Visiting Scholars

Our Scholars, Fellows and Professors

Each academic year, the Center for Jewish Studies welcomes a group of scholars from around the world to gather at Harvard to engage in full-time research in Jewish Studies. By drawing together scholars from a variety of universities and a variety of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, the Center for Jewish Studies makes it possible for these visiting scholars to share their research not only with each other but also with members of the Harvard community.

 The Center is pleased to announce the visiting fellows, professors, and scholars who will be in residence at Harvard University during the 2021-2022 academic year.

2021-2022 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Theme: “Medieval period (600 – 1600 CE)”

Yakov Mayer, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (spring)
Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg,
Harvard University (academic year)
Sivan Nir,
Tel-Aviv University (academic year)
Sophia Schmitt,
Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Germany (spring)
Chana Shacham-Rosby,
Ben Gurion University of the Negev (spring)
Anna Sierka,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)

2021-2022 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler,
Ohel Nechama Community Synagogue/Israel (spring)

2021-2022 Visting Scholars and Associates
Jonatan Benarroch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (fall)
Naama Golan,
Kibbutzim College of Education, Post-Doctoral Fellow (spring)
Rabbi Shmuel Hain, Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale/Yonkers (academic year)
Lynn Kaye,
Brandeis University (fall)
Gilah Kletenik,
New York University (fall)
Susanne Klingenstein,
Brandeis University (academic year)
Rina Lapidus, 
Bar-Ilan University (spring)
Aynat Rubinstein,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem University (academic year)

2021-2022 Rohr Visiting Professor: (Government Department)
Arie Krampf, 
Israel Institute (spring)

2021-2022 Gerard Weinstock Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies: (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
Yehudah Mirsky,
Brandeis University (spring)

Yakov Mayer, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (spring)

Yakov Z. Mayer is a historian of medieval and early modern book history, his interests move from material book culture, manuscripts and early printings, to Talmudic and Halakhic literature.  After BA and MA studies in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Mayer completed his dissertation in Tel Aviv University, which was focused on the Hebrew Venetian printing workshops of the 16th century. Mayer is a Kreitman postdoctoral fellow in Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and part of the ERC project JEWTACT: Tewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in the Early Modern Period. His book, Editio Princeps: The First Edition of the Palestinian Talmud (Venice 1523) and the transition of Talmudic Literature from Manuscript to Print, is forthcoming at Magnes Press.

Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg, Harvard University (academic year)

Dr. Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg studies Jewish cultural and intellectual history in early modern Europe. She specializes in the history of Jewish religious law (halakha), focusing on the technological and cultural transmission of religious legal knowledge and its organization. 

Dr. Morsel-Eisenberg received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s History Department in 2018. She has held fellowships at numerous institutions, including the Center for Jewish History, the Leo Baeck Institute, NYU Law, and the Harvard Society of Fellows. Her work has been published in a variety of popular and academic publications, including the Journal of the History of IdeasAJS ReviewCritical Inquiry, and Tablet magazine.

 Sivan Nir, Tel-Aviv University (academic year)

Sivan Nir received his Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University (2019), studying the poetics of characterization in Midrash and Jewish Medieval Bible commentaries. His interests encompass the resonance between literary representation and culture, specifically the reinterpretation of biblical narratives and characters; as well as the reciprocal transmission and transformation of ideas between Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the Middle Ages. His articles all deal with literary aspects, such as the use of metaphor, which connect medieval exegetes (both Karaite and Rabbanite) to late Midrash and to their respective cultural milieus. His first monograph, “From Typology to Mimesis: Characterization in Midrash and Medieval Jewish Bible Commentaries” is forthcoming (SBL Press). Nir’s research project The Ways of Neo Classical Medieval Midrash: Between Fiction, Redaction and Exegesis, will ascertain the poetics, ideology and reception of this rarely studied group of texts (e.g. Bereshit Rabbati).

 Sophia Schmitt, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Germany (spring)

Sophia Schmitt is a research associate and lecturer in the department of Jewish studies at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), Germany. A scholar of medieval Jewish history, she studies the social, legal, cultural, and economic relations between Jews and Christians in medieval northern Europe, with a special interest in the history of violence and social spaces. Schmitt received her PhD in Medieval History from LMU, where her dissertation showed how Jews in the southern German Empire benefited from local and supra-regional networks in their defence against anti-Jewish violence in the fifteenth century. She has held fellowships at LMU and at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and she was a research assistant for the international research project “Responsa and Archival Records from Medieval Ashkenaz in Legal and Cultural Conversation.”

