During the reporting period the Centre remained the broadly defined exploration of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. This theme embraces, for example, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (Dreyfus, Gelbin, Langton, Williams); Jewish-Christian relations (Langton, Brooke); Jewish-Muslim relations (Smithuis); Jewish-Arab relations (Behar); Jewish/non-Jewish philosophy (Samely), and guided the selection of the 2015 Sherman lecturer and topic (Prof. Levine on Jewish perspectives on the New Testament). The inaugural Bogdanow Lectures in Holocaust Studies 2015 were given by Prof. Christopher Browning (Frank Porter Graham Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
Mr. Harry Anthony Lesser, z”l, passed away on 2 May 2015. He was a retired member of Manchester University’s Philosophy Department, and will be missed by his many former students and by colleagues in philosophy, as well as by all of us at the Centre for Jewish Studies.
Prof. Wang Benli (Suzhou University of Science and Technology, China) Prof. Wang Benli, Associate Professor of Anglo-Jewish History and Jewish-Christian relations, held a 12-month visiting research fellowship at SALC from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015.
Prof. Natalie Polzer (University of Louisville, USA) Natalie Polzer, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, held a 5-month visiting research fellowship at SALC from 1st August 2014 to 31st December 2014.
Dr. Gábor Gergely (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, REES)
Dr. Maria Haralambakis (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, R&T, also CBS)
Dr. Katharina Keim (2014–15 JRRI Fellow, from September 2015 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow)
Dr. Jan Lorenz (CJS Research fellow, MES)
Dr. Ben Williams (Leverhulme Early Career/JRRI Fellow)
Related appointment: Dr. Lauren Banko, Pears Fellow 2015–18 in Palestine/Israel Studies
Several PhD students hold competitive School and/or externally funded studentships.
Current PhD students with their topics and supervisors (14):
Kyung Baek, The Gospel of Matthew and Rewritten Bible (Brooke)
Victoria Biggs, Nakba in Israel and Holocaust in Palestine: Literature, Storytelling, and the Opening Up of Taboo Histories (Taithe and Jeffers)
Julianne Burnett, Was Moses a Magician? (Swanson)
Edmund Chapman, Afterlives: Benjamin, Derrida and Literature in Translation (de Groot and Spencer)
Dominika Chlewinska, National loyalties in war: Polish-Jewish relations within the Anders Army (Ochman)
Peter Choi, The Reception of Leviticus in Second Temple Jewish Literature (Brooke)
Eyal Clyne, Orientalism in Israeli Academia (Erica Burman)
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)
Jarod Jacobs, The Hebrew Language of the 'Biblical' Dead Sea Scrolls (Brooke)
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)
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)
Completed PhD projects (4):
Jessica Keady, Purity and the Community of the Dead Sea Scroll (Brooke)
Katharina Keim, “The Aggadot of the Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer and their relation to Second Temple Judaism” (Alexander). Dr Keim was appointed to a BA Post-doctoral fellowship and has elected to remain in Manchester, thus continuing her post-doctoral affiliation with the Centre and with the John Rylands Research Institute.
Ros Livshin, “Political Nonconformity in Minority Communities: Representations of the Anglo-Jewish Experience in the Oral Testimony Archive of the Manchester Jewish Museum” (Langton)
Roman Vater, “A Hebrew from Samaria, not a Jew from Yavneh': Adya Gur Horon and the clash over the Hebrew nation”(Behar). Dr Vater was appointed to an Oxford post-doc position the day after his viva
3. Teaching Summary
(1) Two members of the Centre were honoured for exceptional teaching contributions by the Manchester Teaching Awards: Malka Hodgson (Hebrew, MES, Feedback) and Alex Samely (MES, PGT Supervision); see http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/teachingawards/
(2) The European Jewish Studies funding mentioned elsewhere will ensure the continuation of modern Hebrew teaching on three levels for the duration of an external grant 2016–18.
(3) An aggregate snapshot of all Jewish Studies or related course units in 2014–15 provides the following student registration numbers:
Undergraduate: Total of enrolments in Jewish Studies undergraduate classes: 271
Details: Introduction to Judaism: 25; Religion and Science in the Time of the Crusades: God, Nature and Science in Medieval Jewish, Christian and Muslim Thought: 16; Introduction to the History of Jewish-Christian Relations: 12; Holocaust Theology: 23; Introduction to Biblical Hebrew: 6; Hebrew Texts II: 3; Dead Sea Scrolls: 8; Modern Hebrew Language Level 1: 4; Modern Hebrew Language Level 2: 4; Modern Hebrew Language Level 3: 1; Modern Literatures of the Middle East: Hebrew Pathway: 3; Israeli Media: 1; The Question of Palestine/Israel: 62; Themes in the Formation of Arab and Jewish Nationalism: 25; Fundamental Debates in the Study of Palestine/Israel: 30; Screening the Holocaust: 38; BA dissertations with Jewish Studies topic: 10.
