New appointment

The Centre welcomes Dr. Dan Garner, who has been appointed Lecturer in Jewish Studies to cover Daniel Langton's research leave, 2013-15. Dr. Garner completed his PhD at Manchester in 2010 and is the author of Antitheodicy, Atheodicy and Jewish Mysticism in Holocaust Theology (2012).


Vidal Sassoon Research Grant

Grant award for the study of antisemitism. The Centre for Jewish Studies would like to congratulate Simon Mayers, who recently completed his PhD at the University of Manchester, on winning a research grant from The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The award is in support of his next project entitled 'Myths and Stereotypes of “the Jew” in English Catholic Discourse (1850-1900)'.


BAJS Student Essay Prizes 2013

Manchester students are the joint winners. The annual national undergraduate Student Essay prize of £200 offered by the British Association for Jewish Studies was shared between two students at Manchester this year: Leo Mercer for the dissertation 'Is a Nonfoundationalist Jewish Philosophy Possible? The Thought of Tamar Ross and Peter Ochs as a Case Study', which also won the university's own Philip Alexander Prize 2013 (supervised by Alex Samely), and Rhian Evans for the dissertation 'The Early Transmission and Interpretation of Malachi' (supervised by George Brooke). Further information.


Holocaust Workshop

Holocaust Workshop at the Imperial War Museum North. The Centre for Jewish Studies and the Imperial War Museum North are presenting a free one-day conference on Monday 7 October 2013 entitled 'The Nature of Anti-Semitism'. The conference has been organised by  Jean-Marc Dreyfus and is aimed at anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of the Holocaust, including educators, teachers, community organisers, students, or interested members of the public. To book a place, please email Victoria Howarth, Formal Learning Manager at the IWM-N. Further details.


AHRC Fellowship

Cosmopolitanism and the Jews. This nine-month AHRC fellowship was awarded to Cathy Gelbin, working with Sander L. Gilman (Emory University). The £96,161 project will run from 2013-14 and will focus upon self-identified German-Jewish writers participating in modern Jewish cultural and political discourses during the 19th and 20th centuries, in order to explore how concepts of Jewish mobility and fluidity arose in particular contexts of social changeFurther information.


Corpses Project: 2nd Annual Conference

Corpses: Search and Identification in post-Genocide and Mass Violence Contexts. This second conference of the research project Corpses of mass violence and genocide aims to explore another severe manipulation of bodies after the killings: the search and identification of the remains. The organisers, who include Jean-Marc Dreyfus, are therefore calling for papers dealing with the search and recovery of bodies in the context of mass crimes. The conference will focus in particular on the twentieth century. Studies may deal with any geographical area and should focus on the methods and processes for identification, as well as the motivations and interests behind these pursuits, taking an instrumental perspective which promises to open up new avenues of research. The conference is to be held at the University of Manchester, UK, 9–11 September 2013. Further details.


Moshe Behar on Reshet Bet

Moshe Behar on Israeli Radio Reshet Bet. On Wednesday 26 June at around 7:30pm UK time, Moshe Behar was interviewed in Hebrew by the well known feminist broadcaster Ms Keren Noybach about his new book Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought on the daily Israeli radio programme "Seder Yom". Listen again: mp3 or wav.


Jeremy Rosen on the Agunah Project

Reflections on the Agunah Project. Orthodox Rabbi and commentator Jeremy Rosen has blogged on the Agunah problem and the contribution of the Centre's Agunah Project, led by former co-director Bernard Jackson. "The Jewish Law Association has just published the proceedings of the Fordham Conference of 2012. There the noble, brave, and persistent Professor Bernard Jackson, one of the unsung moral heroes of our halachic age, presented the summation of years of serious academic [research] by the Agunah Research Unit of the University of Manchester. With little fanfare, he and his team explored every aspect and possible halachic solutions to the problem and offered answers... In my opinion, it is a scandal and a desecration of God’s Name that two years later nothing has changed... I am deeply depressed that Professor Jackson and his team have received neither the kudos nor the reaction they deserve." Further information.


Leon Yudkin

The Centre notes with sadness the passing of Dr. Leon Yudkin (1939-2013) in London 8 June 2013. Dr. Yudkin was for many years until 1996 a lecturer in Modern Hebrew Literature in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Manchester. He will be missed by his former colleagues, Prof. Emeritus Philip Alexander FBA, Ms Sophie Garside, Prof. John Healey FBA, Prof. Alex Samely, Alan Williams and others. He was author of a number of standard works on modern Hebrew literature including Isaac Lamdan: A Study in Twentieth Century Hebrew Poetry (1971), Escape into Siege: A Survey of Israeli Literature Today (1974), Jewish Writing and Identity in the Twentieth Century  (1982), 1948 and After: Aspects of Israeli Fiction (1984), On the Poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg (in Hebrew, 1987), Else Lasker-Schüler: A Study in German Jewish Literature (1991), Beyond Sequence: Current Israeli Fiction and its Context (1992), A Home Within: Varieties of Jewish Expression in Modern Fiction (1996), Public Crisis and Literary Response: The Adjustment of Modern Jewish Literature (2001), and Israel, the Vision of A State and Its Literature (2006).


