Category Archives: News

New book: Composition Analysis of Writing Materials in Cairo Genizah Documents by Zina Cohen

Cambridge Genizah Studies Series, vol. 15 / Études sur le judaïsme médiéval, vol. 91

Through the application of scientific methods of analysis to a corpus of medieval manuscripts found in the Cairo Genizah, this work aims to gain a better understanding of the writing materials used by Jewish communities at that time, shedding new light not only on the production of manuscripts in the Middle Ages, but also on the life of those Jewish communities.

New Podcast: ‘What can one woman reveal about Jewish life in medieval England?’, BBC History Extra

In February 2022, a statue of Licoricia of Winchester was unveiled. To mark the event, Professor Miri Rubin, Dr Toni Griffiths and Dr Dean Irwin recorded an episode of the BBC History Extra podcast earlier in summer. This provided an opportunity to discuss Licoricia and to situate her in her historical context. After providing an overview of Licoricia’s life, the speakers go on to consider how typical (or not) her experience was for that of Anglo-Jewry more generally. Inherently, this discussion touches on the good, the bad, and the ugly of Anglo-Jewish life, emphasising the importance of context. Dr Griffiths, who has done really important work on remembering the Jews of medieval England, brought a different dimension to the discussion by highlighting the importance of memory.

The podcast is available from the History Extra website, as well as the Apple Store and Spotify.

Report from the Workshop on the recently found Mikveh in Chemnitz

(English/Deutsch)

At the beginning of this year, a mikveh was discovered in Chemnitz during archaeological investigations on the edge of the Chemnitz city center. It is a brick structure with a rectangular basin into which two steps lead down. Neither the archaeological context nor the construction method allows concrete conclusions about the age; the mikveh seems to be late medieval or early modern.

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The Permanent Exhibition at Judenplatz in Vienna

(English/Deutsch)

© Ouriel Morgensztern

Since March 2021, the new permanent exhibition “Our Medieval City! The first Jewish Community in Vienna” has been on display at the Museum Judenplatz, part of the Jewish Museum Vienna. The starting point of the exhibition is the place, the center of the Jewish quarter at that time. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the showroom, where the foundations of the medieval synagogue, destroyed in 1421, can be explored. The excavation and the topography of the Jewish quarter can both be experienced thanks to current archaeological and architectural research. The exhibition provides insights into daily life and also tells of the history of Judenplatz as an urban place. Visitors can participate in the process of research and exhibit. Exhibition stations address the question of which sources, research approaches and academic disciplines are used to bring the past closer.  The look at Jewish Vienna in the Middle Ages is intended to sharpen the view of today’s social contexts. In this way, the museum becomes a place where the past can be experienced as distant and yet surprisingly close at the same time.

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