Team Members

Yudith Oppenheimer

Yudith Oppenheimer is a post-doctoral fellow in the Da’at Hamakom Center of the Hebrew University. She holds a PhD from the Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University. Her PhD dissertation, Zion Square – a Hermeneutic Study of a Public Space, constitutes the first comprehensive historical and hermeneutic study of a concrete space within the urban fabric of Jerusalem. In the methodological sphere, the dissertation employs multi-disciplinary methods in seeking to understand Jerusalem’s local characteristics through “the small place” and “everyday practices”. The study deviates from traditional perspectives applied in studies of Jerusalem, which are routinely subordinated to the city’s mythical and political meta-story. It instead seeks to highlight the urban environment as a diverse and dynamic fabric of social life, civic engagement and as a venue for violent incidents. At the core of the study lies a question regarding the feasibility of a worldly urban space in Jerusalem, and of a terrestrial Jerusalem a whole. Its comprehensive perspective paints a broad picture of the relationship between culture and place in the Israeli space. Her understanding of the differentiated aspects of national conflicts further draws from her Master’s thesis, written while residing in post-apartheid South Africa (1996-2000), which dealt … Read More

Matan Wygoda

I was born in a small suburb of Paris, and was educated at the Himelpharb high-school in Jerusalem after which I studied for several years at the Ma’ale Gilboa Yeshiva. I finished my B.A. at The Hebrew University majoring in Jewish Philosophy and musicology. I then started working in the music department of the National library of Israel, in which I currently serve as head of cataloging of the music department department. My main focus at the library is Jewish ethomusicology, particularly Ashkenazi musical traditions and Hasidic niggunim. In the course of my work at the library I move from the collection and classification of past recordings to field recordings of current-day communities and musical traditions. My academic interest lie primarily in the Hassidic world, and the intertwining connections between their teachings, their Hasidic ways of life, and their musical traditions. My Dissertation written under the supervision of pro. Edwin Seroussi treats the devotional niggunim in the courts of the Ruzhin dynasty which constitute a defined repertoir of niggunim that are sung by the Rebbes alone. These unique musical compositions were awarded a special status by the Rebbes and the Hasidim of this dynasty, and they are accompanied by mystical … Read More

Meirav Reuveny

I’m a PhD student in department of Jewish History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My research concerns cultural history of the Jewish society in Eastern and Central Europe in the modern period, and addresses questions of language, nationality and identity. My MA thesis “Hebraist in Berlin: Shai Ish Hurwitz and He-Atid (1903-1914): Time consciousness and the Hebrew Language Revival” was written under the supervision of Dr. Aya Elyada. The work examines the relations between Jewish Historiography and the Hebrew language revival in the Jewish national movement, between Central and Eastern Europe. My PhD project, “Polemics about the Hebrew Language in the Tri-lingual (Hebrew, Yiddish and German) Jewish Press, 1856-1914”, is written under the supervision of Prof. Richard Cohen and Dr. Aya Elyada and aims to examine the discourse about the Hebrew language in the Jewish society of Eastern and Central Europe and to contextualize the Hebrew language revival in the historical and cultural conditions that enabled it. In order to understand the ways opinions and beliefs regarding the language were formed and accepted, during process as the Haskalah, nationalism and Zionism, the research is examining polemics in the press about the status of Hebrew, its modernization, creating literature and … Read More

David Borabeck

David Borabeck is PhD student at the Department of Jewish History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He completed his B.Ed at Herzog Collage and received his Masters Degree with honors from the department of Jewish History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Borabeck wrote his MA thesis titled: “The Attitude of ‘Bnei-Akiva’ Movement to the Mizrahim and their Tradition as an Expression of the Modern-Secular Discourse in Religious-Zionism” under the supervision of Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin and Prof. Mordechai Zalkin. His dissertation, written under the supervision of Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin and Prof. Mordechai Zalkin, deals with the definition of the term ‘Religion’ in Religious-Zionist literature and discourse as a part of the internalizing of Modern-Secular discourse at this collective. Borabeck is analyzing this definition by observing the Religious-Zionist ambiguous approach to the Mizrahim (Oriental-Jews) and their tradition based on ‘Religion’ — An approach that was either assimilating and excluding. Borabeck has taught for several years in the formal education system and today he is teaching in the Yeshivat-Hesder in Netivot and Tzahali pre-military institute.

Dan Weinstein

Dan Weinstein is a virtuoso and versatile musician, teacher and lecturer, focusing mainly on contemporary, avant-garde and experimental music. As a cello player his repertoire is dedicated to exploring new ways of interpretation of contemporary music as a platform for modern and updated art form. Enthusiastic about the intersection between traditional and contemporary instrumental practices, close and open forms, improvisation and written music, Dan has inspired composers and instrumentalists alike for collaborative work as solo and chamber musician. Dan Studied in the Rubin Academy of music in Tel aviv and than later continued in Paris, in the ‘Ecole normale de Musique’ focusing on chamber music and contemporary music. He in finishing his Master degree in the Hebrew university under the supervision of Dr. Assaf Shelleg, researching practical instrumental approaches in new music in the second half of the twentieth century in general and in the music of Xenakis, Scelsi and Zimmermann in particular. Dan is a senior lecturer in the new-music department in the interdisciplinary school of art and society, Musrara in Jerusalem. Dan is co-founder of the advanced program studies of experimental music and sound art and conducting a open-social-orchestra (“Scratch Orchestra”) in the Israeli Center of Digital art, … Read More

Hilla Lavie

Hilla Lavie is writing her dissertation at the Minerva Koebner center for German History, the Hebrew University Jerusalem, under the supervision of Prof. Moshe Zimmermann and Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi. The dissertation’s title: “Imagining a Jewish State after the Holocaust: Representations of Israel in 1950s-1960s West German Films”. She completed her MFA (film directing) and MA (film Studies) at the Department of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. Her MA Thesis, supervised by Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, won the Goldhirsh Prize for a thesis in the field of Holocaust research, 2014. She directed documentary films in Israel and Germany, supported, among others, by the Goethe Institute and EVZ Fund. She is the editor of the academic journal “Slil” for history, cinema and television, published by the Koebner Center. She was a guest scholar at the Dubnow Institute in Leipzig and at the Friedrich Meinecke Institut at the Free University Berlin with the support of Armbruster fund. Her research won The Simon Wiesenthal Prize for a dissertation in the field of Holocaust research, 2018.

Guy Yadin Evron

I am an MA student in the Department of History at the Hebrew University. I completed my BA (2017) at the Department of History and the School of History Honors Program at the Hebrew University. During my BA I was awarded the Yaacov Talmon Prize for history students. I am interested in institutions of knowledge in Israel and the modern Middle East, and in the sources from which intellectuals draw their legitimacy – in their own eyes, and in those of the public and the political establishment. My BA thesis (advisor: prof. Yfaat Weiss), which I am currently revising for publication, examines the role played by the Hebrew University’s senior academic staff in the institution’s decision to return to Mount Scopus after 1967, and the way in which the academics understood and presented the political and institutional implications of the move.

Irit Chen

I am a Ph.D. student at the Department for Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I completed my Master degree (Summa cum laude) in Modern German and European Studies at the University of Haifa. My Master Thesis, which was written under the supervision of Dr. Marcos Silber and Dr. Sharon Livne, received the Graduate Studies Dean’s Prize for Outstanding Master Thesis. The thesis examined the work of the Israeli consulate in Munich in years 1948-1953 in light of the Israeli duality towards Germany: boycott measures on the one hand and utilitarian contacts on the other hand. I received my Bachelor in Psychology and Political Science (Summa cum laude) from the University of Haifa. My dissertation project, which is written under the supervision of Prof. Yfaat Weiss and Dr. Sharon Livne, focuses on the Purchasing Mission to Cologne, the official and exclusive Israeli representative to the Federal Republic of Germany – West Germany (hereafter: Germany) before diplomatic relations were established. The mission began to operate in Cologne in June 1953 as a commercial body responsible for the implementation of the Reparations Agreement. It was closed in August 1965 with the establishment of the diplomatic relations and … Read More

Hila Zaksenberg

Hila Zaksenberg is a PhD candidate at the Department of Folklore and Folk Culture Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is writing her dissertation “Arab Representations in Visual Culture among Jewish Communities in Israel: Three Case Studies” under the supervision of Prof. Shalom Sabar and Dr. Dani Schrire. Her research addresses the way Jewish communities in Palestine and later in Israel used material visual motives which they identified as representing Arabness. Through the examination of these motives the research sets out to explore this phenomenon from an interdisciplinary perspective and shed light on the preoccupation the conception of Arabness in various arts and design fields. This study will profoundly examine the iconographic and semiotic sources of these motives and their use in the developing visual culture in Israel. Hila holds a BFA from Bezalel Academy of arts and Design, Jerusalem (2007) and an MA in Curatorial Studies from Kingston University in Partnership with the Design Museum London (2010, her thesis was awarded a Commendation). In 2016 she was awarded the Immanuel Olsvanger Prize. Alongside her academic research, since 2009 Hila has worked on various projects in the field of digital heritage and archival materials in digital media. Since … Read More

Vardit Lightstone

Vardit Lightstone is a doctoral candidate in a Joint Education Placement Program between the Germanic Languages and Literatures Department and the Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto and the Folklore and Folk Culture Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is completing her dissertation, entitled “Performing Immigrant Identity: Canadian Yiddish Life Stories”, under the guidance of Prof. Anna Shternshis (UofT) and Dr. Dani Schrire (HU). Vardit’s research focuses on the life stories of Yiddish speaking immigrants to Canada from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In her research she interrogates both the folk literary genre of life stories and the ways migrants use folklore as they adapt to their new situations. Vardit’s work also considers how migrants create and express community identities, within and outside of Canada, through their life stories. In 2010, Vardit received her B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Toronto. In 2015, she received her M.A. in Folklore and Folk Culture from the Hebrew University for her thesis, “Tomás Writes a Book: Folk narrative style and cultural contexts in the Irish autobiography An tOileánach”, written under the guidance of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Dr. Dani Schrire. She is currently a recipient … Read More

Tom Fogel

I am a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the Department of Folklore and Folk culture. I am writing my dissertation on ‘S. D. Goitein Yemenite Research’, under the supervision of Prof. Hagar Salamon and Dr. Carmella Avdar. I live in Giv’at Ye’arim, married to Berenika and father to Tuvia and Hayyim. I wrote my Master’s Thesis in the department of Plant science and the Faculty of Agriculture at the Hebrew University. In the course of my studies there I specialized in botany, ecology, and forestry, and served as curator at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. After finishing my M.A. (2013) and attending supplementary studies (2013-2014), I began my studies as a doctoral student in 2015. My dissertation is titled ‘S. D. Goitein Yemenite Research’. In my work I wish to describe Goitein’s ethnographic study of Jewish immigrants from Yemen in the early 50’s, mainly through a consideration of his Yemenite archive. By presenting Goitein’s theoretical and methodological approach, and his interactions with informants and assistants, I wish to describe an important chapter of the study of Yemenite Jews and Folklore studies in Israel. As an archive based study, my work deals with issues regarding ethnography in the … Read More

David Stromberg

David Stromberg is a writer, translator, and literary scholar based in Jerusalem. He received his doctorate in literary studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has since undertaken postdoctoral research at the University of Leuven, Belgium; the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin; the YIVO Center for Jewish Research; the New York Public Library; and the Hebrew University’s European Forum and Institute for Contemporary Jewry. His publications include four collections of single-panel cartoons, including BADDIES (Melville House, 2009), which the Los Angeles Times called “fantastic.” He has published translations in The New Yorker, Partial Answers, and Asymptote, and fiction in Ambit, Chicago Literati, and The East Bay Review. He is author of Narrative Faith: Dostoevsky, Camus, and Singer (University of Delaware Press, 2017) and editor of In the Land of Happy Tears: The Powers of Yiddish (Delacorte/Random House, 2018). He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in American literary studies at the Hebrew University, where he is preparing a critical biography of Yiddish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Roy Waks

M.A student at the Cultural Studies Program, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My field of interest concerns practices of performance in the context of local and political ideas, focusing on the Israeli-Zionist sphere. Previously I graduated from the department of Visual Communication at Shenkar College of Design. My final project, “Zionist Movement”, was a visual research examining the possibility of body language as a product of national ideology conceptions. I asked questions regarding the potential of ideology to systematically form and construct the human body’s movement. Furthermore, I asked to identify a repertoire that can define the cosmological order of these non-distinctive body movements. My visual research was based initially on video clips that document contemporary youth training for the IDF infantry forces. I defined the body movements in these videos and categorised them into a lexicon of movements. Finally, My Project consisted a booklet of the lexicon, a series of still photos and videos that practice the lexicon by various interpretative performers that embody its content. My current project, supervised by Dr. Dani Schrire, examines body movement and embodiment of nationality in Zionism. My case study engages the creation of dance repertoire in Palestine/Israel in the first half of the … Read More

Anat Rubinstein

Anat Rubinstein, born in 1977 in Israel, is a research fellow and a PhD candidate at the Hebrew University, and a choral director, specializing in synagogue choral music. Her MA study (2013, Cum Laude) focuses on various transcriptions of the well-known Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 by J. S. Bach, under the supervision of Prof. Yulia Kreinin of the Hebrew University. For her PhD study, Anat chose a subject that is close to profession as synagogue choral director. She studies the life and works of Cantor Pinchas Minkowsky, who was a significant and influential figure of the Jewish music world in the early 1900’s in Odessa. She participated in Lewandowsky Jewsih Music Festival in Berlin 2015, that was dedicated to synagogue music from Eastern Europe. In the years 2010-2012 Anat served as a choral director of Ohavay Zion Synagogue in Lexington, KY in the US. She later founded and directed the choir of Moreshet Israel conservative synagogue in Jerusalem for three years. In 2014-2016 she held a position of a teaching assistant at the Department of Musicology of the Hebrew University. This year she serves as the choral director of the student’s choir.