 Chana Shacham-Rosby, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (spring)

Chana Shacham-Rosby received her Ph.D. from the Department of Jewish History at Ben Gurion University in 2019 for her dissertation: “Elijah the Prophet in Medieval Ashkenazi Jewish Culture”. She has been a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters. Her article “Elijah the Prophet: The Guard Dog of Israel” (Jewish History 30(3), 165-182) was awarded best student paper by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University in 2016. Shacham-Rosby’s research interests include charting communication channels through which religious and theological knowledge was shared between strata of medieval Jewish society in Europe. As a Starr Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies, Shacham-Rosby will pursue a project titled: “Knocking at the Gates: Uncovering the Formation of Sha’arei Dura”, focused on the historical and social circumstances that generated the inception, intrinsic properties and subsequent wide-spread circulation of the late thirteenth century Halachic work.

 Anna Sierka, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)

Anna Sierka earned her Ph.D. at the University of Munich with a doctoral dissertation focusing on the adaptation of imagery known from the medieval Ashkenazi esoteric sources in Lurianic Kabbalah, chiefly in Naphtali Bachrach’s major oeuvre Emeq ha-Melekh. She has been a Golda Meir Postdoctoral Fellow and subsequently, a Minerva Fellow in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research explorers significant shifts in esoteric and kabbalistic doctrines against the backdrop of the manuscript sources. Her recent paper “Kanfei Yona in Seventeenth-Century Ashkenaz” was published in Kabbalah: Journal of Jewish Mystical Texts (2021). She is currently completing a monograph on non-Lurianic traditions in early modern Ashkenazi Kabbalah.

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler, Ohel Nechama Community Synagogue/Israel (spring)

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler is a former student of, and special assistant to, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt”l, In addition to being a graduate of Yeshiva University in New York (B.A./M.A), with rabbinic ordination from Y.U.’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (R.I.E.T.S.), Rabbi Adler holds a Ph.D. in Talmud from Bar Ilan University. Rabbi Adler and his family made aliyah in 1979. He served on the faculty of Bar-Ilan University and is a past president and campus rabbi at Emunah College for Arts and Technology in Jerusalem. He has been a lecturer for the Israel Defense Forces and a commentator for Kol Yisrael radio. Rabbi Adler was a member of the central committee of the National Religious Party. He is the founding Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Ner Tamid, located in Hashmona’im, and currently serves as its President. Rabbi Adler is an active community pulpit Rabbi serving during the past 37 years communities in Long Island City, NY, Beersheva, Ramot- Jerusalem, Zurich-Switzerland, and most recently the Ohel Nechama community Synagogue in Katamon-Jerusalem.  His current educational activities include Lecturer at the Herzog College, OU Israel Center, and the Kollel Sinai. Most recently, Rabbi has joined the faculty of the Bet Midrash Harel [Semicha-granting institution] focusing upon modern practical Halacha – methodology and application. Rabbi Adler has also directed and led 31 heritage tours to Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

Rabbi Dr. Adler is a Maimonidean scholar in the academic tradition of the late Rabbi Prof. Isadore Twersky of Harvard University. His doctoral dissertation at Bar Ilan University discussed the methodological shifts in Maimonides’ approach to his rabbinic sources generating hundreds of reversed decisions between his Mishnah Commentary and his Mishneh Torah codes. [Portions published in the R’ Yosef Kafiah Memorial Volume]. He has lectured at the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, as well as at conferences in Krakow, St. Petersburg, and Las Vegas, along with participation at Maimonides commemoration events in Israel. Rabbi Adler has recently been awarded the prestigious Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship at Harvard University in Cambridge for the spring 2022 semester.

Alongside his rabbinic and educational pursuits, Rabbi Adler has captivated audiences throughout the world with his musical talents inspired by the songs of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. It began with his initial performance as a 4th-grader at the Manhattan’s Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim Purim assembly program and has grown with time in the age of Carlebach nostalgia.

