Recent Publication

The Genesis Apocryphon. CJS honorary research fellow Dr. Rocco Bernasconi has published an article in Aramaic Studies which considers the literary structure of the Genesis Apocryphon. The manuscript as it has come down to us is incomplete with both the beginning and the end missing. The article thus tries, on the basis of the extant evidence, to single out what was the original shape and literary genre of the text. Further information



Manchester Jewish Museum

Wandering Lonely Jews in the English Countryside’. On Tues 21 February, 7.30pm, acclaimed historian Professor Tony Kushner from the University of Southampton will examine the experiences of and responses to 'The Boys' who came to Britain at the end of the Second World War. Through the exploration of place, identity and Englishness, he will analyse how far the experiences of these children have become part of local narratives of the past. Venue: Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, M8 8LW. Fee £4.00. Booking essential. Email or call 0161 834 9879.


Levinas Reading Group  

Open discussions of the Philosophical Oeuvre. The reading group, which was established by Alex Samely, Professor of Jewish Thought, meets fortnightly during term time to discuss the writings of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. The close readings, which are engaged with in open discussion, are based on the English translations (although the French original is also recommended) and can be highly technical. For further information, contact


Open Evening

Thursday 1 March 2012

After our CJS research seminar, led by former Co-director of the Centre, Prof Bernard Jackson, we will be hosting a kosher reception followed by an Open Evening in which we will showcase the activities of the Centre and its staff, including a number of current projects being conducted in the Centre. We would be delighted if you would join us for this event.

16:0017:30 Bernard Jackson (Liverpool Hope University) 
"Constructing a Theory of Halakhah"
Venue: Room 2.03, Mansfield Cooper Building
Please note that Bernard Jackson will give this seminar in place of Karen Adler, who had to cancel for reasons of ill health. Please also note the change of venue for the CJS research seminar series for semester two. All CJS seminars will take place in Room 2.03 in the Mansfield Cooper Building. (Building 65 on the Campus Map). See directions

17:30–17:55 Kosher Reception
Venue: North Foyer, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the Campus Map). See directions

18:00–19:10 Centre for Jewish Studies Open Evening
Venue: Room A101, Samuel Alexander Building
Introduction (Alex Samely
Short Presentations on Current Projects conducted in the Centre
Renate Smithuis Rylands Cairo Genizah
Jean-Marc Dreyfus Corpses of Genocide and Mass Violence
Bill Williams Jews and Other Foreigners
Alex Samely Database for the Analysis of Ancient Jewish Literature
Maria Haralambakis Moses Gaster’s Contribution to Jewish Studies 

MA teaching (Daniel Langton)


Plenary Lecture, University of Cambridge

The (Mis) Use of History in Holocaust Theology.  On 22 February, CJS co-director Prof. Daniel Langton will explore the engagement with history among religious commentators on the Holocaust, reflected in their writings about the uniqueness of the Shoah, its challenge to Judaism and the covenant, its connection to the State of Israel, and the problem of evil. He will critique the claim that, ultimately, historical analysis is incapable of explaining the Nazi genocide, and criticise the tendency to trace God’s providential action and revelation in history. Time and Venue: 2.15pm, Divinity Faculty. Further information.


Bill Williams Library Opening Hours

Reference-only library for students and staff of the university, as well as the general public. Bill Williams' personal research library but also includes materials from local synagogues and personal donations. The opening hours (without appointment) for this semester are Tuesdays 10am-12pm. If you wish to use the library at any other time please email an administrator. Further information.

Jewish Chronicle

The Growth of the Charedim. CJS honorary research fellow Dr Yaakov Wise is one of several contributors in a debate concerning Chasidic demographics that is featured in Simon Rocker's article in the JC (9 Feb 2012). The article considers, amongst other things, the estimated population figures of the 'strictly orthodox' communities in the UK, ranging from 33,000 (JPR) to 59,000 (Wise). Further information.

Seminar, University of Oxford

The Significance of Moses Gaster.  Dr Maria Haralambakis, Hanadiv Fellow at the CJS, spoke at the David Patterson seminar series at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies on 8 February 2012 on 'Moses Gaster (1856-1939): The Gaster collection at the John Rylands University Library.' Further information on her research project and the event.

CJS Research Seminars, Semester 2

We would like to announce the CJS research seminar series for semester two.

Please note the change in venue this semester. In Semester Two, CJS seminars will take place in Room 2.03 in the Mansfield Cooper Building (Building 65 on the Campus Map). See directions.

16:00 Thu 9 Feb: Sacha Stern (UCL)
"From Qumran to Nicaea: sectarianism and heresy"

16:00 Thu 1 Mar: Bernard Jackson (Liverpool Hope University)
"Constructing a Theory of Halakhah"

16:00 Thu 8 Mar: CANCELLED DUE TO ILL HEALTH. There are currently no plans to find an alternative speaker. 
Piotr Piluk (Journalist)
Jewish Life in Poland in the communist period and after 1989 from the perspective of a monthly magazine ‘Slowo Zydowskie / Dos Yiddishe Vort’”

16:00 Thu 15 Mar: Hadrien Laroche (French Embassy in Ireland)
“When everything is still possible and there is no further reason to hope: the last Genet, Israel, Jews, anti-Semitism and the Dawn of time (1968-1986)”

16:00 Thu 10 May: Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London)
"Norwich 1144, Norwich 1150, and the birth of 'ritual murder'"

We would also draw your attention to a masterclass which might be of interest:

17:30 Wed 8 Feb: Arye Edrei (Tel Aviv University)
“Why No Mishnah in Rome? Problems of the Sources and of Methodology”
Venue: Samuel Alexander Building, S2.9 (South wing, second floor)  


Archive: Research Seminars 2009/10



National Theatre Live Broadcast

Travelling Light by Nicholas Wright.  On 9 February, this NT live production will be broadcast live to cinemas across Manchester (Odeon, Cornerhouse and Cineworld, Didsbury). The play, which stars Tony and Olivier award winning actor Antony Sher, is set in an Eastern European shtetl at the turn of the 20th century. It imagines the birth of silent film in a small Jewish community and later, set in 1936, looks at the golden age of Hollywood's beginnings and the many Eastern European immigrants who were working there. Further information.