Michael Lukin

Michael Lukin was born in Leningrad, USSR, completed his BA degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and obtained the MA in Jewish Music at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his PhD dissertation, entitled “The Yiddish Folk Song: Poetics and Music” and completed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he provides a frame of reference for the characterization of Yiddish folk singing – its main genres, performance contexts, interrelations with the neighboring traditions – as well as the historical perspective of its development from the early modern period until the end of the nineteenth century. He is a researcher at the Jewish Music Research Centre (JMRC) and a lecturer at Bar Ilan University and at Sapir Academic College, teaching courses in Jewish music, Hasidic nigun, Mysticism and music by Jews, and Yiddish verbal folklore.

Omer Lachman

I am a doctoral student at the Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry in the department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I completed my Master’s degree in the department of Israel studies at Haifa University. During the years 2011 – 2016, I served as a research assistant at the Institute for Israel studies at the University of Texas at Austin. My research interests are Jewish migration, the Land of Israel in the first four decades of the 20th century, American and Latin American Jewish history. My master thesis: “The Jewish Immigration from Eastern Europe to Mexico 1900 – 1939: A Demographic Profile”, written under the guidance of Professor Gur Alroey, examines the composition of East European Jewish immigrants to Mexico, with a comparison to the Jews who immigrated to Mexico from Syria. My Dissertation, under the guidance of Professor Eli Lederhendler, deals with the involvement and activity of American Jewish organizations among Jewish Immigrants outside the U.S during the years 1921 – 1929. I believe that this project will enable to shed light on the response of the organized American Jewry to the challenges and difficulties of the Jewish migration after the U.S closed its gates.

Sonja Dickow

In the course of writing my PhD thesis on the poetics of the house in contemporary Jewish literatures, I am currently a visiting research fellow at Da’at Hamakom Center for the second time (first fellowship: March – June 2015). My research interests combine Jewish exile literature and transnational literature of the 21st century. I am interested in narratives of belonging as well as literary discourses on transgenerational trauma and modes of remembrance in the ‘third generation’. In 2014 I began working on my PhD thesis at Hamburg University with a scholarship from the Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich foundation and affiliated to the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for Exile Literature. My comparative thesis explores the literary chronotope of the house in Hebrew, English, and German fictional texts from the early 21st century. Against the backdrop of the multilayered Hebrew term ‘bayit’ I focus on architectural metaphors and spatial representations of concerns of home, belonging, and remembrance. The theoretical frames are the spatial turn in Jewish studies, research on transnationality as well as theories on trauma and postmemory. After I completed my Master’s degree in 2013 I was working as scientific assistant in the department of German literature at Hamburg University, taught a seminar … Read More

Yael Levi

I am a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the Department of History of the Jewish People and Contemporary Jewry. I am writing her dissertation on the transition of the Hebrew Alphabet (Aleph-Beis) from Eastern Europe to the United States in the 19th century. I received an MA in Yiddish Literature from Tel Aviv University, Department of Literature. The Thesis Topic was “Jewish Press in the United States, 1913–1918: Hebrew, Yiddish and English – Connections and Interactions”. Grants and scholarships include Dinur Scholarship from The Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History (2016); The annual Nadav peoplehood award, NADAV Foundation (2015); Dov Sadan Prize for Research in Hebrew Language, Hebrew Literature, and Yiddish Literature (2015); the Goldreich Family Institute Fellowship, Tel Aviv University (2014—2015). My current project deals with the transition of the Hebrew Alphabet from Eastern Europe to the United States in the 19th century. The research explores how Jewish immigrants brought multilingual traditions of their culture – writing in Hebrew and Yiddish – from Eastern Europe to America. My research will examine the means in which Jewish immigrants established their linguistic heritage and unique culture while acclimatizing in the new world: the difficulties they encountered; their … Read More

Na’ama Zussman

Na’ama Zussman is an artist currently pursuing her doctoral studies in the Cultural Studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She holds a master’s degree in Art and the Book from the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at The George Washington University. Her thesis essay, which received the Award for Graduate Critical Writing, discusses the conceptual perception of artists’ books as both map and territory. She has also completed an internship at the Rare Book and Special Collections Division in the Library of Congress, where she gave a talk on her area of research: Digressional Wanderings. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Michael P. Denker Fellow, by the Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association. A recent publication by Zussman, published in the April, 2016 issue of The Blue Notebook: Journal for artists’ books, discusses the Production of Place in Sam Winston’s work. Recent acquisitions of her artist’s book, A Survey of a World, were made by The Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, The Butler Library in Columbia University, and the Boston Athenaeum. Her research, under the guidance of Dr. Dani Schrire and Dr. Carola Hilfrich, focuses … Read More

Dr. Yoed Kadary

Yoed Kadary is a post doctorate fellow at the I-Core center Da’at Hamakom for the study of modern Jewish culture, and recently awarded the Ephraim Urbach post doctoral fellowship by the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture . He is working both in Ben-Gurion University and the Open University on research projects on the Kabbalah of Safed and the history of Kabbalistic discourse on colors. He wrote two monographs on the debate about prayers to angels, and the angelology of R. Moses Cordovero, which were accepted for publication. He is also independent director and producer and worked for channel 2 news company.

Dr. Naomi Cohn Zentner

Dr. Naomi Cohn Zentner is an ethnomusicologist interested in the intersections between Ashkenazi music and the Israeli sphere, mainly in the home. Her Masters thesis, gained from McGill University, looked at the Spanish and Portuguese influence on the Ashkenazi liturgy in London in the late 19th century. Her dissertation, written under Prof. Edwin Seroussi, focused on the paraliturgical piyyutim of Zemirot Shabbat sung around the Sabbath table among religious Zionists in Israel, and included ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of extended family repertoires. Other interests include: the domestic music of German speaking Jews, musical maps, and popular Israeli music. She is a lecturer at the Open University, Hebrew Union College and the Schechter Institute Jewish Studies. Daat hamakom projects include an interactive map of “kol mekadesh shevii: a wandering melody as a cultural map” and a historical ethnomusicology project of interreligious and intercultural musical exchange in Ottoman era Safed. Her latest project looks into the symbolic use of Sephardic musical traditions and Hebrew folk song in post-denominational prayer groups in Israel.

Jacob Haddad

Jacob Haddad is a doctorate student at the Department of the history of Israel and Contemporary Judaism, Bar Ilan University. His doctoral dissertation, written under the guidance of Prof. Zvi Zohar, deals with the comparative research of the Talmud’s study methods in the religious schools of Tunisia and their historical sources during the 18th and the 19th centuries in comparison to the study methods that were chosen by different Rabbis to be studied in Djerba’s religious schools. Mr. Haddad holds a BA in Political Science and Management, MA in Bible and Rabbinic literature, and MA in the History of Israel. In addition, Mr. Haddad is a graduate of an executive course and “Tzamarot” program by Avnei Rosha. Jacob Haddad is an educator who previously worked as a head teacher, vice principle and as a principle of a high school in the south of Israel. As part of his school principal, Jacob led the school to success and the school gained various important achievements.  One of the major achievements was the entrance of the school to the ministry’s department for experimental schools. The school’s proposed experiment included developing a six- year pedagogical and educational plan that incorporated the Djerba’s study methods … Read More

Dr. Cynthia Gabbay

Dr. Cynthia Gabbay holds a PhD (2012) in Romanic and Latin American Studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her book Los ríos metafísicos de Julio Cortázar: de la lírica al diálogo was published in 2015. A manuscript on Street Art in Buenos Aires: Symbols of a Revolution and a second manuscript An Intellectual Biography of Micaela Feldman/Etchebehere – A Jewish Internationalist, resulting from her research at The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are in preparation. She completed a postdoctoral research at the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa and actually she is in postdoctoral research at Elyachar Center at Ben Gurion University in collaboration with Daat HaMakom Program. She is also a research associate at the European Research Council’s project “Apartheid–The Global Itinerary: South African Cultural Formations in Transnational Circulation, 1948-1990” directed by Prof. Louise Bethlehem were she studies the transnational radical black discourse in Cuba. Her research interests are Latin American modern poetry and literature, political art, anarchist phenomena and radical Jewish thought and practices, semiotics and metafiction, studies on intertextuality and Converso literature from the Spanish colonies. Daat HaMakom supported Dr. Cynthia Gabbay’s participation in the Conference … Read More

Dr. Hagai Pely

Dr. Hagai Pely’s fields of interests are: The history of the Halakhah, the history of the Kabbalah, and the inter relations between the two. Dr. Pely wrote his Masters’ Thesis, The Book of Kanah and the Book of Peliah: Halakhah and Meta-Halakhah, under the guidance of Professor Moshe Idel in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His PhD dissertation, The Lurianic Kabbalah: Halakhic and Meta-Halakhic Aspects, was written under the guidance of Prof. Boaz Huss and Prof. Rami Reiner, in the Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The dissertation engages with two main issues, which have not been investigated systematically: firstly, the status of R. Isaac Luria Ashkenazi, ha-ARI, as a Halakhist in his lifetime; secondly, the Kabbalistic elements underlying his Halakhic and Talmudic activities, and the fundamental relations between Halakhah and Kabbalah found in his thought. In His current research – as a postdoctoral fellow in the Elyachar Center at Ben-Gurion University, headed by Prof. Haviva Pedaya – Dr. Pely focuses on Mekor Hayim, a kabbalistic commentary of the Shulhan Arukh, written by R. Hayim ha-Cohen of Aleppo, one of R. Hayim Vital’s disciples. In his research he deals with … Read More

Ronel Atia

Ronel Atia is a doctoral student at Bar-Ilan University in the department of Israel’s History. His doctoral dissertation, written under the supervision of Prof. Zvi Zohar and Dr. Elie Holzer, deals with methodological conceptualization in the field of educational philosophy of the teachings of Rabbi Chalfon Moshe Cohen in Jerba. Mr. Atia has a Bachelor’s degree in education, and MBA and a master’s degree in Israel’s History Department from Bar-Ilan University, and is a graduate of administrator’s course of “Avney Rehisha” program. Ronel Atia is an educator and has previously worked as a teacher, a coordinator, and as the high school principal in one of the religious high schools in Israel. Mr. Atia is currently a lecturer in the field of didactics at “Orot” College in Israel, where he serves as head of Pedagogical Training Department.