Philip Alexander Student Prize 2013

Undergraduate student prize in Jewish Studies. The Philip Alexander Prize for Undergraduate Jewish Studies is awarded annually to the student with 'the highest grade in a Jewish Studies-related module or dissertation' at the University of Manchester. For 2013 a prize of £100 each was awarded to the joint winners: Daniel Walker for a dissertation entitled 'Henry VIII and the Rabbis: What Role Did Italian Rabbis Play in Henry VIII's Great Matter and What Does This Imply for Jewish-Christian Relationships in the Period?' (supervised by Renate Smithuis) and Leo Mercer for a dissertation entitled 'Is a Nonfoundationalist Jewish Philosophy Possible? The Reparative Theology of Tamar Ross and Peter Ochs as Case-Study' (supervised by Alex Samely). The award of the Bernard Jackson Prize for the best MA dissertation will be made in November 2013. Further information.


Bles Student Prizes 2013

Undergraduate student prizes in Hebrew Studies. The Bles Hebrew Prizes are awarded annually for 'the encouragement of Hebrew studies' at the University of Manchester. For 2013 a prize of £200 was awarded to Miruna Belea for her performance on the course unit Hebrew level 2, and prizes of £200 each were awarded to Miriam Saffer and Imogen Pickup for their performances on the course unit Hebrew level 3. These course units are taught by Sophie Garside and Malka Hodgson. Further information.


PhD completion

Hedva Abel on Literary Structures of the rabbinic Midrash Mekhilta. The Centre would like to congratulate Hedva Abel on the successful defence of her doctoral thesis, "Aspects of the Lemmatic Sequencing and Thematic Agenda of the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael". Her supervisor was Prof. Alex Samely and the external examiner was Dr. Willem Smelik. See the list of current PhD students in the area of Jewish Studies at Manchester.


Israel/Palestine Workshop

Social media and Political Horizons: Israel/Palestine, the Middle East and Beyond. Adi Kuntman has co-organised this event with Rebecca Stein of Duke University on 14 June 2013. At the core of this workshop is a rethinking of the so-called 'digital democracy' proposition – that is, an argument about the ways that digital technologies, chiefly social media, can advance pro-democracy politics. Registration deadline is 10 June 2013.  Further information.


British Academy Postdoc Fellowship

New Gaster Project funding. Maria Haralambakis, who is currently a fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest, will be returning to Manchester in Sept 2013 to begin a three year British Academy postdoctoral fellowship entitled 'Moses Gaster (1856–1939): Eclectic Collector'. Further information.


Debate at the House of Commons

Round Table Discussion on the Left and Israel. Jean-Marc Dreyfus contributed to a debate on the topic of "The Left and Israel: Is the debate closed?" conducted under the auspices of the Labour Friends of Israel / Institute of Ideas, which took place at the House of Commons on Wednesday 24 April.


Lecture for JHS, Leeds Branch

The detention camps of Paris. On May 22nd Jean-Marc Dreyfus gave an evening lecture organised by the Leeds branch of the Jewish Historical Society at the United Hebrew Congregation (UHC) on the evanescent memory of the three satellite camps of Drancy: Austerlitz, Levitan and Bassano. Further information.


Podcast of Sherman Lectures 2013

What is Israel Studies? We are delighted to announce that the 2013 Sherman Lectures by Derek Penslar on 'What is Israel Studies?' are now available to see online. The lectures are entitled: 1. Writing Israel's History: Between Myth and Counter-Myth, 2. Theodor Herzl:  Charisma and Leadership, 3. Rethinking the Diaspora-Israel Connection: The Case of the 1948 War, 4. The Invention of Israeli Nativity. Further information.


Taub Center Fellowship

Congratulations to Bryan Roby on his new appointment. Following completion of his PhD under Moshe Behar in Middle Eastern Studies, Bryan has received a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Taub Center for Israel Studies at New York University. The Taub Center is dedicated to the study of recent history, society and politics in modern Israel. Further information.


Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Anti-Semitism and articulations of national identity in Hungarian film, 1931-44. This three-year Leverhulme funded project investigates articulations of Hungarian national identity in early Hungarian sound film from the introduction of sound in 1931 to the end of wartime film production in 1944. The award was won by Gábor Gergely and will run 2012-2015; it aims to throw light on Hungary’s complicated and often contradictory concept of its own national identity. Further information.


Jewish Genealogy Society Conference

11th annual conference of the Manchester Regional Group. This full day event will be held on Sunday 12 May at the Greater Manchester Police Training College, with Bill Williams among the contributing speakers. Further information.