Postgraduate Taught: Total of enrolments in MA Jewish Studies classes: 38 (including 5 MA dissertations with Jewish Studies topic)
Details: Jews among Christians and Muslims: 9; Major Issues in Post-Holocaust Theology: 5; Biblical Studies and Early Judaism: 10; Dead Sea Scrolls: 5; MA Guided Reading/Research Essay I and II units in Jewish Studies: 4; MA dissertations: 5.
For 2014-entry, 5 students registered for an MA in Jewish Studies. The degree programme was discontinued by the School for 2015 entry, but an external grant will allow to give fee bursaries to three students per annum who course units selection evinces a Jewish Studies focus. (Details to be announced in November 2015.)
Most degree programmes offered in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures allow room for module choices in Jewish Studies, including: BA (Hons) Comparative Religion and Social Anthopology; BA (Hons) Religions and Theology; BA (Hons) Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics; BA (Hons) Middle Eastern Studies.
Student exchange programme
Ms. Sophie Garside secured the financial support of the British Friends of the Hebrew University for Manchester students visiting the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on their year-abroad programme and students taking summer language courses at the Hebrew University after their first year of study at Manchester. Supported by these bursaries, one student visited the Hebrew University in 2015-2015. During the summer of 2015, two students are taking intensive Hebrew courses. In the academic year of 2015-2016, three undergraduate students are visiting the Hebrew University. (This grant is teaching related.)
Ms. Malka Hodgson organised a visit to the public screening of the new Israeli film Bethlehem on 15 November 2014. The screening was part of the UK Jewish Film Festival and was followed by a discussion with the film’s lead actor.
4. Research Activities
One of the highlights of this year’s work was that the Centre applied for and was awarded substantial funding from an external foundation for some of its activities in the period January 2016–August 2018. Other notable successes include a research grant of £120,000 from the same foundation for the description and dissemination of the important John Rylands Hebrew manuscripts (Dr Smithuis). The Sherman Lecture topic and speaker this year, Prof. Amy-Jill Levine, generated immense interest, attracting the largest academic, professional and communal audience we have had for a Shermans in living memory. Prof. Langton as President of the British Association for Jewish Studies brought the annual BAJS conference to Manchester, and a strong group of national and international experts on Jewish culture presented papers in particular on, ‘Atheism, Scepticism, and Challenges to Monotheism’.
Two early career scholars conducted seed corn research on John Rylands Library resources, funded by the Centre: Dr Simon Mayers (London, a Manchester PhD) worked on a survey of Jewish Studies aspects of the Methodist Archives), and Dr Rebecca Wolpe (Jerusalem), who created a basic introduction and description of the Haskalah collection, one of the most complete holdings of printed Hebrew enlightenment literature of the 17th to 20th centuries.
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. CJS staff are on course for repeating their strong showing in the last REF submission for REF 2020 (see Publications, below). Our website continues to attract international attention (25,400 page views in last 12 months), as does the online journal Melilah (30,354 page views in the last 3 years).
5. Research Awards or Projects During 2014–15
6. Research events organised
7. International links (Academic and non-academic)
In addition to the international visiting fellows mentioned under 2 above the following visitors were hosted: Christopher Browning (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Bogdanow Lecturer, 27-29 January 2015; Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University), Sherman Lecturer, 12-15 May 2015.
Apart from the international collaborations of some of the grants under 4 (in particular the ERC grant of Jean-Marc Dreyfus), the following can be mentioned:
(i) Samely led part of a workshop at Harvard University’s Centre for the Study of World Religions, followed by a public evening lecture (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG6R7Eu5YXc
); there is a follow-up workshop at St Andrews in September 2015.
(ii) Dr Cioată worked with colleagues at the New Europe College (Bucharest) and with Prof. Anissava Miltenova at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Sofia) University.
(iii) Cathy Gelbin held visiting lectureships the Centre for Jewish Studies, Humboldt University Berlin (2015) and at the Bucerius Institute, University of Haifa (2014).
