Annual reports: 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12


Annual Report 2006-2007


1        Staffing 
1.1     Dr. Moshe Behar, the new Lecturer in Israeli Studies, took up his appointment in February 2007.

1.2     A new post of Lecturer in Holocaust Studies was established, initially for three years, with the support of the Shoah Trust. Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus was appointed with effect from September 2007.

1.3     The following were appointed Honorary Research Fellows of the Centre: Dr Rocco Bernasconi, Dr. Elliot Cohen, Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Dr Susan Jacobs (MMU), Dr. Marcel Stoetzler and Dr. Ya'akov Wise (details at

1.4     Penelope Junkermann has completed a successful first year as Part-Time Co-Ordinator of the Centre.

1.5     Dr. Alan Unterman has retired, with a view to moving to Israel. A Fellows’ dinner was held in his honour at the Pagoda Restaurant.


2.       Teaching

2.1     Jewish Studies teaching has in the past been heavily reliant on part-time teaching, but that this has been changing over recent years. A number of posts have been established on the basis of ‘soft money’, which have become or are likely to become permanent, e.g. those in Jewish-Christian Relations (Daniel Langton), Moshe Behar (Israeli Studies), and the new Holocaust Studies lectureship (Jean-Marc Dreyfus). 

2.2     The range of Jewish Studies courses on offer, at both undergraduate and master’s level, is growing.  The courses on offer in 2006/07, and enrolments in them, are listed in Appendix 1. Further expansion, particularly in Holocaust-related courses offered by the European Languages subject areas, is planned.

2.3     MA: The Black bursary was generously renewed by the donors for another three years, but further support for the programme is desirable.  The MA in Holocaust Studies takes its first enrolment in 2007/08.

2.4     Enrolment of PhD students continued to be very healthy (40 students at present); there was some doubt as to whether further expansion was possible at the present level of staff resources.


3.       Sherman Lectures

3.1     The Sherman Lectures 2007 were delivered on 16th-19th April 2007 by Dr. Gadi BenEzer, Senior Lecturer, Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Management, Rishon Letzion, on 'Ethiopian Jews Encounter Israel: Social, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives of the Immigrant and Refugee in Society' and were much appreciated. Further details may be found at  Because of a clash of dates, the Community Lecture was combined this year with the first university lecture, and attracted a large audience.

3.2     Full details of the 2008 lectures, to be delivered on 7th-10th April (preceded by a Community Lecture on the 6th) by Prof. Melissa Raphael-Levine, Professor of Jewish Theology at the University of Gloucestershire, on 'A Post-Holocaust Theology of Jewish Art' are already available at


4.       Research Seminars

          The Jewish Studies research seminars, expanded last year to a programme of 13 seminars, proved a success.  Full details, including abstracts, may be found at Following representations from the community, an attempt will be made to make digital recordings of future seminars available on the website.


5        Research

5.1     Rylands Geniza Manuscripts

          The project is moving forward well with a good team. The first workshop took place between 30th May and 1st June 2007, when a collection of international experts assembled to discuss some of the scientific, medical and magical fragments of the Rylands Genizah project. The results of this workshop are still being digested, and another workshop is being considered for early 2008.

5.2     Jewish Built Heritage

          A new book, Jewish Heritage in Gibraltar, had been published, and was launched in Gibraltar in May 2007. The book is distributed by Gibraltar Heritage Trust. The funding for the project ends in October 2007, and the focus now is on making sure the database is complete. A monograph and paper are also in progress, and the project will be involved in European Jewish Heritage Day.

          For further information about publications and the allied activities of Jewish Heritage UK, see

5.3     Jewish Refugees: (

          After a delay due to ill health, progress has been made. The book reporting on the research has now been completed and is currently being edited down to the publisher’s specifications.

5.4     Agunah Research Unit

          There have been rapid developments in the project over the past year.  A preliminary report was published with a view to the (subsequently cancelled) Global Rabbinic Conference convened by Chief Rabbi Amar, and Professor Jackson and Rabbi Dr Abel were able to meet one of the London dayanim due to attend the conference. This and a subsequent presentation by Professor Jackson in Israel generated very useful feedback.  The Unit’s second postdoctoral research assistant, Dr. Avishalom Westreich, arrived in February 2007.  It has proved useful to bring in people for short working visits: Hezi Margolit spent a week with the Unit in June, and Prof. Elimelech Westreich visited in September. The Unit has published 9 working papers thus far (downloadable from, and work is proceeding with a view to a private conference of agunah specialists in Manchester in July 2008.

