50 Jewish Objects


Dr. Stefania Silvestri Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Jewish Studies

Following the second tranche of funding awarded to the Centre for Jewish Studies, Dr Stefania Silvestri was appointed as researcher-educator of the 50 Jewish Object project. The project started on the 1st of October 2018 and will run until the end of July 2021, for a total of 34 months.

The aim of the project is two-fold. Firstly, Stefania will carry out extensive research on Jewish heritage kept in the institutions involved in the Northern British Isles Jewish Studies Partnership. Secondly, she will be involved in, organise and deliver a set of outreach activities directed to undergraduate and postgraduate students, school aged children and the general public, while also collaborating with commissioned artists.
The focus of the project will be made of approximately 50 objects, such as manuscripts, printed books, letters, photographs, recordings, and objects of any kind, related to Jewish culture, society and life. Artefacts held at the John Rylands Library of Manchester will constitute the core of the corpus, but other relevant and fascinating objects from the collection of the Northern Jewish Partnership institutions will complete it. Stefania will produce descriptions of single objects, while also creating an overarching narrative connecting all or part of the objects in a thematic structure. Her findings will be disseminated digitally, through social media and a series of blogposts, and will also be published in book-form at the end of the project.
Some of the objects will be used within the outreach activities programme, in order to showcase the project, but also to captivate the public’s interest and widen their understanding of artefacts, Jewish history, and Jewish studies. Undergraduate and postgraduate students will have the possibility, through a series of workshops, to engage with the objects and be exposed to objects-based research and teaching.
Three resident-artists, commissioned specifically for this project, will engage with the selected artefacts from the John Rylands Library and the research produced by Stefania, and will conceive and carry out a creative piece, such as visual art or a performance. They will then display and explain their creation to the public in a series of workshops. Additionally, ten local artists, affiliated to Manchester or other Northern Jewish Studies partnership areas, will be invited to set up performances of song, dance and stage, related to the project. These events will be open to the public.
Read more on the 50 Jewish Objects blog.