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.


New Publication

'The Toledot Yeshu in the Context of Jewish-Muslim Debate'. One of the most controversial books in history, the medieval Toledot Yeshu recounts the life story of Jesus from a negative and anti-Christian perspective. It ascribes to Jesus an illegitimate birth, a theft of the Ineffable Name of God, heretical activities, and, finally, a disgraceful death. Prof. Philip Alexander, a former co-director of the CJS, has contributed to this important collection of essays with a chapter on the Jewish-Muslim dimension. Further information.


Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations

New appointment for the Co-ordinator of the International Abrahamic Forum. Francesca Frazer, co-administrator of the CJS, has been appointed to assist the Steering Committee of ICCJ’s trilateral Abrahamic Forum, which is based in Heppenheim and which represents the ICCJ’s renewed commitment to Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue. Further information.


New Publications  

The Agunah Research Unit, which dispersed in 2009, has recently published three books. These include the final report, Agunah: The Manchester Analysis by Prof. Bernard Jackson, former co-director of the CJS, Confronting 'Iggun by Rabbi Dr. Yehudah Abel, and Agunah and Ideology by Dr. Shoshana Knol. Books by two further members of the Unit, together with a Hebrew version of the Summary Report, are scheduled to appear over the next few months. Further information.


Archive of Endangered Languages

An estimated 60% to 80% of the languages in the world at present are in danger of becoming extinct. Yaron Matras' recently launched Archive of Endangered and Smaller Languages site presents samples from an archive of recordings compiled since 1984, including Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino and Judeo-German. Further information.


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


New Publication

Nazi Labor Camps in Paris (English Edition). Published by Berghahn Books, this is the English translation of Jean-Marc Dreyfus and Sarah Gensburger's 2003 study of three small labor camps for Jews established in 1943 in the very heart of Paris. It questions the difficult memories surrounding those camps and why they did not find their place in the general narrative of the Holocaust in France. Further information.


Jean-Marc Dreyfus on BBC Radio Manchester

Dr. Jean-Marc Dreyfus discusses the importance of Holocaust education. On 3 October, Jean-Marc Dreyfus will be interviewed by Basil Herwald about the free one-day Holocaust conference on 10 October 2011, which he has organised in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum North. Listen from 7-8pm to BBC Radio Manchester's 'Jewish Citizen Manchester' (95.1FM / DAB).

 If you miss it, you can listen again online for 7 days and we shall put the recording on the CJS website's media page.


Research Seminars, Semester 1, 2011-12

We would like to announce the CJS research seminar series for semester one of the new academic year. All CJS seminars will take place in SG1 (South Ground lecture theatre 1) in the Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the Campus Map). See directions.

16:00 Thu 27 Oct: Les Lancaster (Liverpool John Moores University)
“From Pico to Jung: Jewish Influences on the Psychohistory of Western Culture”

16:00 Thu 10 Nov: Daniel Falk (University of Oregon)
"Material Aspects of Prayer in the Dead Sea Scrolls"

16:00 Thu 8 Dec: Hedva Abel (University of Manchester)
“An Ancient Rabbinic Commentary on Exodus: Literary Structures in the Mekhilta”

We would also draw your attention to some other university events which might be of interest:

14:00 Thu 29 Sept: George Brooke (University of Manchester)
"Jacob and His House in the Scrolls from Qumran"
Venue: Samuel Alexander Building A7 (Ehrhardt Seminar)

14:00 Thu 10 Nov: Dorothy Peters (Trinity Western University)
"The Sword and Its Substitutes: Activism and Pacifism in the Dead Sea Scrolls"
Venue: Samuel Alexander Building A7 (Ehrhardt Seminar)

19:00 Thu 10 Nov: Esther Eshel (Bar Ilan University) 
"Old and New Inscriptions Found in Herodium"
Venue: Samuel Alexander Building A101 (CBS and AIAS Lecture)