(iv) Daniel Langton has been appointed to the academic board of the “Paul within Judaism” Project, Council of Christians and Jews, Netherlands.
8. Public engagement, media coverage and potential socio-economic impact
As a Centre we have hosted and disseminated the following public engagement events:
We have regular collaborations for public engagement, as well as research, purposes with the Imperial War Museum North (centred around teacher training) and the Manchester Jewish Museum (public talks and collaborative doctoral research).
Radio and TV appearances:
Philip Alexander, Panel discussion on Josephus with Martin Goodman and Tessa Rajak on Melvyn Bragg's 'In Our Time', BBC Radio 4, 21 May 2015
Moshe Behar, 'Reconciling 'Jewishness' and 'Arabness': A rainbow of Jewish thought in the Middle East', Radio TLV1 (Israel), 27 June 2014
Moshe Behar, Interview given to Ms Keren Noybach about his 2015 article 'The centennial of “Flora Saporto”', Reshet Bet (Israel), 29 April 2015
Jean-Marc Dreyfus 'Liberation and reparations', Radio interview, France Culture (in French), 28 January 2015
Moshe Behar, '"Little Nadra" was also a "Yemenite"' [in Hebrew], Cafe Gibraltar, 24 February 2015
Moshe Behar, 'The Centennial of 'Flora Saporto': Thoughts on the possibility of a Mizrahi-Feminist alliance' [in Hebrew], Haaretz, 8 March 2015
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, contributor to the coverage of Holocaust commemoration in Manchester, Mancunian Matters, 26 January 2015
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, 'Non, les réparations allemandes ne sont pas une solution à la dette grecque', Le Monde, 3 April 2015
Public lectures and presentations:
Philip Alexander, 'Christian Restorationism in Ireland in the Early 19th Century: The Strange Case of Miss Marianne Nevill', Jewish Historical Society of England day-conference, London, 30 March 2015
George Brooke, 'The Visualisation of the Sacred at Qumran', The Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence: Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions, Tallinn, Estonia, 3-5 October 2014
Alex Samely, 'Written Religion: Some New Avenues in Analyzing Ancient Jewish Texts', Harvard Divinity School's Center for the Study of World Religions, 27 October 2014
Katharina Keim, 'Jewish law vs Jewish ethics: The case of the Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer', Manchester Ancient Law Reading Group, 4 March 2015
Ros Livshin, ‘Radical Jewish Women’, Manchester Jewish Museum, 1 March 2015
Jan Lorenz, Post-screening Q&A of his documentary ‘The Passage’, Edgware and District Reform Synagogue, London, 11 December 2014
Ion Popa, ‘The Catholic and Orthodox Churches and the Jewish Question in Romania’, Graduate Workshop, Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research, 13 January 2015
Marton Ribary, ‘Traditionalism and innovation in Talmudic law (bBerakhot 19b)’, Manchester Ancient Law Reading Group, 1 October 2014
Marton Ribary, ‘Who is a Jew? Tensions over Jewish identity in the Israeli legislative process’, Informal study day with the support of Liberal Judaism, Movement for Reform Judaism, Leo Baeck College and Moishe House without Walls, Manchester, 14 December 2014
William Simms, ‘Kafka’s Before the Law’, Manchester Ancient Law Reading Group, 10 December 2014
Renate Smithuis ‘The Rylands Hebrew Manuscript project’, Digital Humanities Project Development Workshop, Manchester, 12 June 2015
Moshe Behar, 'National Self-determination and Belonging: Reconciling Competing Nationalisms', Equal Rights for All: A New Path for Israel-Palestine, Conference held at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, 15 March 2015
George Brooke, 'The Wilderness of Judea: Qumran, Gomorrah and Holman Hunt', Lausanne-Manchester/Sheffield Rencontre, 10-11 June 2015
Maria Cioată (Haralambakis), 'Moses Gaster's Own Copy of Romanian Bird and Beast Stories: An Archive in One Volume', JRRI Research showcase, Hebrew Collections, 4 March 2015
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, 'Vollrath von Maltzan: A German Diplomat and 'Mischlinge' in Weimar, the Third Reich, and the Federal Republic, 1899-1967', The Jewish History Research Seminar Series at the Institute for Historical Research at UCL, 3 February 2015
Dan Garner, 'Assessing Post-Holocaust Theologies of Image: Melissa Raphael's Fraught Theology of Divine Powerlessness', Religions & Theology Research Seminar, Manchester, 26 February 2015
Cathy Gelbin, 'Gender Studies and Jewish Studies', A Symposium on Jewish Studies for the 21st Century, Potsdam University, 1 October 2014