5.5     Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature

          A major new AHRC grant has been awarded to Prof. Samely for a four year project onTypologies of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature in Antiquity, the purpose of which is to establish a new way of describing anonymous and pseudepigraphical literature in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic up to the end of the Talmud. It will provide a terminological and conceptual apparatus to replace the somewhat ad hoc genre descriptions which are currently in use. The project will involve Philip Alexander, Robert Hayward (of Durham), and Rocco Bernasconi as a post-doctoral researcher. The project will lead to a database in which each work will have an entry, a book explaining the terminology and typology, and one showing the problems and limitations. There will also be a publication of papers which will be presented at a symposium. Two PhD studentships will be attached to the project. One will work with Philip Alexander on a Greek or Syriac text, and another with Alex Samely on a rabbinic document.

5.6     Academic Visitor: In November and December 06 Manchester University and the Centre for Jewish Studies were academic host to Dr Elvira Martin-Contreras, Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research Madrid (Department of Biblical and Ancient East Philology, Philology Institute, Madrid, Spanish High Council for Scientific Research, CSIC). She is an expert in the early development of the biblical Masorah as well as rabbinic Midrash, and had been awarded a prestigious British Academy Visiting Fellowship to work with Alex Samely on the way in which certain interpretations in midrashic literature use “masoretic” information to “midrashic” effect. This has now led to a Madrid-based larger research project, in which Alex is involved, to investigate more systematically the interplay between Midrash and Masorah.

5.7     Melilah: Two further articles were added: Tony Kushner, "Bill Williams and Jewish Historiography: Past, Present and Future", Melilah 2006/1, pp.1-14; Ghil'ad Zuckermann, "Comparative Constructions in 'Israeli Hebrew' ", Melilah 2006/2, pp.1-16. They are downloadable from  A decision was made to include outstanding Manchester theses and research seminar papers, and it is hoped that this will increase the flow of publications. Several further articles are in preparation for mounting in 2007.

6        Outreach

6.1     CCE courses: The following courses were offered via the Centre for Continuing Education: Frank Adam , ‘A History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict'; Clive Gilbert, ‘Russian Jewry 1800 - 1917' ; Jeremy Michelson, 'The Holocaust - A World Tragedy'  (at Manchester Jewish Museum). The future of these courses is however now a matter of some concern, because of substantial price increases imposed by the university, and a review of the best way of organising them in future will take place.  An attempt to showcase the courses for 2007/08 through a Day School on July 1st had to be cancelled because of poor enrolment; though the date was free when the Centre registered it in the Communal Diary, a plethora of other organisations later added events of their own on the same day.

6.2     Collaboration with AIAS and Balfour: Occasional lectures continue to be organised in conjunction with the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society, generously supported by Mr. Joe Dwek, and the Balfour Trust.

6.3     An approach was received from the Manchester Reform Synagogue (Jackson’s Row) to organise a series of four lectures on “Religion and the Welfare State”, marking the synagogue’s 150th anniversary, and arrangements have been made to do so, in October-November 2007, under the auspices of the synagogue, the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Centre for Religion and Political Culture.  Full details are available at

6.4     2008 Conference: It was decided in the course of the year that the BAJS and JLA conferences will now be integrated with a “Globalisation and Jewish Culture” conference planned by Cathy Gelbin in association with Sander Gilman of Emory University, to produce a “Manchester JudaicaFest”. The BAJS conference will run from 20th to 22nd July; JLA will run from 22nd to 24th July; and the Globalisation and Jewish Culture conference will overlap, running from 21st to 23rd July. Funding for the conferences is making good progress, with an award of £8000 from the Rothschild Foundation Europe, and £4000 from the Religions and Theology subject area of the University. A number of distinguished speakers are being brought from abroad, including Daniel Boyarin, David Novak and Robert Wistrich. With appropriate funding It is hoped also to be able to support a number of postgraduate students from Europe.