Amit Levy

Amit Levy is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at HUJI, where he also received his B.A. (History and Political Science, magna cum laude) and M.A. (History) degrees. During his M.A. Studies Mr. Levy was awarded the Jacob Talmon prize for M.A. students, and was included in the Dean of Humanities list. He was a research assistant to Dr. Aya Elyada, and teaching assistant to Dr. Alex Kerner. Amit Levy professional background as a translator made him curious about issues of cultural transfer and the lingual context of intercultural encounters. Among other things, he examined the use of Arabic in Palmach (pre-state Jewish elite fighting force in Palestine) folklore, in a study which was awarded the George L. Mosse prize and published in a 2015. In recent years, Mr. Levy has focusedhis research on German-Jewish academic Orientalism and its migration to Palestine/Israel, and the subject of my M.A. dissertation (supervised by Prof. Yfaat Weiss and Dr. Aya Elyada) was the life of German-Jewish Orientalist Martin Meir Plessner (1900-1973). In this work, he looked at Plessner’s immigration – from Frankfurt to Haifa and Jerusalem – and how the transfer from a textual encounter with the Orient to a physical … Read More

Hilla Lavie

Hilla Lavie is a PhD student at the Koebner center for German History, the Hebrew University Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the representations of Israel and Israelis in German cinema since 1967 (supervised by Prof. Moshe Zimmermann and Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi). She completed her MFA (film directing, 2011) and MA (Film Studies and History, 2013) at the Department of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. Her MA Thesis focused on representations of German-Israeli Relations in the Israeli Cinema 1950-2010 (supervised by Prof. Moshe Zimmermann), and won the Goldhirsh Prize for outstanding Holocaust research (2014).  She directed documentary films in Israel and Germany, supported, among others, by the Goethe Institute, EVZ Fund, Israeli Chanel 8. She is the editor of the Koebner Center’s magazine: Slil – for history, cinema and television, and is affiliated to the History and cultural studies departments at the Freie Universität Berlin, for the study year of 2015-2016.

Dr. Menashe Anzi

Dr. Menashe Anzi was awarded a PhD in Jewish History from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 2012. His dissertation, which was written under the supervision of Prof. Richard I. Cohen and Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson examines the relationship between Jews and Muslims in Ṣanʿāʾ with an emphasis on their minor position within the Islamic city. Dr. Anzi was a Deputy Chair of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East, Jerusalem (2013-2014). Anzi held a Post-doctoral fellowship at Bar-Ilan University, at Ben-Gurion University and at ‘Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe’ (EUME), Berlin. In 2015-16 he is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the I-COR ‘Daat Hamakom’, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As fellow of Daat Hamakom the purpose of his project is to show the close ties that existed between Jewish communities along the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in Modern Times. furthermore, the aim of his study is to point out the continuity of a shared commercial, social and cultural space and to posit the Jewish Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in a common geographic-cultural frame. In this project, Dr. Anzi hope to establish a major body of knowledge on these trade networks, and examine them on three levels: The trading network; … Read More

Neta Peretz

Neta Peretz is a PhD student in the department of Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her undergraduate studies with honors in Art History and French Language and Literature at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and received her Master’s degree with honors from the Center for European Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, during which she completed graduate studies at the Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV). She wrote her MA thesis, titled:  “A Multifaceted Being: Jules Pascin’s Drawings of Women in the German Satirical Weekly Simplicissimuss, 1905-1914” under the supervision of Prof. Richard I. Cohen, from The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Dr. Mirjam Rajner, from Bar Ilan University. Her dissertation, written under the supervision of Prof. Richard I. Cohen and Dr. Gal Ventura, explores the image of the Jewish woman in 19th century France, taking into consideration visual as well as textual primary sources. The project addresses the relation between stereotypes and reality, and offers an innovative look at the concept of “Jewishness”, Jewish femininity and the intersection of gender and antisemitism in 19th century France. Since 2013 has been working as assistant curator in the Department of Modern Art at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Dr. Adi Armon

In 2013 Adi Armon received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation, entitled “From Weimar to America: The Development of Leo Strauss’ Political Teaching”, was supervised by Prof. Steven Aschheim of the History Department and Prof. Yaron Ezrahi of the Political Science Department. Dr. Armons research combines cultural and intellectual history, political theory, and Jewish Studies. My primary areas of research are: (1) Intellectuals in the twentieth century and the development of their thought, focusing on Jewish thinkers who emigrated from Germany to America and had to confront questions regarding modernity, morality, technology, theology, law and politics after the Holocaust. (2) Modern European history, examining some of the multiple meeting points between European culture and the modern Jewish experience. (3) Philosophies of Judaism: Modern Jewish thought from Spinoza to Leo Strauss. (4) The development of Zionist thought from the nineteenth century to the establishment of the State of Israel.

Ido Harari

Ido Harari is a doctoral student in the department of Jewish Thought at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, under the joint supervision of Prof. Boaz Huss and Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. His dissertation examines the ways in which orthodoxization processes of four Jewish men with non-observant backgrounds in the German Kulturraum (and in one case, in Holland) during the late 19th-early 20th centuries were conceptualized, enabled, and carried out, focusing on relevant aspects of the relations between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Arab/Muslim East. Three of these people became Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox): Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937), born in Vienna to immigrants from Polish Galicia; Jiří (Mordechai Gerogo) Langer (1894-1943), born in Prague to an assimilated family; and Jacob Israël de Haan (1881-1924), born in northern Holland to an observant family. The fourth became a Muslim: Muhammad Asad (1900-1992), born as Leopold Weiss in Galician Lvov and moving to Vienna in his late teens. In the context of Da’at Hamakom Ido focuses on the different connections between place and identity, based on the fact that in all of these case studies the shift in religious identification was bound together with a geographic movement Eastward: De Haan and Asad moved to Palestine/Eretz Israel … Read More

Dr. Ktzia Alon

Ktsia Alon, PhD., is a lecturer in the field of Hebrew literature, a curator and an art critic. her book about Mizrahi poetics, Efsharut Shlishit LeShira (“Third Possibility of Poetry”) was recently published by HaKibbutz Hameuhad publishing house, and a her lecture series was broadcast by IDF radio station. Her book, Shoshanat HaMeri HaShehora (Black Rebellion Rose), is to be published by the Broadcasted University publishing house. Dr. Alon is co-founder of the movement Achoti – for Women in Israel.

Avi-ram Tzoreff

Avi-ram Tzoreff is a PhD candidate in the department of Jewish history in Ben Gurion University in the Negev. He is writing his dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, on the connections between theology, poetics and political thought in the writings of Yehoshua Radler-Feldman, aka R. Binyamin. Avi-ram completed his undergraduate studies in Jewish History and Hebrew Literature in Ben Gurion University in the Negev and continued to Phd in direct route. His research deals also with the philosophy of R. Yosef Haim (the ‘Ben Ish Hay’) and the connections between this philosophy and the cultural space of modern Ottoman-Baghdad.

Assaf Tamari

Assaf Tamari is a doctoral student at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, writing about early modern Jewish intellectual History, and specializing in Kabbalistic literature. His dissertation, supervised by Prof. Boaz Huss, focuses on discursive relations between Kabbalah, medicine and Science in general in the Lurianic Kabbalah of sixteenth century Ottoman Safed and early modern notions of agency. In addition, he devoted studies to current political-theology in Israel/Palestine and its genealogies, especially among radical circles in the margins of religious Zionism. Assaf began his academic studies in Tel-Aviv University, as part of the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students, and later went on to obtain his Master’s degree in the Department of Hebrew Culture, where he graduated Summa cum Laude. His thesis was devoted to Lurianic notions of subjectivity, through an analysis of its intricate soul transmigration theories, vis-à-vis the historiographical debates over the early modern roots of our concept of the “subject”.

Dr. Yonatan Mendel

Yonatan Mendel completed his doctoral studies in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2012. His doctoral thesis focused on the political history of the study of Arabic in Jewish schools in Israel, and it contained an analysis of the political and security networks that shaped the study of Arabic in the country. His book The Creation of Israeli Arabic: Political and Security Considerations in the Making of Arabic Language Studies in Jewish Schools is based on his PhD research, as well as his definition to “The Arabic Language” publised in Tel Aviv University’s Mafte’akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought. Upon his return to Israel he received a post-doctoral fellowship at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research in the Minerva Research Center focused on the beginnings of Arabic-language instruction in the Jewish education system during the British Mandate period (1920–1948) focusing on the unique and telling case study of the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. His article “From German Philology to Local Usability: The Emergence of ‘Practical’ Arabic in … Read More

Dr. Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel

I am a lecturer and a research fellow at the Tel-Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and a head of a Research Group at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Previously, I spent a postdoctoral year at New York University, the HBI center at Brandeis University, and won Kreitman and Matanel Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Ben-Gurion University. I received my Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My research deals with intersections between Jewish mythology, mysticism, gender and psychoanalysis. My doctoral thesis, “Motherhood and Seduction in the Myth of David’s Messianic Dynasty,” analyzes patterns of sin and redemption in the narrative of the birth of the Messiah. The thesis highlights the centrality of the mother image in Judeo-Christian culture and the continuous reworking of the feminine myth in the House of David beginning in the Bible and continuing through the Midrash and the Zohar. This research won the Pines, Lakritz and Warburg awards, and was published recently as a book, “Holiness and Transgression: Mothers of the Messiah in the Jewish Myth” (Published in Hebrew 2014, ha-Kakibbutz ha-Meuchad Press, Hillel Ben-Chaim Series in Jewish Studies, will soon appear in English by Academic Studies Press 2016). Additionally, I recently … Read More

Dr. Gil Weissblei

Dr. Gil Weissblei is an archivist and researcher of the history of the Hebrew book in the 20th century. Graduated (B. A.) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in philosophy and comparative literature (2000). Since 1999 he has been working as an archivist in different institutions in Israel, among them the Israel State Archives (2003-2008). Gil Weissblei completed his M.A degree (Cum Laude) in Archive and Information Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2005). He served as Editor of “Archion”, the Israeli Journal of Archive Studies and Documentation (2005-2007), and since 2002 as the manager of Haim Hazaz Memorial Foundation historical archive. Since 2008 he works at the National Library of Israel archives department as the curator of the photograph collection. He was the curator of a few exhibitions on historical themes and author of some articles and exhibition catalogues. His doctoral thesis, “The Revival of Hebrew Book Art in Weimar Germany”, was written under the supervision of Prof. Richard I. Cohen of the Hebrew university of Jerusalem; the book based on it will appear soon. This study offers a new approach towards the history of the Modern Hebrew Book by focusing on one of its formative epochs, the … Read More

Dr. Dani Schrire

I was born in Cape Town and grew up mostly in Jerusalem. I am a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I completed a BA in Philosophy and Geography, the MA in Geography and Urban and Regional Studies and my PhD in the Program for Jewish and Comparative Folklore Studies. I joined the faculty of the Hebrew University in 2015 in a joint appointment of the Program for Folklore and Folk-Culture and the Program in Cultural Studies. I spent 2010-2011 as a guest doctoral student in the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. I conducted post-doctoral research in the Institute for Cultural Anthropology / European Ethnology at Göttingen University, at the Hebrew University and at the Herbert Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. My research addresses various questions concerning place. In the framework of my MA I studied pilgrimage routes and the construction of linear “European” spaces from the perspective of non-representational theory. My dissertation focused on the ways in which Zionist folklorists negotiated the fracture in the continuity of cultural life of Jews in the Diaspora in the face of the Shoah and the massive immigration to Palestine. … Read More

Dr. Haya Bambaji-Sasportas

Haya Bambaji-Sasportas teaches  history of the modern middle east at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and at Sapir and Achva Colleges. Until recently she was the academic coordinator of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies & Diplomacy. Among other things she was also one of the first editors of Jamm’a –a   leading periodical  on middle east studies published in Israel. Her  M.A  thesis (2000) examined  the construction of the formal Israeli discourse  of the Palestinian refugees problem(1948-1952),  especially among the experts of Arab affairs in the foreign office. Her  Ph.D  dissertation, which was written under the guidance  of Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin and Prof. Dror Zeevi (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev 2014), revisits and reanalyse the middle eastern writings of the Jewish intellectual and historian Elie Kedourie (1926-1992). Kedourie  was one of the leading icons of the modern middle east historians in British academy after WWII . The study shows that in spite of  his conservative postulations relating cardinal concepts of modern political thought and Mehta-historical issues such as nationalism, imperialism liberalism and the liberal thought,  Kedourie’s views were quite radical. In the current academic discourse his radicalism would be identify as postmodern and postcolonial but it … Read More

Dr. Itamar Drori

I am a member of the Department of the Literature of the Jewish People at Bar-Ilan University. In recent years I have specialized in two research areas: The first, Thematology of the Jewish story, was instituted by Yoav Elstein and Avidov Lipsker of Bar Ilan University. This field of research deals with the development of narrative versions in Jewish languages from the biblical period to the present. I am a member of the editorial board of ‘The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story’. In this capacity, I write entries, trace various textual origins, decipher manuscripts, and deal with rare texts, in print and in manuscript. My second area of research is related to understanding the key processes in the historiography of Modern Hebrew literature: a study of its lingual, thematic and generic aspects. In this context, I focus on the prose of Hayim Hazaz (Ukraine, 1898 – Israel, 1973) who lived as an immigrant in Istanbul and Paris, and later in Israel, and wrote many stories about immigrants from Yemen and the Islamic countries. His writing represents the intersection of the Jewish languages at their full intensity and challenges the dichotomous distinction between ‘canon’ and ‘margins’ accepted in its time. My … Read More

Netanel Cohen (Musai)

Netanel Cohen is a librarian in the music department of the National Library of Israel and a first year doctoral student in the department of musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is writing his dissertation under the guidance of Professor Edwin Seroussi on the liturgical music of the Tunisian Jews in Israel. He holds an M. A. degree in ethnomusicology and a B. A. degree in musicology and Iranian studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests include Middle Eastern Jewish liturgical music and Iranian music. He served as an instructor of Persian music theory in the Center for Middle Eastern Classical Music in Jerusalem and wrote a textbook on this subject for the Open University of Israel. He also plays the santur (the Persian hammered dulcimer) and is a cantor in the Sephardic-Yerushalmi style.