Internet Project

Grant award for 2 years development. The Nathan Laski Internet Resource Centre offers a careful selection of links to websites useful for teaching and research purposes in the area of Jewish Studies. It is a valued open access tool and is listed on the websites of Ben Gurion University, Queen’s University Toronto, Indiana University, Exeter University, and Stanford University, among others. The Nathan Laski Memorial Charitable Trust has awarded the Centre £2000 for further development of this resource over the next 2 years. 


Genizah Project

11th century Iraqi fragment reconstructed. One of the Genizah fragments, B5446, held at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, has been digitally recombined with others held elsewhere to reconstruct an unusual 'rotulus' or a vertical scroll with the text written parallel to the short side. It includes a passage from the beginning of the She’iltot, a mid-eighth-century Iraqi collection of public sermons on halakhic topics corresponding to the weekly Torah reading. The She’iltot, attributed to Aḥa of Shabḥa, was the first independent halakhic work composed after the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud. Further information.



Interfaith Panel Discussion

Muslims, Christians and Jews: What do they think of each other? CJS honorary research fellow Rabbi Dr Reuven Silverman will be contributing to this scriptural reasoning event where Muslims, Christians and Jews come together to discuss some of their religious texts on this subject. It's an opportunity for theology students to meet people of different faiths, look at key religious texts and discuss important theological concepts. Other contributors include Imam Siddiq Diwan and Reverend Dr Terry Biddington. Time and venue: 17:00 Thursday 24 November on 1st floor of St. Peter's Chaplaincy (on Oxford Road, just beyond University Place). Further information: contact Sara 07837369268 or email


Philip Alexander on BBC Radio 4

Panel discussion of Judas Maccabee. On Thursday 24 November Prof. Philip Alexander, a former co-director of the CJS, will feature as a guest on Melvyn Bragg's 'In Our Time', on BBC Radio 4 at 9am. He will participate in a discussion with Prof. Tessa Rajak and Dr. Helen Bond, concerning the character and historical importance of Judas Maccabee. Listen again.


International Conference

From the Nuremberg code to contemporary medical ethics. Jean-Marc Dreyfus, together with Lise Haddad and Dominique Folscheid, will lead an international conference in Paris on 25-26 November, of which the CJS is a co-sponsor. Topics for discussion include: the spread of and the resistance to theories of eugenics; medicine and indoctrination; the two faces of Nazi medicine (the medicine of killing and medical progress in the Reich); medical experiments and post-war trials; the elaboration of the Nuremberg code and the conditions of its adoption and application; and the memory of Nazi crimes in medical circles and its influence on ethical thought in the 1950s and 1960s. Further information.


Evening Seminar

Hinduism and Judaism: Views on Evolution, Natural Disasters and Faith. The annual Hindu-Jewish Association evening seminar will be delivered by Reuven Silverman, CJS Honorary Fellow and Minister of Manchester Reform Synagogue, and Professor Nawal Prinja, Religious Education Spokesman for the World Hindu Council. It will take place on Thursday 24 November at 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. at Alexander Levy Hall, Manchester Reform Synagogue, Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5NH. Further information



'Jews and Other Foreigners': A Talk by Bill Williams

7pm, Tuesday 15 November 2011, Manchester Jewish Museum. In the mid-1800s, the people of Salford were not accustomed to “foreigners”. That was before the opening of Victoria train station and later the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894. It wasn’t long before “foreigners” were settling in Salford, and the residents had to get used to it. Two important immigrant groups who made their homes in Salford were the Jews and the Africans. 

In this talk Bill Williams, outstanding historian of the social history of Manchester, will draw parallels between the two ethnic groups. How different were their experiences?  What strategies did they each employ for their survival and for their defence? This event will be held in conjunction with the Jewish Historical Society. 

Tickets £3.50 Contact Manchester Jewish Museum on 0161 834 9879



New Publication

'The Jewish Reception of Paul'. Although major New Testament figures - Jesus and Paul, Peter and James, Jesus' mother Mary and Mary Magdalene - were Jews, living in a culture steeped in Jewish history, beliefs, and practices, there has never been an edition of the New Testament that addresses its Jewish background and the culture from which it grew, until now. Daniel Langton is one of an international team of 50 experts to have contributed to The Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press), edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler, with his section on 'The Jewish Reception of Paul'. Further information.


Research Project

Postdoctoral Fellowship on Moses Gaster. Dr. Maria Haralambakis has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship, funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe for 2011-12, on 'Moses Gaster's contribution to Jewish Studies: A case-study of his work in the Apocrypha, the Pseudoapocrypha, folklore, magic and mysticism'. Further information.


New Publication

Jews and Christians: Perspectives on Mission. Reuven Silverman, CJS Honorary Fellow, and Daniel Langton, Professor of the History of Jewish-Christian Relations, are co-authors (with Patrick Morrow) of this booklet published by the Woolf Institute under the auspices of the Lambeth-Jewish Forum, an informal meeting of Jews and Christians in the Church of England. It considers 'Jewish Mission' (Silverman), 'Christian Mission and Jewish-Christian Particularities' (Morrow), and 'Institutional Statements Concerning Mission' (Langton). Available for free.