7        Resources

7.1     CJS library: The library was officially opened on Thursday 28th September 2006, in conjunction with a research seminar devoted to the work of Bill Williams, and followed by a reception and dinner in his honour (marking his retirement from teaching).
            As was anticipated in last year’s report, an electronic index is now available on the web (, and the library is now generally open 2 days per week during teaching terms.  Both members of the university and the wider public are eligible to use it for both reference and borrowing (for up to one month). Usage, however, has been low. The Rylands library has now been requested to establish a link from its web site to our catalogue.
            A generous offer was received from the widow of the late Prof Lionel Kochan to donate his library (in modern Jewish history), and discussions are proceeding with the Rylands library as to the logistics, failing which additional space for the CJS library might have to be sought.

7.2    Web site ( The major revision of the Centre's web site, indicated in the last three years' reports, continues to proceed slowly.  We have not been given an estimated completion date but we have seen and approved the new template which adopts the new University’s corporate branding. The departure of the university’s IT staff member with responsibility for the migration has thrown the timetable into further doubt. The costing of self-help measures, if they prove necessary, has been initiated.

7.3     Laski Internet Resource Centre ( Further progress on this project has been delayed by the difficulty in recruiting (part-time student) staff to prepare additional entries, but a new recruit has recently been identified, and it is hoped that further progress will soon be made.


8        Finances

8.1     Future Budgeting: There has been some improvement in the immediate outlook, given a lower spend this last year on part-time teaching than originally expected. Bursaries remain a priority, but the amounts required for real incentivisation appear substantially larger than has been traditionally assumed.

8.2     Fundraising: New sources of income remain urgently required. The success of the Centre recently has been in relation to specific posts (notably, The Pears Foundation and the Shoah Trust) and research projects, but support for the continuing teaching infrastructure, in the form of teaching fellowships and student bursaries, is urgently required.  Meetings during the past year with both potential supporters and the university’s Development Team are likely to result in approaches to selected donors in the coming year.



Appendix 1
Jewish Studies Student Numbers 06-07


1st Year BA



RELT 10101

The World of the Ancient Israelites


RELT 10140

Biblical Hebrew


RELT 10192

Introduction to Judaism


MEST 10211

Modern Hebrew Language IA


MEST 10222

Modern Hebrew Language IB


MEST 10811

Aramaic/Syriac Language IA


MEST 10810

The Middle East Before Islam



2nd Year BA


RELT 20002

The Jews in Europe 1789-1939


RELT 20081

Jewish Ways of Reading the Bible


RELT 20162

Dead Sea Scrolls


RELT 20170

Biblical Hebrew Texts I


RELT 20182

The Prophetic Literature


RELT 20351

Jewish Liturgy and Religious Practice


RELT 20682

'Hybrid Identity' in Jewish Christian and Jewish Buddhism


MEST 20211

Modern Hebrew Language IIA


MEST 20212

Modern Hebrew Language IIB


MEST 20241

Talmudic Judaism


MEST 20252

Readings in Talmudic Judaism



3rd Year BA


RELT 30172

The Mystical Tradition in Judaism


RELT 30182

Law and Narrative in the Hebrew Bible


RELT 30191

History of Jewish Law


RELT 30332

Holocaust Theology


RELT 30380

Biblical Hebrew Texts II


RELT 30282

Modern Jewish Thought


RELT 30921

Ancient Israel in Modern Study


MEST 30051

Biblical Hebrew Texts I


MEST 30200

Jewish Aramaic Texts


MEST 30210

Modern Hebrew Language III


MEST 30221

Modern Hebrew Literature


MEST 30270

Modern Hebrew Language IV


MEST 30641

The Middle East in Late Antiquity


MEST 30872

Time, Language and the Other in modern Jewish Philosophy


Total BA






RELT 60151

Jewish Question in Modern Europe


RELT 70140

Biblical Hebrew


RELT 70172

The Mystical Tradition in Judaism


RELT 70380

Biblical Hebrew Texts


RELT 70562

Sources, Resources and Methods in JS


RELT 70912

Jewish Literature of Second Commonwealth


RELT 70921

Ancient Israel in Modern Study


RELT 70192

Jewish Law and the Agunah


RELT 70991

Dead Sea Scrolls


MEST 61112

Middle Eastern Jews Before and Adter 1948


Total MA