Dr. Hananel Rosenberg

I study new media technologies, and am particularly interested and intrigued by all aspects of cellphone usage and its effect on our day-to-day lives: on social encounters, the romantic relationships we maintain; on our ‘timeouts’, such as watching a movie, attending theater productions, a ‘disconnected’ backpacking trip in the East; and on traditional social groups, for instance the Amish in the USA and the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) society here in Israel. Recently, I conducted an array experiment with Prof. Menahem Blondheim titled “the sans cellphone experience,” which examines the dependence patterns teens and adolescents develop in relation to the cellphone medium, using strategies from the ‘Deprivation Study’. In the past year I partook in a research group, accompanied by researchers from the School of Education, in which we examined the interaction between teachers and student on social networks in times of routine (school year) and emergency situations (during Operation Protective Edge). We attempted to understand the usage practices, the motives, and the personal and ethical dilemmas of using online channels in these contexts. As part of ‘Da’at Hamakom’, I study (under the guidance of Prof. Menahem Blondheim) the phenomenon of rabbis and religious community leaders using social networks for the sake … Read More

Dr. Lina Barouch

Lina Barouch attained her PhD in German-Jewish literature at the University of Oxford. Her expertise is linguistic and literary dislocation and exile in early twentieth-century German-Jewish writing. Her forthcoming book, Between German and Hebrew: The Counterlanguages of Gershom Scholem, Werner Kraft and Ludwig Strauss (De Gruyter & Magnes University Press, 2016), deals with linguistic and literary responses to cultural marginality and uprooting. She has published extensively on Gershom Scholem’s early writings, on German exile literature and on bi-lingual forms of writing such as auto-translation and code-switching. She most recently edited, together with Giddon Ticotsky, the bi-lingual poetry anthology Zukunfstarchäologie or ארכיאולוגיה של עתיד  (Klostermann, 2015) which brings the Hebrew original poems alongside German translations of writers like Avraham Ben-Yizhak, Dan Pagis, Yehuda Amichai, Lea Goldberg, Tuvia Rübner and others. Dr. Barouch is academic coordinator of the international project Traces of German-Jewish History: Preserving and Researching German-Jewish Archives in Israel, a collaboration between the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre and the Deutsche Literatur Archiv (Marbach). In this framework she also managed the selection, documentation and description of the Heinrich Loewe Archive at Sha’ar Zion Library in Tel Aviv. At post-doctoral fellow with Da’at Hamakom Lina Barouch is examining the poetics of … Read More

Ytav Bousira

I was born and raised in Jerusalem, the city where I live and act. I am an architect graduated at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, and currently a MA student at the Cultural Studies Program at the Hebrew University. For the past few years I work as the urban-community planner of several neighborhoods in south-west of Jerusalem. This day to day practice, that makes one move between concrete situations and the planning imagination, between the language of the street and that of planners and between full involvement and the necessity to represent things and mediate them, is an ongoing mapping of my professional, social and emotional engagement. Out of the same movement, and together with my community worker partner, with the Civic Architecture Unit of the Bezalel academy, the Jerusalem Public Lab and the Public Knowledge Workshop, I founded “Mare’e Makom: a local center for civic architecture and urban pedagogy”. In my thesis research, under the instruction of Dr. Carola Hilfrich, I wish to further investigate the same world, to map the same territories. I see the ongoing, living mapping, that brings together different languages, reality and imagination, personal stories and urban landscapes, as a common world shared by … Read More

Anna Kawałko

I am a graduate student at the department of German Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I received my Bachelor of Arts from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies at the Humanities at the University of Warsaw (2012). My research interests include Jewish cultural property after 1945, heritage and migration studies, Polish-Jewish-German relations in the aftermath of the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing in the XX century, and historical study of material culture. I am currently preparing my master’s thesis devoted to the German heritage in Lower Silesia after WWII. My research, conducted under the guidance of prof. Yfaat Weiss, examines the fate of German material culture in the so-called ‘Recovered Territories’ in the years 1945-1947. It seeks to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between the German material heritage of Lower Silesia and its new Polish inhabitants, who were transferred there due to decisions endorsed at the Yalta Conference. What was their attitude to this difficult legacy? What was the influence of the German material culture on the acclimatization and integration of the Polish re-emigrants in their new homeland? My thesis seeks to address these questions in the broader context of the policies of ‘nation-building’ and ‘repolonization’ that were implemented … Read More

Dr. Amos Noy

Amos Noy has been a research fellow with I-CORE Daat Hamakom since October 2014, under the supervision of Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. Amos has a B.Sc. In Mathematics, an M.Sc. in Computer Science, and a PhD from the Folklore and Folk-Culture in the Hebrew University. His thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem, is titled “The Emergence of Ethnographic Practices within the Sephardic and Mizrahi Intelligentsia in late-Ottoman Period and early-Mandatory Jerusalem”. Amos was an editor in Kol-Ha’ir magazine, wrote columns in popular magazines such as Ha’Ayin-Hashviit, and is a co-founder of a start-up high-tech company, holding several US patents. He currently teaches in Ben-Gurion University and Ahva College course in Folklore Research and Modern Folklore. His papers on Avot Yeshurun and Kofiko were published lately, and he is currently working on a book based on his thesis. He is an editorial member of the site Café-Gibraltar, and published in several Internet sites, including HaOketz. Amos’ research in Daat-HaMakom is about Modern Ethnographic Practices in Scripture Exegesis as a Nexus of Negotiating “Locality”.  He is also involved in the effort to apply computerized technologies to Daat-HaMakom research. He also works on Modern Folklore (jokes, rumors, urban legends, and Folklore in … Read More

Dr. Noah S. Gerber

Noah S. Gerber has been a research fellow with I-CORE Daat Hamakom since 2014, under the supervision of its academic director, Prof. Richard I. Cohen. Previously he did his doctoral work at the Hebrew University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Tal-Aviv University. Currently Noah is expanding the chronological scope of his previous work. Rather than consider them as mutually exclusive, Noah measures the dovetailing impact of two reigning Israeli paradigms, ‘melting pot’ and ‘ingathering of exiles’ respectively, on the cultural reception of Yemenite Jewry during the early years of statehood. As in his previous work, Noah considers the Yemenite Jews themselves as participants in this drama. Indeed he finds that while some sons and daughters of Yemen eagerly compiled with the ‘native’ role assigned to them on the Israeli cultural scene, others not so-kindly demurred. Noah is also re-orienting the annals of the academic study of Judaism by considering how the intellectual legacy of Jews dwelling in the realm of Islam was secured for the benefit of research undertaken by philologically minded scholars situated in the both the Diaspora and the eventual state of Israel. Specifically inspired by the concept of ‘Daat Hamakom’ Noah probes new notions of communal … Read More

Rachel Sarfati

Curator at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and doctoral candidate at Tel Aviv University. I hold a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Jewish History and Art History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. As a curator of Jewish Art at the Israel Museum I specialize in researching and curating exhibitions of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts and objects of visual and material culture relating to the Jewish year and its holidays. As part of the Museum’s comprehensive renewal project which took place a few years ago, I was responsible for curating the new permanent exhibition in the galleries for the Cycle of the Jewish Year. In this exhibition I introduced the idea of incorporating visual representations of modern holidays. Thus, traditional ceremonial objects are now displayed alongside contemporary video works about Israel’s Independence Day and Remembrance Days for Fallen Soldiers and for the Victims of the Holocaust. My MA thesis focused on depictions of holy sites in the Land of Israel. It extended previous research I conducted in preparation of an exhibition and catalogue entitled Offerings from Jerusalem: Portrayals of Holy Places by Jewish Artists. The catalogue examines works spanning from the late Middle-Ages to the beginning of the … Read More

Dr. Hava Aldouby

Hava Aldouby, PhD, is faculty member at The Open University of Israel, Department of Literature, Language and Art. Her PhD was approved summa cum laude at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2009), and awarded the Allan Bronfman Prize for an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in the Humanities. Her research encompasses various configurations of moving-image art, from popular cinema to art-cinema and its interface with painting, from experimental filmmaking to video art and new media art. Current research interests lie in aspects of haptic visuality in contemporary moving image art. Her current projects address somatic aspects of the encounter between viewers and projected images, opting to provide an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the study and conceptualization thereof. In this frame of research interests, Hava Aldouby is involved in a collaborative project in neuro-aesthetics (alternatively tagged experimental aesthetics), with the cognitive neuroscientist Prof. Vittorio Gallese, of the Department of Neuroscience, Università degli studi di Parma. The project was launched in an international symposium at the Hebrew University’s Edmund and Lily Safra Center for Brain Studies (9-10 April 2014). The project is unique in its involvement of active artists, and has won the Vigevani Research Project Prize for 2014 at the Hebrew University. Hava … Read More

Dr. Belfer Israel

I am a graduate of the Bar Ilan universities’ STS (Science, Technology and Society) program. My areas of research are in the History of Ideas in science, technology society and religion. Key points of interests are transitions in styles of reasoning and paradigmatic structures. One such emerging style is the Information-age and its influence on science and society. I participate in and leads several research and discussion groups dealing with Bioethics, philosophy of science, Israeli Society, and Religion-Science relations. As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Elyachar Center at Ben Gurion University, part of i-core’s “Da’at Hamakom” Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World, my research project for the academic year 2014-2015 is the evolution of mapping, directionality and emplacement in the science and practice of geography. Specifically I am investigating the incorporation of soundscapes and other methods for saturating mapping the confluence of different forms of information such as audio and spatial mapping. I am also interested in the conceptual, mythical and spiritual layers of representing spaces – from the abstract issues of extension and void to the concrete lived-in space and directionality. At present I teach courses in History of Science and … Read More

Dr. Dvir Tzur

Currently I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University. My PhD dissertation, completed in 2012 at the Hebrew University under the supervision of Professor Hannan Hever and Professor Sidra Ezrahi, deals with the poetics of home and the field in S. Yizhar’s (Yizhar Smilansky’s) novels “Preliminaries” and “Zalhavim”. My current research seeks to see how contemporary Israeli authors used representations of ancient Jewish Mysticism as a tool for border crossing. Novels such as “Life as a Fable” By Pinhas Sadeh, “Summer in the Street of the Prophets” by David Shahar, “Adam Resurrected” by Yoram Kaniuk, “And moon in the Valley of Ajalon” by Amalia Kahana Carmon, and “Mr. Mani” by A.B. Yehoshua all make vast use of references to Jewish mysticism from different periods in order to delineate the border and at the same time to create a possibility of blurring and erasing it. The use of mysticism thus becomes an existential-personal tool which bears ideological and political meanings and consequences. It raises the question of borders in a place where the border is not clearly marked, and offers new ways of identity construction in a complex reality.

