuis, Langton).
Direct CJS funding of seed corn reports on important University Library archives and holdings with relevance to Jewish Studies research (Haskalah/Wolpe, Methodist archive/Mayers), to prepare wider dissemination and future projects.
Continued direct funding of Manchester University Library acquisitions in the area of medieval and related Jewish Studies (see 3.2).
Resumption of annual plenary research meetings, in addition to frequent smaller face to face meetings and communications, with participation of Mr Starbrook (see 3.2). Our regular rhythm for these meetings was interrupted in 2013–14 due to Prof. Samely’s illness and Prof. Langton’s research leave.
9.2. Public Events (for BAJS conference, see 9.1.2)
Hosting of the inaugural Bogdanow Lecture Series in Holocaust Studies, delivered by Prof. Christopher Browning (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). This follows a 2013 bequest by the late Fanni Bogdanow, formerly Professor of French and Medieval Studies at Manchester University.
Hosting of the 2015 Sherman Lecture Series, with Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) speaking on “Jesus, Judaism and Christianity”.
Continuation of the successful Israel theme in the CJS seminar series
Holding a conference day in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum of the North (see above 5, 7 October 2013).
9.3. Other planned activities
Continuation of the expansion of Library holdings (see 3.2).
10. Resources
10.1. Office:
The office holds the Bill Williams Library and related materials, open to the public by appointment, and is primarily used for doctoral supervisions, our post-graduate students, retired staff and CJS fellows.
10.2. Library:
The Centre secured funds to catalogue holdings in the Bill Williams Library. The task is carried out by PhD students paid at an hourly rate. Cataloguing by EndNote will eventually allow electronic search and a possible thematic reorganisation of the collection according to the Dewey decimal system.
The Centre secured £15K from university endowment to develop holdings in the main university library in Jewish Studies and related themes with special reference to titles discussing topics in medieval times. Prof. Samely and Dr. Smithuis are responsible for creating the list of titles to be ordered.
10.3. Website:
The website is updated on a regular basis and continues to list and archive entries on publications and events. The recording of the annual Sherman Lecture series by Prof Miri Rubin is also made available for the public on our website.
11. Teaching
11.1. Survey of modules:
For 2012-entry there were 34 undergraduate course modules (8 at year-1, 12 at year-2, and 14 at year-3) and 8 postgraduate course modules in the general area of Jewish Studies. See and for postgraduate modules see
11.2. MA students:
For 2013-entry the following 5 students registered for an MA associated with the Centre:
Ariel Abel
Caroline Kaye
Nicholas Kay
Aaron Lipsey
Daniel Walker
11.3. New undergraduate programmes:
From 2013-14, the BA degree Hebrew Studies is no longer available, but Sophie Garside has facilitated the approval of three new BA degree programmes. Within MES and R&T the options for Jewish Studies related course choices are now:
Hebrew and Israel Studies 4yrs – new programme
Middle Eastern Studies and Hebrew 4yrs – new programme
Modern Middle Eastern History and Hebrew 4yrs – new programme
Middle Eastern Language and a Modern European Language (incl. Hebrew) 4yrs
Middle Eastern Languages (incl. Hebrew) 4 yrs
Religions and Theology 3 yrs
11.4. Student exchanges with the University of Manchester:
The student exchange programme with Hebrew University developed by Sophie Garside continued in 2013-2014. With the generous support of the British Friends of the Hebrew University (£5000 per year). In 2013-2014, one undergraduate student from the University of Manchester studied at the HU for a year. In return, we have been able to host one Israeli student for one semester of study.
11.5. Students visits:
Jean-Marc Dreyfus organised a visit to the Jewish Museum and the Jewish Heritage Trail on 11 December 2013.
Renate Smithuis organised a one seminar-hour long visit to Jackson’s Row synagogue for students on the module ‘Introduction to Judaism’.
Dr Smithuis also organised a two seminar-hour long visit to the Genizah Collection of the John Rylands Library for students on the module ‘Religion and Science’.
Professors Daniel Langton and Alexander Samely
9 December 2014