All posts by Hannah Teddy Schachter

About Hannah Teddy Schachter

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Doctoral Fellow of the ERC-funded research group "Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe" led by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten. While my PhD explores the relationships between Jews and royal women--specifically queens--in 13th-century France, my further research considers how Jews danced and incorporated musical movement into their lives during the European Middle Ages.

CfA: Assistant Professor of History and Judaic Studies, Brown University

The Department of History and the Program in Judaic Studies at Brown University invite applications for a full-time, tenure-track  position at the Assistant Professor level in Jewish History with a primary focus on the Islamic World (broadly conceived), including Jewish-Muslim relations, in any period prior to the First World War. The successful candidate will have defended the Ph.D. thesis by the time of appointment. 

A ‘Geniza Street View’: On Jewish Neighborhoods and Inter-Religious Neighborliness

by Moshe Yagur

My current project examines spatial realities of Jewish life in the medieval Islamic cities of the eastern Mediterranean, mostly Egypt and greater-Syria, from the late 10th to the late 15th centuries. It is well known that Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived side by side in these cities, without a clear separation along religious lines. There was also no clear zoning of the medieval Mediterranean Islamic city to residential, commercial, industrial, and public zones. And so, Jews, Muslims and Christians lived, worked, and traded with each other in the same neighborhoods, alleys, and small courtyards, between mosques, synagogues, and churches. The aim of my current project is first to document this reality, which until today was seen as self-evident and has not received proper scholarly attention, and then to analyze these daily, individual interactions around residential areas as an arena for inter-religious encounters.

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Three-part Zoom lecture series on Karaism by Daniel J. Lasker Thursdays at 17:30 Israel time, June 9 – 23.

June 9: The emergence of Karaism, the Karaite Golden Age in the Land of Israel; a history of Karaite spiritual centers; Karaites in the Holocaust; Israeli Karaism.

June 16: Karaite practice and belief; how exactly does Karaism differ from Rabbinic Judaism; what practices are common to the two forms of Judaism; Karaite beliefs and doctrines.

June 23: Karaite intellectual accomplishments; theology; biblical commentaries; linguistics and literature; historiography and polemics; the future of Karaism.

CfA: Mandel Postdoc Fellowships in the Humanities and Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2023–2026) due September 10, 2022

The Mandel Fellowships are intended for scholars, from Israel and abroad, who have shown exceptional excellence and originality, and whose research contributes significantly to academic scholarship and cultural discourse.

  • Applications will be accepted from candidates who completed their doctoral degrees no earlier than October 1, 2018.* Candidates who have not yet completed their degrees may apply if they will have submitted their dissertations by September 10, 2022. If awarded the fellowship, their acceptance will be conditional upon approval of their doctoral degrees by April 1, 2023.
  • Mandel Scholars engage in research in optimal conditions and teach at HUJI (up to 2 hours per week). Teaching in English is possible.
  • Mandel Scholars receive approximately 125,000 NIS per year in addition to a research budget.
  • The fellowship is for three years, beginning October 1, 2023. It is possible to receive the fellowship for only one or two years.
  • Scholars are selected on a competitive basis with no preference for a specific field of study in the humanities or Jewish studies.

Deadline: September 10, 2022

Continue reading CfA: Mandel Postdoc Fellowships in the Humanities and Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2023–2026) due September 10, 2022

The Disputation of Mallorca (1286): A Case Study in the Medieval Culture of Disputation

By Alex J. Novikoff

Ever since Christianity parted ways from Judaism, its adherents have felt the need to defend their new faith, often combining advocacy of the new religion with the urge to delegitimize Judaism as an outdated and obsolete vestige of a prior epoch. From this theological impulse was born the so-called Adversus Judaeus corpus of writings that stretches from the earliest centuries of Christianity through the end of the Middle Ages, and well beyond. The repetitive nature of this genre notwithstanding, scholars have increasingly come to recognize the many ways in which this confrontation evolved theologically, intellectually, and even socially, involving new spheres of contact and new participants in those debates. Nor was this controversy entirely one-sided, since beginning in the twelfth century Jews began to mount their own polemical response in Hebrew, a corpus that has likewise been the subject of increased and deserved attention.

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Researcher of the Week

Nureet Dermer

PhD Candidate
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Supervisor: Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten

“In my Ph.D. project, entitled “Between Expulsions: Daily Encounters between Jews and Christians in Northern France, 1285-1394,” I examine notions of “foreignness” attributed to northern French Jews throughout the events of the crisis-ridden 14th century, focusing precisely between expulsions. In that century, France (i.e., the northern French realms) experienced political, economic, social, and environmental upheavals, e.g., the Great Famine (1315-1317), the Shepherds’ Crusade (1320), many local uprisings, the beginning of the Hundred Years’ war (1337), the Black Death (1348-1351), and more. Beyond these calamitous and disastrous events, the Jews of France also faced three expulsions – the first and most comprehensive expulsion executed in 1306, another (either official or consequential) in 1322, and a final banishment in 1394. The lives of medieval French Jews during this period of crisis and instability and changing economic and political circumstances are at the heart of my research.

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Princes and Jews in 15th Century Italy

By Pierre Savy

Influential historians such as Cecil Roth, Attilio Milano, and others noted long ago that late medieval Italian princes generally implemented more welcoming and protective policies towards the Jews than oligarchic regimes (“republics”) did–an attitude that may appear counter-intuitive, should one believe through the anachronistic lens of today that accepting religious diversity is typical of republican regimes, whereas autocratic regimes go together with intolerance. Clearly, things are far more complex.

My research, devoted to Princely policies towards the Jews in Northern Italy (1370-1520)[1], set to be published by French publisher PUF in Spring 2023, intends to focus on this issue with the intent to go beyond the simple explanation of the economic benefit of a Jewish presence that, after all, could have been equally beneficial to non-princely regimes. My hypothesis is that princely policies towards the Jews were a touchstone in the history of state-building processes, as well as central to the function and value of princely power, here investigated without drawing on theoretical literature, but from an empirical perspective. It basically consists in “thinking (politics) with the Jews” (“Is it still Jewish studies?”, one might wonder on a blog devoted to medievalJewishStudiesNow![2]): but “thinking with” does not necessarily imply conceiving of the Jews as completely passive. On the contrary, it gives the opportunity to see how Jews negotiated, informed, circumvented, and, in short, partly determined the princely policies where they lived in Northern Italy.

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