Dr. Oded Porat

Oded’s PhD dissertation was carried out at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Emeritus Yehuda Liebes and Prof. Haviva Pedaya. It dealt with Sefer Ma’ayan haHokhmah (‘Book of the Fountain of Wisdom’). This anonymous and condensed treatise of six pages is a unique mystical guidebook in which the acts of mystical study and inquiry, as well as the discussions in the nature of metaphysical elements, the divine lights and phonetic creativity, and the image of the circle as a source and its establishment by the act of ‘Tikkun’, are schemed into complete theosophical creative structures, as introspection processes and linguistic creativeness. This book was printed by him along with the rest of the Iyyun literature, some 26 anonymous writings from the first kabbalists in Languedoc after the turn of the middle third of the 13th century. Oded spent one year prior to his MA studies researching Hebrew manuscripts at the National Library dealing with the various versions of Sefer Brit haMnuha (‘Book of Covenant of Serenity’), an anonymous kabbalistic treatise from the end of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th. His introspections in this book are to be printed soon in a critical annotated edition with … Read More

Dr. Michal Ohana

Postdoctoral scholarship recipient within the framework of “Da’at HaMakom”, hosted by Prof. Zvi Zohar. I completed my BA degree in “Sephardic and Mizrahi studies” at Bar-Ilan University. Both my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation were written at the Department of Jewish History, also at Bar-Ilan University, and focused on Jewish Philosophy in Morocco and in the Ottoman Empire after the Spanish expulsion. The dissertation was entitled “The Philosophy of Rabbi Shaul Shmuel Serero”. Serero was the rabbi of Fez, Morocco, during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In the framework of “Da’at HaMakom”, I examine the philosophy of Rabbi Chaim Bliih (1832- 1919), one of the first Maskilim among the Jews of Algeria, who served as the Rabbi of Tlemcen in western Algeria. I examine his thought – the philosophy he presented, his sources and the methods that he used- in the context of his time and the place he was acted. In addition, I am working with Prof. Zvi Zohar in examining the Halakhic creativity of the local rabbis of Algeria in response to the changes which occurred in the modern era, from the period since the French occupation of Algeria in 1830 and up until 1962 when the French rule ended.

Jonathan Matthews

My current topic of interest concerns the cultural and political relations between the colonial world and Europe during the 19th and the 20th centuries. The thesis deals with the exchange of letters between Albert Einstein and prominent Indian political and cultural figures such as Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore. This correspondence reveals much about the attitude and approach of Einstein, and perhaps more generally the attitude of German-Jewish exiled intellectuals, to the Indian and imperialist question in the times of turmoil and world war, as well as colonial approaches to the ongoing events and questions of the time such as Zionism. I have reached this topic while working as a research assistant for Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi, which included reading in the Albert Einstein archives in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Other topics which interest me are the multiplicity of identities and memories in the British imperial sphere. This includes the involvement of minorities and the smaller British nations (Welsh, Scottish, Irish, British Jews etc.) in the colonial project, as well as the involvement of the colonised peoples (such as Indians, Arabs, Palestine Jews etc.) in the imperial bureaucracy and military. My thesis for the Hebrew University School of History excellence program … Read More

Dr. Samuel Barnai

Samuel Barnai received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation is titled “Soviet Jewry in the Post-Stalin Era, 1953-1964″ (under the supervision of Prof. Eli Lederhendler, Prof. Yaakov Ro’i, and the late Prof. Jonathan Frankel). He served as George L. Mosse Program Fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) in 2009-2011. Samuel is a postdoctoral fellow at The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2013. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the European Forum at the Hebrew University. As part of his I-CORE Daat-Hamakom project, Samuel is studying Sholom Aleichem’s city of Kyiv. Dr. Barnai’s research interests include: Soviet Jewry; modern Jewish history; nationalism and transnationalism; migration; East and Central European history; Russian/Soviet history; social history.

Sharon Katz

I am a first year Ph.D candidate at the department of Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I completed both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. My Master’s thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld, dealt with the evolution of David Avidan’s poetry, specifically- a growing tendency towards the abstract from his early works until the poems he published in 1968, which marked a clear affinity for avant-garde poetic movements of the early 20th Century and were set against norms of the Concrete Poetry of the 1950s and the 1960s. I used a conceptualization of the abstract as a particular experience aimed to trigger an active “resonance” of the poetic material in the reader’s perception. The abstract emerges from this study as an analytical tool as well as a bridge between distant and somewhat contradictory sources of influence on the poet’s work. For my Ph.D dissertation, again under the supervision and guidance of Prof. Hirschfeld, I am studying literary representations of Israeli development towns, evident in works by authors such as Amos Oz, Shimon Adaf, Kobi Ovadia, Moshe Ohayon, Kobi Oz, Sara Shilo, Haviva Pedaya and Batya Gur. The goal of this research is an analysis of … Read More

Dikla Rivlin Katz

Dikla Rivlin Katz is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the department of History of the Jewish People and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a research fellow at the ZFA Berlin. She is writing her dissertation on local Jewish identity in Palestine from the end of the Ottoman era until 1967, under the title “From the Ottoman to Israeli space: National consciousness and spatial identity of Eliyahu Eliachar“ under the supervision of Dr. Dimitry Shumsky. Dikla is a research fellow research fellow at Mandel Scholion Center and of DAAT HAMAKOM. Dikla completed her undergraduate studies in Jewish History and international relations and graduated as magna cum laude a Master’s degree in Contemporary Jewry (2014), both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She wrote her MA thesis on Continuity and Change in the image of the Arab-Palestinian in Israeli society, in order to examine changes in identity in Israeli society during the period between the First Lebanon War to the Oslo process. For this work she received an award from the “Yad Ben Zvi” Institute, and a scholarship as a research fellow at the “Cherrick Center for the study of Zionism” and at the department of History of the … Read More

Oriel Rosenberg

As I study for my bachelor’s degree in Law and Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I also work as a research and teaching assistant for the department of communication as well as an assistant in the faculty of Law as an associate in a legal journal. As a part of my work in “Da’at Hamakom”, I assist in the research conducted by Prof. Menahem Blondheim and Prof. Elihu Katz focusing on “Diasporic Communication”, and in particular, the existence of these ways of communication in the Book of Esther and the Jewish Diaspora. Diasporic Communication is a field analyzing the way minorities and immigrants shape their identity and collective consciousness in regards to their alienated Diasporic surrounding, through communication taking place via unique rituals and practices and the adoption of varying world views. This consciousness may cause the exiled individual to feel alienated or oppose their foreign surroundings, and yet it may encourage them to assimilate within the environment or accept their circumstances. The Book of Esther shows several examples of this kind of communication. The Book itself is rife with gender, religious, state and national communication networks as well as various means of communication which describe the way … Read More

Dr. Oryan Shachar

Postdoctoral scholarship recipient within the framework of “Da’at Hamakon” –Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World, hosted by Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. I am an architect, graduate of Bezalel (2002). I completed my Masters and Doctoral studies at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technion (2012). My doctorate dissertation engages in modern architectures and urban communities that developed in Hatzor HaGlilit between the 50s and 70s of the 20th century. Within this framework, I explored the encounter between processes of creating local, communal and national identity and expressions of planning and architectural deeds. The research exposed the existence of the local past in the settlement present and the way in which each community and each architectural stratum turns toward a different image of the past embodied in the expanse and adapts it as an engine and a narrative. In the past, I was a postdoctoral scholarship recipient at the Yad Ben-Zvi Institute and within that framework I am currently completing editing a book based on my doctoral dissertation. Today I engage in the research of the history of architectural preservation in Israel and investigate the changing attitude to the local history and its spatial embodiment by means of architectural … Read More

Dr. Vered Madar

A Folklore post-doctoral researcher at “Da’at Hamakom”: Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. My doctoral thesis (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2011), titled “Yemenite Women’s Songs for the Parturient and Their Laments over the Dead: Text, Body and Voice”, introduced a comprehensive study of orally-transmitted songs of Jewish Yemenite women in their ritual and cultural context. My discussion focused on the perceptions of the female body in the songs and the laments. In addition, the study examined the establishment of women’s vocal community and its therapeutic powers. My current post-doctoral research is titled “Memoirs: The Return to a Place”, focusing on memory and place in the memoirs of Jewish men and women from Yemen. The questions in the center of the study discuss the relationships between autobiographical writing and historical writing, as well as the transition from oral culture to a written product which creates an “oral text”. The majority of the memoirs I study have been published in Israel during the last three decades. Due to the fact that these books are written today but deal with the past, they strongly reflect the dialogue the authors and the community as a … Read More

Dr. Yael Sela Teichler

Yael Sela Teichler has recently been appointed Lecturer of Musicology at the Open University of Israel. She is affiliated with the research group on the History of Emotions in European Music at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where she has previously been a postdoctoral research fellow (2011-2013). Since the completion of her dissertation in historical musicology at the University of Oxford in 2010, she has held research fellowships also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation was concerned with the emergence of secular keyboard music as a domestic practice in the late sixteenth century and its association with female domesticity. Focusing on women’s private music-pedagogical manuscripts as material objects, it explored the significance of scribal practices, patronage, and manuscript culture in constructing and articulating cultural and religious identities, gender roles, and social order among the Protestant gentry. Her current research pertains to music as a mode of cultural participation, negotiation, and experience in German Jewish Enlightenment between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Berlin and Vienna. Incorporating German Jewish cultural and intellectual history, she explores the … Read More

Yuval Rivlin

Lives in Jerusalem. Graduate of Beit Morasha in Jerusalem on the track for rabbinical ordination. Undergraduate B.A. Studies at The Open University, in the subjects of Literature and History, Master’s Degree Studies at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Research track, Jewish History. Currently writing his PhD study under the guidance of Prof. Richard I. Cohen and Dr. Ilan Avisar on the subject: “Traditional and Modern Identity in the Films by Jewish Immigrants to Hollywood” (1933 – 1942). Teaches History and film at a variety of institutes including The Herzog College; The Yaacov Herzog Center for Jewish Studies; The Schechter Institute in Jerusalem Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts and The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

Hila Shalem Baharad

Hila Shalem Baharad is a doctoral student at the Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry in the department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is writing her dissertation on inter-ethnic relations among immigrants in the Israeli transit camps, under the supervision of Dr. Anat Helman and Prof. Uzi Rebhun. She completed her undergraduate studies with Honors in the Jewish History Department at the Open University, and completed her master’s thesis with honors from the Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her thesis on “Changes in Ethnic Consciousness of Sephardic Jews after Life in Israeli Transit Camps” under the supervision of Prof. Hagit Lavsky and Dr. Haim Saadon received numerous awards such as the David S’hare scholarship, World Sephardi Federation’s scholarship, and a prize from the Ben Zvi Institute for the study of Jewish communities in the East. In 2013 Hila established the Doctoral Forum at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry. The forum provides an opportunity for doctoral students to share ideas and receive guidance. The forum functions with the support and guidance of the head of the institute, Prof. Uzi Rebhun, and his instructors. Hila is a fellow of the Herzl Fellowship of the … Read More

Avital Lahav

Born in kibbutz Merhavia in 1979 and currently living in Kibbutz Regavim, I received my BA in General and Jewish History and my MA in general History, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I am writing a Phd Thesis under the guidance of Prof. Dror Wahrman. I also work as a Journalist, covering Israeli government economic policy for the news site YNET. My Phd Thesis deals with the roots of modern city planning, which I locate in the royal courts of 17th century English monarchs. I analyze the ways in which city planning, especially that of London, served as a means of centralizing authority within the court mechanism. City planning helped royalists to deal with the claims for autonomy raised by other pressure groups in the kingdom, namely the citizens of the free city of London. Through such analysis I am aiming at a better clarification of the relations between the rise of the absolutist monarchy and the modern city. My MA Thesis dealt with the plans for rebuilding London after the great fire of 1666. In this work I attempted to establish a direct connection between architectural tendencies and the struggle for re-assertion of monarchic authority during the restoration.

