All posts by Eyal Levinson

About Eyal Levinson

I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hebrew University in the ERC project, Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe, directed by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten. I completed my PhD in the Gender Studies Program at Bar Ilan University under the direction of Prof. Baumgarten. I research youth, men fatherhood and masculinities in medieval Ashkenaz, and I interweave Jewish-Ashkenazic medieval historiography with gender and masculinity studies. I hold a BA, Summa Cum Laude, in Jewish Studies and Religion from Brooklyn College, and an MA with honors in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University. My MA thesis is titled: The Conceptualization of the Yetzer and the Male Body in the Masculine Sexual Discourse in Sefer Hasidim. I am also a graduate of The Israel Democracy Institute’s program, "Human Rights and Judaism" (2012-2015) and in 2006 I received a rabbinical ordination from “Aleph: Alliance of Jewish Renewal”. My book, Youth in Medieval Ashkenaz (tentative name), is scheduled to be publish in Feb. 2022 by The Zalman Shazar Center and Leo Baeck Institute of Jerusalem.

Book Launch – Poisoned Wells: Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422 (University of Pennsylvania Press)

By Tzafrir Barzilay

Sponsored by the research group Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe

Elisheva Baumgarten, HUJI
Moshe Blidstein, University of Haifa

Rowan Dorin
(Stanford University ), Naama Cohen-Hanegbi (Tel-Aviv University), Lee Mordechai (HUJI), Tzafrir Barzilay (University of Haifa)

Monday, April 25th, 2022
Rabin Building, Room 3001
Mount Scopus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Job: Tenured Senior Academic Staff in the field of Jewish Studies, with a clear historical perspective and using history methods

Department: Department of History
Regime Full-time

Let’s shape the future – University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow’s world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can  participate in shaping.

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts has the following full-time vacancy: tenured senior academic staff in the field of Jewish Studies, with a clear historical perspective and using history methods.

Summer School for Graduate Students in Jewish Studies- Crises, Change and Creativity in Jewish Experience

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for the Advanced Study in the Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp announce a summer program for graduate students in Jewish studies.


WITH THE GLOBE REELING from the current pandemic, the 2022 Summer School will focus on the experience and consequences of crises—how traumatic, overpowering events have transformed Jewish life, and what continuities, changes, and innovations have followed these experiences.

Over a week of intensive learning with a cohort of leading scholars from different subfields and disciplines, graduate students will explore the ways Jews, as individuals and as communities, contended with different sorts of crises over the course of history, ranging from public health emergencies to pogroms, from social and political breakdowns to psychological trauma. The week will also give participants a chance to reflect together on the current pandemic and its impact on scholarship and teaching, and will include sessions devoted to professional development.

We are delighted that the resumption of the summer school in 2022 brings with it a new partner, the Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp. The addition of a European partner advances the program’s goal of promoting a sense of intellectual community with scholars and fellow graduate students from around the world. Graduate students at any institution worldwide, in any subfield of Jewish studies, past or present, are eligible to apply. This is an in-person experience, and participation is contingent on a student being able to travel safely to Israel within public health requirements in place at the time. The program will take place the week before the World Congress of Jewish Studies, and participants are encouraged to plan to stay in Jerusalem for the Congress as well.

Fellowships are available for students accepted into the program who do not have applicable funding from their home institutions.


Call for Applicants – Oxford Seminars in Advanced Jewish Studies – Books in Judeo-Languages: Popular Reading and Scholarship

We are pleased to announce a call for applications for Visiting Fellowships as part of our autumn Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies (OSAJS), entitled Books in Judeo-Languages: Popular Reading and Scholarship. This OSAJS will take place from 9 October to 3 December 2022 and will be led by Dr Jean Baumgarten (Research Director Emeritus at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [CNRS, France]).

For more information and how to apply, please consult the following documents. Additionally, please note that the deadline for applications is 11 March 2022 at 12pm UK Time.

Public Lecture: Joshua Teplitsky: “Copyists, Collectors, and Curators: Stocking the Rabbinic Bookshelf”

Thursday, March 10, 202212:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Standing between writers and readers is an often-overlooked ecosystem of printers, editors, and publishers: brokers who make decisions about the form and even content of the texts that spring from the pen of the scholar before they reach the eyes of a reading public. In the case of Jewish legal texts that achieved canonical status over centuries, a special role belongs not only to the printers, but to the preservers of texts before they are published: manuscript copyists, collectors, and curators. In this session we will look at some texts that were written in the Middle Ages but not widely distributed until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and see how their stories are embedded in the objects and people that carried them forward. Attention to the processes by which classical medieval writings entered into the early modern and modern curriculum will invite us into thinking about historical contingencies and the importance of the material text in the making of canons. 

About the “Canon in Context” Series

Stepping back and squinting at the major works of the Jewish legal canon dotted across history, many of them appear…puzzling. Centuries of tradition treat the Mishnah, Talmud, and other texts as settled law and as contributions to rabbinic thought. But in their own times, they were outliers. Each one diverged remarkably in form and content from the Jewish writings of their time and place. So how did they get that way, and how did they become canon?

This series explores the historical context of halakhic compilations and codes: who composed them, what were they trying to achieve, and why did they choose the format and the topics they chose? Set aside what you think you know, and encounter these texts in the worlds of their creation.  

Public Lecture – Elisheva Baumgarten: “Legal Knowledge and Everyday Practice in Medieval Ashkenaz”

25th Annual Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Lecture in Judaic Studies. Jewish legal texts are an important source for social history, and scholars have looked to rabbinic responsa and halakhic codes that detail how the law should be observed in order to better understand how daily life was actually lived. Yet, to what extent do these legal sources reflect the lives of all members of the communities within which they were written? Perhaps they convey only the priorities of the elite learned men who penned them. This talk will ask what kind of legal knowledge everyday Jewish men and women had, and ask to what extent the average Jew in medieval Ashkenaz attempted to observe the halakhah of the rabbinic elite.

Public Lecture – Edwin Seroussi: Dreams of Spain: Old and New Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) Songs

Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) songs are an integral feature of modern Jewish culture as it is negotiated through the mass media. However, how did the repertoire of Ladino songs performed on modern stages and distributed via commercial recordings come into being? Who are the figures involved in the process of popularizing songs in Ladino and what are their agendas? We shall explore these and other questions while listening to the greatest hits of the contemporary Ladino repertoire.

Please note: Registration will open on December 20, 2021. Enrollment is limited, first come first served. Friends of the Katz Center receive advance access to all mini-courses and waived tuition for one mini-course per year. Limited scholarships are available. Please contact Dajana Denes-Walters ( if cost is a barrier.

February 3, 10, 17, and 24

Registration fee: $80

Webinar – Putting on Cologne: An Exploration of a Medieval City

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
4 p.m. EST
Virtual event via Zoom Webinar

The medieval city of Cologne was a bustling metropolis and a hub of commerce. The city is better known for its economic prowess, with Jews and Christians working side by side. But it is less known for its contribution to theology and canon law, from the Jewish to the halakha and Jewish tradition. Nevertheless, due to the city’s central location between England, the Low Countries, Northern France and the German Rhineland, it serves as a gauge for assessing many religious, political and cultural processes in the high middle ages. Dr. Ephraim Shoham Steiner, the 2021-2022 visiting scholar and a Fordham-NYPL Fellow in Jewish Studies, and members of Fordham’s faculty in Medieval Studies will explore together how Cologne served in this fashion drawing on examples from both medieval Christian and Jewish sources.