Katharina Keim, 'The role of Small Forms within the Thematic Discourse of Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer', Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Diego, 22-25 November 2014
Katharina Keim, 'The Exposition of Scripture in Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer', Research Seminar on Jewish History and Literature in the Graeco-Roman Period, Oxford, 24 February 2015
Katharina Keim, 'Creating a Handlist of the Gaster Samaritan Correspondence', JRRI Research showcase, Hebrew Collections, 4 March 2015
Katharina Keim, 'The Israelites in the Wilderness in Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer’, Lausanne-Manchester/Sheffield Rencontre, 10-11 June 2015
Agnes Kory, 'Hungarian musical life in the shadow of Nazism', The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama at the University of Manchester, 30 March-1 April 2015
Jan Lorenz, 'Pathways to Jewishness: Jewish proselytes and conversion programmes in contemporary Poland', CJS Research Seminar Series, 11 March 2015
Ion Popa, 'The Orthodox Church and the revival of antisemitism in Romania', Collaborative Outreach Workshop on Anti-Semitism in Romania and Moldova (1881-1991) at the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Leicester, 2 July 2014
Renate Smithuis, 'A Few Words on a New Project at The Rylands: Catalogue of Codices, Scrolls, and Other Texts in Hebrew Script', JRRI Research showcase, Hebrew Collections, 4 March 2015
Ben Williams, 'The Second Rabbinic Bible in the John Rylands Library', JRRI Research showcase, Hebrew Collections, 4 March 2015
Ben Williams, 'More than one way to read a Midrash: Aaron Hasson and Edward Pococke study Midrash Rabba', David Patterson Lecture, Oxford, 18 May 2015
Moshe Behar, 'Thoughts on killing and the killed', Round-table discussion on the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Manchester, 30 January 2015
Moshe Behar, 'Thoughts on Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought', The Muslim-Jewish Studies panel at the Woolf Institute with Esther-Miriam Wagner (Woolf Institute) and Menachem Klein (Bar-Ilan), 12 May 2015
Bernard Jackson, participant of the post-screening panel discussion on the new Israeli film 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem', UK Jewish Film Festival, London, 12 November 2014
Additional public engagement activities
Dr Dreyfus was academic consultant and co-writer for the French documentary T4. Un médecin sous le nazisme (52 min, directed by Catherine Bernstein)
9. Key Research Publications over the 12 month period
Edited journal: Melilah – Manchester Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 11 (2014)
Academic, interdisciplinary, peer reviewed and open access Journal edited from the Centre. For the journal’s website, please go to: http://www.melilahjournal.org/
Vol. 11 theme issue: Jewish Studies and the New Testament.
Editors: Daniel R. Langton and Renate Smithuis.
Assistant editor: Simon Mayers
Articles in Melilah vol. 11:
Marc Zvi Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine, The Jewish Annotated New Testament: Retrospect and Prospects
Anders Runesson, Saving the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel: Purity, Forgiveness, and Synagogues in the Gospel of Matthew
Jody A. Barnard, Anti-Jewish Interpretations of Hebrews: Some Neglected Factors
Etka Liebowitz, Hypocrites or Pious Scholars? The Image of the Pharisees in Second Temple Period Texts and Rabbinic Literature
Pere Casanellas and Harvey J. Hames, A Textual and Contextual Analysis of the Hebrew Gospels translated from Catalan
Books by current and recent CJS Fellows or associates:
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Impossible Reparation: Deportations, looted assets, Nazi gold, blocked accounts, war criminals (Flammarion, 2015)
Michael Hilton, Bar Mitzvah: A History (JPS, 2014)
Adi Kuntsman & Rebecca L. Stein, Digital Militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015)
Philip Alexander et al, eds., On the Fringe of Commentary: Metatextuality in Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Mediterranean Cultures (Leuven: Peeters, 2014)
Jean-Marc Dreyfus & Élisabeth Anstett, eds., Human remains and mass violence: Methodological approaches (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015)
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): 43-61.
Moshe Behar, 'The centennial of 'Flora Saporto': Thoughts on the possibility of a Mizrahi-Feminist alliance' in Pe‘amim: Studies in Oriental Jewry 139-140 (2015): 9-54.