Dr. Josef Sprinzak

My work is a dialogue between my artistic work and my academic research in the field of voice, sound and performance art. I studied computer science and completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1987, 1990). I then decided to turn to art and studied theater and performance art in the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem (1993). After completing my theater studies I pursued a career as a vocal performance artist. I create works of Sound Poetry, a medium situated between poetry, music and performance art that investigate the borderline between sound and the spoken word. I perform in various contexts of music, visual art and theater in Israel and abroad, and some of my work has been published on audio CD. Parallel to my artistic work I also started to conduct academic research about the voice as an interdisciplinary medium. At Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, I wrote my PhD thesis entitled “Text-Sound Art: Speech with Source and Temporality Disturbances in Avant-Garde and Intermedial Vocal Art”. It was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Haviva Pedaya (Ben-Gurion University) and Prof. Eitan Steinberg (Haifa University). In my thesis I proposed a model that characterizes the unique poetics … Read More

Dr. Yael Eylat van-Essen

My research activity includes both theory and practice. I completed undergraduate studies at the Art Department of the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, and I have a Master’s degree from the Art faculty of Tel-Aviv University (2004). My PhD thesis, entitled “The Museum as a Hybrid Space – Between the Virtual and the Real”, was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Freddie Rokem at Tel-Aviv University and approved in 2011. For the last two years I have been curator of the Research Gallery of the Master’s Program at the Design Faculty at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) and also work as an independent curator. Most of the exhibitions I curate are located at the intersection of art/design, science and technology, which is my academic field of specialization. Currently, I am nearing the completion of a book based on my PhD dissertation. The book will suggest seeing many of the changes taking place in contemporary museums as a result of paradigmatic cultural shifts deriving from the use of new technologies. The book offers a critical reading of the institution of the museum based on the analysis of basic related concepts and investigation of the meanings derived from them in the … Read More

Dr. Gali Drucker Bar-Am

I am a scholar of modern Yiddish culture, studying its contribution to the formation of modern and post-WWII Jewish and Israeli (subjective and collective) identities. My work closely interacts with wider studies of the modern experience, most notably studies of migration and exile cultures, of genocide and trauma, and of the emergence of modern ideologies and political movements and their influence upon the collective ethos of place, space, tradition and memory. Yiddish sources open up new perspectives on these processes by virtue of their typical expression of the misalignment between language, cultural identity and sovereign civic and political spaces characteristic of the experiences of Yiddish-speaking communities worldwide. These sources invite a reconsideration of accepted views about modern, personal and collective senses of ‘belonging,’ social mobility and displacement experiences. In this sense, I use Yiddish studies as a platform from which to reassess and expand modern Jewish cultural history. My I-CORE Daat Hamakom project examines Holocaust memorial books (Yizker bikher) and their paradoxical role as expressions of the rising Zionist sentiment amongst their various authors and editors. I am currently completing a monograph describing this phenomenon as well as working on a digital map providing easy interactive accesses to some of my … Read More

Moshe Cohen

BS”d Doctoral research topic: “Looketh toward Damascus” Archives of the Jewish-Damascene community in Argentina, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. A study of manuscripts from the community’s archives. Moderator: Prof. Zvi Zohar Since the independence of Argentina from the Spanish Empire in the 19th century, the young state was characterized by a policy of encouraging migration by providing special benefits for absorption of different populations and for settling and cultivating the vast areas within its borders. The massive migration bells sounded throughout the world and were heard also by many Jewish people who felt that this was an opportunity for them to begin a new life. Upon their arrival in Argentina, those Jews organized into communities by their origin in order to ease the process of absorption, and to preserve the culture and identity which they brought with them. In our study we deal with the special characteristics of the Jewish community from Damascus, Syria, by studying the community’s archives in Argentina. In choosing the subject of this study, we address the meaning of the term “place” and its space for these migrants, from human perspectives in general and from Jewish perspectives in particular. The Jews … Read More

Netta Cohen

Graduated in 2009 from the department of History at Tel Aviv University, and in 2013, obtained her M.A. degree in History (summa cum laude) at TA University as well. Her thesis project examined the environmental and climatic perceptions of Jewish architects in Palestine between the years 1909-1948 and the ways these informed their professional practice. Netta is interested in environmental history, colonial history and history of expertise and has a particular interest in the transfer of cultural knowledge and identities from Central Europe, and especially Germany, to Palestine (later the State of Israel) during the late 19th century and the 20th century. As a fellow of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem she is currently participating in two of the center’s projects. Since January 2014 Netta has been taking part in the research and arrangement of Heinrich Mendelssohn’s estate in the Historical Archives of Tel Aviv University, a collaborative project of the German Literature Archive in Marbach (Germany) and the Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center. Fascinated by the archival material found in Mendelssohn’s collection, she has begun to examine together with Ray Schrire the multifold relations between environmental and national ideas in Israel during 1950-1970. The … Read More

Omri Shafer Raviv

I am a PhD student in the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My main field is the history of Zionism, the Yishuv and the state of Israel, and the history of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Research summary: In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, over a million Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza strip found themselves under Israeli occupation. This occupation, which has proven to be a long-lasting and stable regime, came into being very rapidly, as within a few weeks Israel established firm and pervasive control over a large and hostile population. Long-term plans and vision statements appeared within months, resulting, within just a few years, in substantial changes in Palestinian daily life. In my dissertation I am using historical research tools to study the planning and management actions of the first few years of Israeli administration in the Occupied Territories, as carried out by existing Israeli state ministries, the newly established military government and various state-related organizations (e.g., the Jewish Agency). Together, they created the Israeli administration in the Occupied Territories which employed experts, bureaucrats, military personnel, and academics and assumed responsibility for all aspects of civil life, … Read More

Dr. Eliezer Baumgarten

I focus on intellectual history of Kabbala and visualization of kabbalistic knowledge in the early modern period. I completed my Ph.D in Jewish thought at Ben-Gurion University under the guidance of Prof. Boas Huss. In my Ph.D dissertation, which is about Kabbalah in the circle of the Vilna Gaon, I tried to prove that kabbalistic writing must be read as rooted in a specific social and political context of the place where it was written. Kabbalistic language is defined by society as a ‘different’ type of language, which deals with theological issues only. As so, it is free of time and place. In my research, I tried to find local context to kabbalistic activity, and show that the interpretations kabbalists give Kabbalah writings enables a political and social discourse. As a continuation of my research, I worked on kabbalistic commentary in the early modern age in other areas such as Ashkenaz in the 17th century, as well as in addition to Italy and South Africa in the beginning of the 18th century. Furthermore, I am taking part in the ‘Ilanot Project’ [ ] under the guidance of Dr. Yossi Chajes in the department of Jewish History at Haifa University. … Read More

Adi Livny

I am currently a PhD student in the department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I completed my Master’s degree (2013) in the department of Political Science at the Hebrew University, during which I also studied at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Germany. My research interests combine Israeli political history and sociology of Mandatory Palestine and the state of Israel in its early decades, as well as comparative and institutional history. I am interested in particular in the forms in which ethos or ideology are translated into practices and policy. My Master’s Thesis, “Conscientious Objection and the State: between Confrontation and Recognition,” written under the guidance of Prof. Yfaat Weiss and Dr. Iddo Nevo, examined how three states with mandatory conscription – Israel, The Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland, dealt with the policy challenge raised by conscientious objectors to military service in the course of the second half of the twentieth century. I argued that the treatment of COs reflects the political culture and the position of the army in each of these states rather than their objective security concerns. Current Project My dissertation project (written under the supervision of Prof. Yfaat Weiss) touches on … Read More

Dr. Diego Rotman

Theatre Studies Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem. Curator at Mamuta Art and Research Center. Born in Buenos Aires and receiving a full Hebrew school education there, I completed my academic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After a first and second degree in Yiddish Studies and in Jewish and Comparative Folklore (2005), I completed my Master’s thesis, Yiddish Theater in the State of Israel (1948-2003), under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Prof. Yechiel Sheintuch. In 2013 I completed my Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Prof. Yechiel Scheintuch my dissertation “Performance as Cultural Critique: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927-1980)”.  Both my M.A. thesis and doctoral dissertation relate to the critical role of art in society in relation to Jewish identity, Zionism and language politics in Israel. My work draws out the dialogical relationship between modern Hebrew culture and Yiddish culture as reflected in the discourse on Yiddish theater and drama in the State of Israel between 1948 and 2003, and specifically in the political satire of the two most important Yiddish comedians Shimen Dzigan (1950-1980) and Isroel Shumacher (1908- 1961). My book, The Stage as a Temporary … Read More

Dr. Ruthie Abeliovich

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Broadly stated, I study the aural and sonic aspects of theatre and performances-art. My PhD, received in 2012 from Tel Aviv University, titled “Voice, Identity, Presence: The Rhetoric of Ventriloquism in Contemporary Women’s Voice Art,” presents a comprehensive study of the theatrical and cultural concept of ventriloquism, and its appliance as representation principle in significant performances of women voice artists. My current postdoctoral project, titled: “Soundscapes of the Hebrew Theatre,” focuses on an audio archive of dramatic productions from the early repertoire of Habima theatre. These recordings reveal Habima’s performances as saturated with a variety of musical forms from which this study will attempt to recapture the “soundscapes” embedded in these recordings, and examine how the aural dimensions of these performances stimulated the audience’s imagination and charged it with collective images. The interpretive proposition of the research concentrates on the tenuous relationship obtaining among the idiosyncratic attributes of the actors vocalic timbres and pronunciation styles (for example: accent, speech cadence, diction, intonation), the sonic values of the performance (such as melody, height of notes, rhythm, tempo, and … Read More

Rebekka Grossmann

My PhD research deals with the emergence of a Jewish “National Optics” in Eretz Israel between 1920 and 1960, and the impact of visual material on the awareness of the Jewish state in the making. In particular I am interested in the ways the imagination of the Jewish national landscape was constituted through Zionist imagery abroad. I will look at films and photographs that were made in Israel by artists from different backgrounds and with different purposes, and that were exported to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences in Europe and North America, as part of the Zionist propaganda effort.  The different origins of the artists resulted in a varied depiction of the industrial, cultural and social development in the Yishuv. Moreover, Jewish Palestine was envisioned and framed in conspicuously different ways to match the respective expectations, hopes and fears of the different target audiences. I argue that the Yishuv’s emerging national optics served not only as a means of ideological edification in the Zionist world but also as a signifier for an emerging new transnational political entity that communicated with its partners and observers around the globe through pictures and symbols, no less than through the written and spoken word. My … Read More

Dr. Assaf Shelleg

Assaf Shelleg (Hebrew: אסף שלג‎), an Israeli musicologist and pianist, a senior lecturer of musicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was previously the Schusterman Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology and Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia (2011–14), and had taught prior to that as the visiting Efroymson Scholar in the Jewish, Islamic & Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at Washington University in St. Louis (2009–11). Shelleg specializes in twentieth-century Jewish and Israeli art musics and has published in some of the leading journals in both musicology and Israel Studies on topics ranging from the historiography of modern Jewish art music to the theological networks of Israeli art music. Shelleg’s book, Jewish Contiguities and the Soundtrack of Israeli History, appeared in November 2014 with Oxford University Press. The book studies the emergence of modern Jewish art music in central and Western Europe (1910s-1930s) and its translocation to Palestine/Israel (1930s-1970s), exposing the legacies of European antisemitism and religious Judaism in the making of Israeli art music. Moving to consider the dislocation of modern Jewish art music the book examines the paradoxes embedded in a Zionist national culture whose rhetoric negated its pasts, only to mask process of hybridizations enchained by older legacies. Jewish Contiguities has … Read More

Hili Ratzon

I am currently a preliminary research student at the department of Communications and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My thesis examines the unorthodox uses of social networks among Pagans and their effect on creation of new religious patterns and construction of identity. Other current projects on which I am working focus on forms of communication with deities in Paganism and Judaism, their reasons and the differences between them. The main research interests I pursue include Contemporary Paganism, Religion and Communication, Witchcraft, Social Networks, New Media and Identity Construction, Ritualistic Art and Leisure. Conference Presentations December 2013: “The Crone and the Web: Self-image and coping with loneliness among senior pagan women in social networks” (In Hebrew), Presented at the Israeli Society for History & Philosophy of Science, Fourteenth Annual Conference, Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem. September 2013: “Creating handmade wands as serious leisure among witches in deviantART”, Presented at Congresso da Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia, University of Tras-os-Montes and, Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal. May 2013:  “Art serving as a tool in the invention of tradition among the Israeli pagans”, Presented at the “5th Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Religion and Spirituality, Tel Aviv University.  