Bernard Jackson, 'Jurisprudence and Communication: Secular and Religious' in International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27:3 (2014): 463-484.
Les Lancaster, 'Hermeneutic Neurophenomenology in the Science-Religion Dialogue: Analysis of States of Consciousness in the Zohar' in Religions 6:1 (2015): 146-171.
Daniel Langton, 'Jewish Evolutionary Perspectives on Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and Race Science in Late 19th Century England: A Comparative Study of Lucien Wolf and Joseph Jacobs' in Jewish Historical Studies 46 (2014): 37-73.
Ion Popa, 'Sanctuary from the Holocaust? Roman Catholic Conversion of Jews in Bucharest, Romania, 1942' in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 29:1 (2015): 39-56.
Chapters in Books:
Philip S. Alexander, 'Rabbinic and Patristic Bible Exegesis as Intertexts: Towards a Theory of Comparative Midrash' in The Temple in R. Timothy McLay (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 71-97.
Philip Alexander, 'A fragment of Jeremiah from the Cairo Genizah' in Riches of the Rylands: The Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library, ed. John Hodgson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015)
George J. Brooke, 'Reading, Searching and Blessing: A Functional Approach to Scriptural Interpretation in the Yahad' in The Temple in R. Timothy McLay (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 140-156.
George Brooke, 'The earliest surviving fragments of the Jewish Greek Bible' in Riches of the Rylands: The Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library, ed. John Hodgson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015)
George Brooke, 'Physicality, Paratextuality and Pesher Habakkuk' in On the Fringe of Commentary: Metatextuality in Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Mediterranean Cultures, eds. Philip Alexander et al. (Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 175-194.
George Brooke, 'Weak or Sinful? A Body of Rhetoric – on the Use of Physical Metaphors in Romans 3 and the Hodayot' in Jesus, Paulus und die Texte von Qumran, eds. Jörg Frey and Enno Edzard Popkes (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015), 251-262.
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, 'Renationalizing bodies? The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58', in Human remains and mass violence: Methodological approaches, eds. Élisabeth Anstett & Jean-Marc Dreyfus (Manchester University Press, 2015)
Daniel Langton, 'Isaac Mayer Wise, Cosmic Evolution, and the Problem of Evil' in Chance or Providence: Religious Perspectives on Divine Action, ed. Louise Hickman (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 79-94.
Alex Samely, 'Observations on the Structure and Literary Fabric of the Temple Scroll' in The Temple in R. Timothy McLay (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 233-277.
Alex Samely, ‘Some Literary Features of Midrashic and Masoretic Statements”, in Elvira Martín-Contreras and Lorena Miralles-Maciá (eds.), The Text of the Hebrew Bible. From the Rabbis to Masoretes (Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements, 13; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), pp. 147–74
Renate Smithuis, 'The autograph of Moses Maimonides' in Riches of the Rylands: The Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library, ed. John Hodgson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015)
Marcel Stoetzler, 'Moritz Lazarus und die liberale Kritik an Heinrich von Treitschkes liberalem Antisemitismus' [Moritz Lazarus and the liberal critique of Heinrich von Treitschke’s liberal antisemitism] in Beschreibungsversuche der Judenfeindschaft [Early scholarly accounts of antisemitism], eds. Hans-Joachim Hahn and Olaf Kistenmacher (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 98-120.
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.
The Centre secured funds to catalogue the holdings in the Bill Williams Library. The task has been carried out by students associated with the Centre and paid at an hourly rate. The completed catalogue is published in the Centre’s website.
The cataloguing project has concluded its second phase in which all items held in the collection had been added to an electronic database using the reference manager software EndNote. In the prospective third phase of the cataloguing project, the database will be converted into an electronic catalogue with free online access. In a possible fourth phase of the project, a thematic reorganisation of the collection will be carried according to the Dewey decimal system.
The Centre secured funds to develop holdings in the main university library in Jewish Studies and related themes with special reference to titles discussing topics in medieval times. Dr. Smithuis and Prof. Samely are overseeing the academic aspects of the ordering of relevant books and other resources.
The website is updated on a regular basis and continues to list and archive entries on publications and events. The video recordings of the annual Bogdanow Lecture series in Holocaust Studies by Prof. Christopher Browning and the annual Sherman Lecture series by Prof. Amy-Jill Levine are also made available for the public on our website.
Professors Daniel Langton and Alexander Samely September 2015