Yonatan Fialkoff

Biographical Note I was born in Jerusalem, where I continue to live, study, teach and work. A graduate of the Hebrew University, I hold a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Communications and a master’s degree in Communications. I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University, researching the concepts and practices associated with “communication skills.” Apart from my doctoral research, I work as a teaching assistant in several courses for MA and doctoral students. Outside the University, I teach a weekly Talmud class in the “Kloyze” night program at the Yakar Beit Midrash. In addition, I am an origami artist (my studio is located at the “Designers in the City” complex on Bezalel Street). Currently, I am also co-writing a script for a full-length film titled Co-production. Current Project Together with Prof. Menahem Blondheim, I am studying the uses and conceptualization of the telegraph by Jews of the 19th century. In mapping the profile of the individuals who used the new medium and analyzing the ways in which they perceived this new and “miraculous” medium, we seek to understand how the telegraph influenced concepts of communal relationships in an era in which the experience of time and place underwent … Read More

Zohar Elmakias

I am a second-year MA student at the Cultural Studies Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where I work on historical and contemporary spaces in the the Middle East.  Prior to conducting my studies at the Hebrew University, I completed my BFA in Film at Tel Aviv University. For my final project, I directed a short documentary film, “Duties of the Heart” (2012), a portrait of a young poet.  My MA research project seeks to explore the cultural evolution of a peculiar site in Jaffa: the Station (“Hatachana” in Hebrew). The first train station built in what is present-day Israel in 1892, the Station witnessed dramatic transformations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Located at the elusive crossroad of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, the renewed Station plays a key role in the long and contested relationship between the two cities.

Dr. Nili Belkind

I grew up in Israel but have spent my adult life in the United States. After many years of working in the music industry as an album producer, Artists & Repertoire executive, record label executive and artists manager specializing in world music, I returned to school (Columbia University) to obtain my PhD in ethnomusicology. Much of my work in the music industry centered on Caribbean music genres, and my MA thesis focused on the lives and music of prominent Haitian artists living in diaspora. My PhD dissertation brought me back to Israel-Palestine after decades of living abroad. Based on 18 months of fieldwork in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the dissertation is an ethnography of music making and its cultural meanings in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dissertation highlights musical renderings of discourses of co-existence, discourses of resistance and projects of nation making. It also explores forms of expressive culture that ‘live’ in the blurry boundaries and border zones where fixed ethno-national categories align with neither physical spaces nor individual identities. My fieldwork was supported by grants from Columbia University and the Palestinian American Research Center, and my dissertation write-up was funded by a Whiting Foundation grant. … Read More

Dr. Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan

Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. His research interests include: Russian literature and intellectual history, Hebrew literature, literature and history, transnationalism and narratives of immigration. Rafi is the author of two books: Y.H. Brenner and Russian Literature (Bialik Institute, 2013), and Wandering Heroes, Committed Writers: Nihilists and Nihilism in Russian Literature (Van Leer/Hakibutz Hameuhad, forthcoming in 2015). Rafi will be a teaching fellow at the Russian Studies Program at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the academic year of 2014-2015.

Dr. Levi Cooper

I was born in Melbourne, Australia. I have completed an LL.B. and an LL.M. and qualified for the Israel Bar Association. As a legal historian, my research focuses on Jewish law in the late modern period. In particular, I am interested in Jewish law in the Hasidic milieu. My doctoral work focused on the legal writings of Hasidic masters, in particular Rabbi Hayim Elazar Shapira of Munkatch. I have just completed two years of a post-doctoral fellowship in Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law where I explored the legal writings of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady. In 2014-15 I will be a post-doctoral fellow in Tel-Aviv University’s Faculty of Law, where I will explore the interface between Jewish law and Hasidic lore, including tales, practices, and customs. I lecture in Jewish law at Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law, and at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem.

Ray Schrire

Biographical Note I have completed my undergraduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Philosophy Department and in the Honors Program for Students in History. I am currently completing my M.A at the History Department and writing my master thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dror Wahrman on changes in thought on the threshold of Modernity. I am also affiliated with the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center and am taking part in the research and organization of the Heinrich Mendelssohn collection as part of the joint project of the Rosenzweig Center and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, center. In addition, I serve as a teaching instructor for a methodological course in the History Department. I have recently researched the “exile” of Weimar Republic artists through the analysis of their self-portraits, and the semantics of the restitution proceedings of Jewish cultural goods. Current Project I am investigating the multifold interactions between environmental and national ideas and actions in the two different ecologies of Germany and Israel in the 20th century. As part of the joint project of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center and the Deutsches Literaturarchive Marbach, and together with Itamar Manoff and Netta Cohen from Tel Aviv University, I am … Read More

Bilha Shilo

My master thesis, under the guidance of Professor Yfaat Weiss, explores the process of the restoration of the YIVO in Vilna and the restitution of its ownership from Offenbach to YIVO New York after the Second World War. Tracing the efforts to rescue the largest Jewish research institute in Eastern Europe – YIVO – during the Holocaust and its aftermath, reveals an important yet neglected chapter in the history of the institute, sheds light on the power struggle that emerged between the Jewish organizations and institutes, and exposes the tension that prevailed between the two biggest Jewish centers after the Holocaust. The significant demographic changes that the Jewish people underwent during the first half of the 20th century, and the consequent trauma, caused the Jewish institutions to struggle over the Jewish cultural assets that the Germans had robbed and that survived the war. This struggle had not only legal and economic aspects, but also political, cultural, social and national ones. My interest is in the particular history of independent organizations and institutions that acted autonomously in order to retrieve their assets. I examine the process of restitution and its impact from the specific point of view of the institutions, as … Read More

Miriam Szamet

Miriam Szamet is currently a third year doctoral student in the department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is writing her dissertation on the cultural transfer of pedagogy during the British Mandate of Palestine under the supervision of Prof. Yfaat Weiss. Szamet completed her undergraduate studies with Honors in History (2008) and graduated with a Master’s degree in Contemporary Jewry (2010) under the supervision of Prof. Eli Lederhandler, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She wrote her MA thesis on the life and work of Zionist feminist Puah Rakovsky, for which she received awards from the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry, Beit Shalom Aleichem and the Leifer Center for Women and Gender Studies. She has spent the last three years as a research fellow for the Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center and was a member of the research group, “Eros, Community and Family.” She is also the recipient of the Hebrew University President’s Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Students (2011-2015). Szamet’s dissertation is entitled, “Immigration and Education: Pedagogues and the Pedagogical Discourse in Mandatory Palestine, 1918-1948”. Her work explores the education discourse of the Jewish Yishuv by tracing its cultural roots to … Read More

Dr. Zef Segal

Biographical Note I completed undergraduate studies in the Humanities Department at the Open University (2003) and Mathematics at Tel Aviv University (2005). I graduated from Tel Aviv University Department of Philosophy (2005) and Mathematics (2008). My PhD thesis, conducted at Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Shulamit Volkov and approved in 2013, deals with the formation of five medium sized German states (Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, Wurttemberg and Baden) in the years 1815 – 1866. Through spatial analysis of their infrastructures, deconstruction of their cartographic depictions and statistical analysis of communication flows, I restructured the territorial reality of the nineteenth century German world. Since I finished my doctorate, I have been a post doctoral fellow at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University (2013-2014) and a post doctoral fellow at the Department of General History and Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History at Haifa University (2013-2014). At Truman institute my research focused on the connection between communication flows and the deterritorialization process of sovereign states, i.e. secessions and unifications. At Haifa University my research project was the analysis of cartographic depictions of new sovereign states in the years 1800-1939, in order to … Read More

Daniel S. Gross

Biographical Note Born in Denver, Colorado, I moved with my family to Israel in 1987 at the age of five. I have lived in the Jerusalem area ever since. I received my BA in International Relations and History and MA in History, both at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I wrote my master’s thesis under the guidance of Prof. Eli Lederhendler. For my thesis entitled “Israel Zangwill’s Territorialism: American sources and influences” (Heb.), I was granted the 2009/10 Moshe Davis z”l and Lottie Keisar Davis Scholarship in America-Israel Studies. Always interested in Israel-Diaspora relations, I have helped to co-initiate an international academic seminar at the Hebrew University: “Ethiopia and Ethiopians, Yesterday to Today – 1991 to 2011: A Two Day Symposium on Regime Change and Operation Solomon,” co-sponsored by The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry. In addition, I have recently worked as a program coordinator assistant for a symposium on Taglit-Birthright Israel, co-organized by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, and the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry. I have also worked as a research assistant for numerous scholars, as well as an administrative … Read More

Dr. Giddon Ticotsky

Biographical note I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University. I completed undergraduate studies at Tel Aviv University’s Departments of Hebrew Literature and French Language and Literature (2004), and graduated from the Hebrew University’s Department of Hebrew Literature (2006). My PhD thesis, conducted at Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Michael Gluzman and approved in 2014, deals with the Israeli poetess Dalia Ravikovitch (1936-2005), one of the most prominent figures in modern Hebrew literature and poetry. Current project My current research, A German Island in Israel: Lea Goldberg and Tuvia Rübner’s Correspondence, seeks to sketch the intellectual world of two leading Hebrew European poets through their recently discovered extensive correspondence. Beyond the significant biographical revelations offered by their letters, their correspondence sheds light on the complexities involved in two poets’ position as European artists in the nascent Israeli culture (mainly during the years 1949-1969). Goldberg and Rübner are actually migrants from the geographic periphery of German culture who sought to reconstruct something of its intellectual center in the temporally and spatially distant province of postwar Israel. In their literary work, the two built bridges between the two cultures at a … Read More

Dr. Enrico Lucca

Biographical Note I was born in Como (Italy, 1983). I studied Philosophy, History, and Literature at the University of Milan. I obtained my M.A. in 2007 with a thesis on Edmond Jabès. From 2009 to 2011 I worked on a doctoral project dedicated to messianism and secularization in Gershom Scholem’s work. During my doctorate I spent nine months as a visiting research student at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and six months as a visiting research fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University. Since 2012 I have been affiliated to the Franz Rosenzweig Center first as a doctoral research fellow and then as a postdoctoral researcher. Among others, I have been awarded grants from DAAD, The German Academic Exchange Service (Summer 2008 and Autumn 2013), the Posen Foundation (Summer Fellowship 2011), the Vittoria Corinaldi Research Scholarship (2013), and the Olga and William Lakritz Prize in Martin Buber studies (2014). I have been lecturing on German-Jewish thinkers and Italian Literature at the University of Milan and at the Hebrew University. Current project My current research aims to explore the multiple dimensions of the biography and work of Shmuel Hugo Bergman (1883-1975), and elucidate … Read More

Peter Tietze

My proposed research project examines the contemplation of the German concept of Heimat by Jewish intellectuals and artists who were in exile between the years 1933 and 1945. Loosely translated as “homeland,” the notion of Heimat traditionally embeds an organic territory, a landscape which gives rise to the unique characteristics of the national community. Based on generic representations of the local place as a metaphor for the imagined nation, Heimat iconography was a vital component in the formation of modern German national identity. In its emphasis on homogeneous authenticity, however, this concept had often appeared to undermine the fundamentals of assimilation. Despite and perhaps because of this tension Heimat had become a vital trope in the literature and visual art of German-speaking Jews. In focusing on the visual aspects of Heimat-culture, my research will analyze the utilization of generic Heimat imagery in the works of Jewish émigrés. The focus on their participation in and criticism of the production of Heimat imagery would highlight two hitherto understudied phenomena. First, it would explore how the artistic contemplation of place enabled men and women of Jewish ancestry to play a significant role in the German national identity discourse both before 1933 and after … Read More

Yonatan Shiloh-Dayan

A Phd student at the Department for Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I completed my bachelor’s degree in musicology and philosophy and my master’s degree in German studies at the Hebrew University as well. During my master’s I had the privilege to spend an academic year in Berlin, where I undertook archival research as a part of my thesis project. My main scholarly interests lay within the fields of intellectual and political history of the 20th century, focusing on processes of transfer of cultural knowledge, traditions and political practices from Central Europe to Palestine and later Israel, as an outcome of the great exodus. My thesis (2014): “Today and Tomorrow, Here and There: the Central-European leftist Intellectual’s periodical in Palestine, 1943-1945”, written under the instruction of Prof. Yfaat Weiss, examined the cultural and political activities and undertakings of German speaking left-wind intellectuals in Palestine. They regarded themselves as exiles in a foreign land. My dissertation project, still in the state of consolidation, will focus on Prof. Walter Grab, an emigrate Israeli historian with a Viennese background, who dedicated much of his scholarly work to the study of German democratic traditions following the French Revolution … Read More

Sebastian Schirrmeister

Biographical note After my volunteer service in Tel Aviv in 2004/2005, I studied Jewish Studies, German Literature and German as a Foreign Language at Potsdam University. In the course of the studies I participated in an academic exchange program with Haifa University and studied there for one year. When I received my M.A. in 2011 I started to work as an assistant to Prof. Dr. Doerte Bischoff in the Department of German Language and Literature and the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for German Literature in Exile at Hamburg University. In 2013 I received the Joseph Carlebach Prize for the publication of my M.A. thesis on the German-Jewish Aliyah and the Hebrew Theater in Palestine. Since January 2014, I have been a doctoral fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My PhD project “Encounters in another place” (working title) is situated at the crossroads of German and Israeli literature studies and seeks to engage in a ‘disciplinary dialogue’ on German prose written by Jewish writers in Palestine and Israel since 1933. These texts are not easily integrated into the narrative of any history of a national literature and have been repeatedly termed an ‘exception’ by … Read More

Dr. Stefanie Mahrer

I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University in the third year of my post-doctoral career. I studied general history and Jewish studies at Basel University and modern Jewish cultural and intellectual history at the University of Sussex. In 2011 I received my PhD from Basel University with a study of the history of Jewish watch makers in Switzerland. From 2010 to 2013 I was teaching modern Jewish History at Basel University and held the position of an academic assistant for Jewish history. In my postdoctoral project, entitled: “Salman Schocken’s Cultural Project and the Circle of German-Jewish Intellectuals in the First Half of the 20th Century” I have shifted my attention the biography of Salman Schocken, and to German-Jewish culture from a transnational perspective. I am looking at the publisher Salman Schocken and a network of German-Jewish intellectuals which developed around him and his publishing house first in Germany, later in the British Mandate of Palestine. By looking at this network I address recent issues of cultural studies: the research on cultural transfer as well as the building of networks. These questions are being applied to the group of German Jewish intellectuals … Read More

Prof. Haviva Pedaya

Haviva Pedaya – a cultural profile Haviva Pedaya is a philosopher, researcher of Judaism, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Hasidism, and is engaged in writing a mass of criticism and culture. She is also a creator in theater, music and poetry. She regularly conducts academic series and evenings of poetry and culture. She regularly writes essays and articles that gets extensive echoes. Besides her academic work in the Department of the History of Israel and her role as the Head of the J.R. Elaychar Center for Studies in Sephardi Heritage at Ben Gurion University, she is a lecturer and teaches in many institutes and at various events around the country and receives many invitations to write and teach. As a poet she is defined by the editor and translator Halit Yeshurun, in an interview by Dov Elbaum (Trans-Israel Highway), as the writer of ‘the great poetry in Israel today’; She was called by the poet and translator Jeremy Sa’ari as ‘the Emily Dickinson’ of Israeli (Poetry International Web) and by the poet and literary critic Professor Hamutal Bar Yosef as ‘one of the greatest discoveries, and most authentic mystical experience in the Israeli literature’ (Haaretz); ‘the songs of Haviva Pedaya’. The Novelist … Read More

Prof. Zvi Zohar

Chauncey Stillman Professor of Sephardic Law and Ethics, Faculty of Law Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar Ilan University Senior Scholar, Center for Halakha, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem Academic Background and Fields of Interest: As a high-school student in Israel, my attention was drawn to the existence of significant differences between the religious culture of Jews whose family originated in Islamic lands, and Jews whose family came from Europe. As time went by I surmised, that studying the written creativity of Sephardic hahamim (rabbinic scholars) in recent centuries might provide a key to understanding at least some of these differences. After completing my service in the IDF I spent almost three years studying in a Yeshiva Gevoha, and subsequently gained a B.A. in general philosophy and Jewish history. During these years I realized that neither in the ‘yeshiva world’ not in academia was there any focus on the writings of those hahamim. I decided to take this project upon myself, ultimately completed a Ph.D. at Hebrew University’s interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Jewry, in which I compared the halakhic responses to modernity of Syrian and Egyptian rabbis (analyzing topics not discussed in my M.A.). This area of research – the halakhic and ideational responses … Read More

Prof. Yfaat Weiss

Academic Background and Fields of Interest: I began my studies at Hamburg University in Germany, where I specialized in German-Jewish history. In my doctoral dissertation, written at Tel Aviv University, I investigated the reciprocal relations between German Jewry and Polish Jewry following the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany. The major issues that interested me at this stage were ethnicity, citizenship and minority rights, and these continue to occupy me. In the late 1990s, when I taught at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and between 2000 and 2007, when I served as head of the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at Haifa University, I furthered my study of civil issues and expanded it into a comparative exploration in general and into the study of Israeli society in particular. During these years I wrote primarily on the issues of the Law of Return, frontier nationalism, the status of Palestinian Israeli citizens, and spatial perspectives on Israeli history My move to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was accompanied by the expansion of my circle of scientific cooperation: two international projects funded by the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research enabled me, together with Israeli and German colleagues, … Read More

Prof. Edwin Seroussi

Academic Background and Fields of Interest and Activity: Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, I immigrated to Israel in 1971 where I studied at the Department of Musicology at the undergraduate and graduate levels continuing into my doctoral studies at the University of California Los Angeles (1981-1987). As a faculty member of the Department of Musicology at the Hebrew University, I teach ethnomusicology, world music, theory and methodology in the study of oral traditions and popular music. My research focuses on the musical cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, interactions between Jewish and Islamic cultures (specifically in art music genres) and popular music in Israel. Within these subjects I explore process of hybridization, diaspora, nationalism and transnationalism in specific contexts such as the Ottoman Empire, and the constitution of Jewish identities through music making in settings as diverse as colonial Morocco and Algeria, Germany’s Second Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the early Zionist settlement in Palestine and the Judeo-Spanish speaking diaspora. My approach to research stresses the agency of individuals in the shaping of folk and popular culture, social networks and the role of reception and consumption in the making of musical cultures. I have previously taught at the Department … Read More

Prof. Elchanan Reiner

I am a member of the Jewish History Department at Tel-Aviv University. My research covers various topics and fields of interest, among which are prominent aspects of Ashkenazic Jewish culture in the early modern period, particularly in the context of Eastern Europe. Among other themes, I have been probing the transition from writing to printing and its consequences for understanding the processes of communication, especially within the lettered elites, and the restructuring of cultural agendas. Within the realm of European Jewish history and, more broadly (with a view toward its more general implications), I also have a keen interest in the evolving modes of Jewish social existence as expressed in such phenomena as Jewish spatial concentration in particular residential quarters, which I seek to understand in its physical as well as communal ramifications. A second area of my interest lies in the religious and cultural history of the Land of Israel in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. I am deeply engaged by questions of ethnography and social anthropology as these arise in relation to sacred sites – questions that, given the issues involved, continue to resound into modern times, down to the present. One aspect of my work … Read More

Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Nono)

Portrait of Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Nono)

I teach early modern and modern Jewish history in the department of Jewish history, Ben-Gurion University, and currently serve as the chair of the department. I am a fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem institute, where I direct a working group on Orientalism, Jewish perspectives and Oriental Jewish perspectives. I am also a member of the Kollegium of the project “Europe in the Middle East, the Middle East in Europe” (EUME) that takes place at the Wissenschaftskollegzu Berlin. My studies deal with several topics: Early modern Hebrew printing and censorship; Hebraism and early modern Christian-Jewish discourse; Secularism and Orientalism; Zionist historiography and historical consciousness. Exile and its negation in Zionist discourse.

Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld

Ariel Hirschfeld is a full professor in the Hebrew Literature department in The Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Research interests: Modern Hebrew Poetry. S. J. Agnon’s oeuvre. H. N. Bialik’s oeuvre. The concept of place in Hebrew literature. Music and Poetry. Reaserch directions: Locality in modern Hebrew culture. The tragic mode in “Ir U’Mloaa” (The City and the Fullness Thereof) by S. J. Agnon.

Dr. Carola Hilfrich

Portrait of Dr. Carola Hilfrich

Academic Background and Fields of Interest: Originally from Germany, where I studied German Literature and Philosophy at the universities of Munich and Berlin, I conducted my doctoral studies and research in Jewish German literature and thought at the Hebrew University. As a faculty member of the Department of General and Comparative Literature and the Program in Cultural Studies at the Hebrew University, I teach literary theory, performed literatures, sociology of literature, and critical theories of culture. My research explores the poetics and politics of contact zone writing in the historical contexts of modernity and contemporaneity, with focus on Jewish German, French Algerian Jewish, African American, and, more recently, Turkish German and Arab Israeli literatures. I also study the politics and poetics of everyday life, the sociology and history of feelings, and the role of literatures of unhomeliness in culture. In my current research, I explore how belongings matter, focusing on architectures of the uncanny in contemporary Jewish Literatures. I have previously chaired the Program in Cultural Studies and the Academic Committee of the Lafer Center for Gender Studies. In 2005, I gained a fellowship at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, with a group project on “Ethnography and Literature: … Read More

Prof. Menahem Blondheim

My interest in place in Modern Jewish history focuses on the United States. America’s gradual emergence from the mists of Jewish geosophical imagination conditioned its meaning as a topos in the social and cultural life of modern Jews worldwide. The ways these processes shaped the experiences and attitudes of Jews to whom America became a home are the core of my work in the field. Beyond the American experience, I approach place in Jewish history primarily as a problem. From a communication perspective, Diaspora presented Jewish history with one of its main challenges, the solutions to which were the formation of far-reaching, intensive, and coherent systems of communications between Jews across geography and over time. I’ve been studying Jewish communications in time and space throughout my academic career. I’m a member of the departments of history and of communications at the Hebrew University, and serve as the head of its Truman Institute. My research explores the role of communication in American and in Jewish history, as well as the history of media. A former entrepreneur and executive in the high-tech industry in the dawn of high-speed digital communications, I also study the development, performance, and meaning of communication technologies, new … Read More

Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi

Ofer Ashkenazi is an associate Professor of History and the Director of the Richard Koebner-Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his PhD in History from the Hebrew U. in 2006. He later conducted a post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at the University of Minnesota, before returning to Jerusalem in 2013. His research interests include Central European cultural and intellectual history, modern visual culture, and Jewish experiences in twentieth-century Germany. His publications include two monographs on the German and the German-Jewish film before 1933, as well as co-edited volumes on continuities between Weimar and the Cold War, and on the antiwar writings of Einstein and Freud. He also published articles on various topics, including exile photography; German-Jewish athletes in Mandate Palestine; comic representations of Nazism; and the multivalent politics of Albert Einstein. Ashkenazi’s forthcoming book considers the ways Jewish filmmakers contemplated the concept of “Homeland” in Germany (through the trope of Heimat) between the years 1918 and 1968. His current research project examines Jewish photography in Nazi Germany.     To the Place and displacement Seminar’s page – click here

Prof. Richard I. Cohen

Portrait of Prof. Y. Cohen. Head of the Da'at Hamakom Project

Born in Montréal, Québec, Canada, I studied History and Sociology at McGill University before immigrating to Israel in 1967. After completing my Ph. D. (1981) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I became a member of the Department of Jewish History (now the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry), and served as its chair several times. I also served as the academic head of Revivim: Honors Program for the Training of Jewish Studies Teachers (2002-06), and a member of a research group on Exegetical Imagination at Scholion, an Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies, at The Hebrew University (2008-11). I have been a visiting professor at Yale University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Wesleyan University, University of Pennsylvania, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU, Munich), and during the present year (2013-14) serve as a Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. My major fields of interest are Jewish social and cultural history in the modern period with special attention to visual culture; the history of modern French Jewry; the interrelationship between Jews of western Europe and Jews in Islamic countries; Jewish historiography and museology.  

Prof. Eli Lederhendler

My research has focused on the westward migrations of East European Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries and the social, economic, political, and cultural ramifications of immigration, modernization, and urbanization. My newest book, American Jewry: A New History, is currently in press and due to be published by Cambridge University Press next year. My broader research agenda includes Yiddish culture, social-class stratification, and ethnicity. Selected Working Papers Related to Daat Hamakom: Ayala Brandel, “Aleppo Jews in the United States” (Hebrew), graduate seminar paper submitted in 2013 in Prof. Lederhendler’s seminar on “Migrant and Ethnic Groups in American Jewry”, at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry. The text is currently available in Hebrew only. To download – click here