Rabbi Adler is the author of ויהי בנסוע הארון – Seventy Conversations in Transit with HaGaon HaRav Joseph B. Soloveitchik Zt”l (Urim Publications & OU Press), 2021

2020-2021 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Theme: “The Changing Contours of Jewish Thought”

Jonatan Benarroch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)
Marc Herman,
Rutgers University (spring)
Lynn Kaye,
Brandeis University (academic year)
Ehud Krinis,
Ben-Gurion University (academic year)
Michal Ohana,
Bar-Ilan University (academic year)
Yosi Yisraeli,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)
Michael Zank,
Boston University (academic year) Honorary Starr Fellow

2020-2021 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi Shmuel Hain,
Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale/Yonkers (spring)

2020-2021 Alan M. Stroock Fellow:
Gilah Kletenik, New York University (academic year)

2020-2021 Gerard Weinstock Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies: (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
Marion Aptroot, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (spring)

2020-2021 Fellows
Francesca Bregoli, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY (fall)
Hadar Feldman Samet,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (fall)
Susanne Klingenstein, Brandeis University (academic year)
Geoffrey Levin, Emory University (fall)
Joshua Meyers,
Fusion Academy Burlington and Queens College, CUNY (fall)
Paul Nahme,
Brown University (fall)
Orit Rozin,
Tel Aviv University (fall)
David Sclar, Independent scholar (academic year)
Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University (fall)

Jonatan Benarroch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)

Jonatan M. Benarroch received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2012), focusing on myth and mythopoeia in the book of Zohar. He has been a Fulbright Research Fellow at Princeton University; a Postdoctoral Visiting Researcher at the Harvard Law School; a Post-Doctoral Lady Davis Fellow in the Department of Jewish History, at the Hebrew University; and most recently a visiting scholar at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, at the UC Berkeley School of Law. His book Sava and Yanuka: God, the Son, and the Messiah in Zoharic Narratives (Hebrew) was published in the Hebrew University Magnes Press (2018). Benarroch is currently working on a research project titled Jesus and the ‘Holy Mother’ in the Zohar: Kabbalistic Responses to Christianity in Medieval Castile. Among his publications are articles in Harvard Theological ReviewJournal of Religion and Jewish Quarterly Review.

Marc Herman, Rutgers University (spring)

Marc Herman earned his Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania and has held post-doctoral research fellowships at Columbia University, Fordham University, the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, and Yale Law School’s Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilizations. His research explores the ways in which medieval Jews deployed Islamic legal theory when writing about the Oral Torah, and his articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Jewish Quarterly ReviewJournal of the American Oriental Society, and Association for Jewish Studies Review. He is coeditor of a forthcoming volume, Accounting for the Commandments in Medieval Judaism: Studies in Law, Philosophy, Pietism, and Kabbalah, and he is currently writing his first monograph, Imagining Revelation: Medieval Jewish Presentations of the Oral Torah in an Islamic Key, for the Jewish Culture and Contexts series of the University of Pennsylvania Press.  

Lynn Kaye, Brandeis University (academic year)

Lynn Kaye is Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought. Her areas of interest include Rabbinic law and narrative, philosophies of time, legal theory, and critical and literary theory. She completed graduate training in Hebrew Bible at the University of Cambridge and in Rabbinic Literature at NYU, during which time she held fellowships at Cardozo Law School and NYU Law School. She is the author of Time in the Babylonian Talmud: Natural and Imagined Times in Jewish Law and Narrative (Cambridge University Press 2018), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Scholarship. 

Ehud Krinis, Ben-Gurion University (academic year)

Ehud Krinis (PhD 2008, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) studies the affinities between Jewish and Muslim theology in the Middle-Ages. He was a visiting scholar in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as in the universities of Pennsylvania, Hamburg and Michigan. He is the Author of God’s Chosen People: Judah Halevi’s ‘Kuzari’ and the Shīʻī Imām Doctrine (Brepoles, 2014); and Judah Halevi’s Fideistic Scepticism in The Kuzari (De Gruyter, 2020).

Michal Ohana, Bar-Ilan University (academic year)

Michal Ohana is a researcher of Jewish thought in North Africa from the Spanish expulsion until the 20th century.

Ohana completed her PhD studies at Bar Ilan University and in her dissertation she examined the thought of R. Shau lSerero (1566–1655), a descendant of Spanish exiles who resettled in Fez. Her book, based on her doctoral dissertation, will soon be published.

As a postdoctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University she continued to focus on Fez, examined the thought of other rabbis in the 16th-17th centuries and demonstrated that a moderate, non-radical, philosophical concept had most influence on their outlook.

Further, as a postdoctoral fellow at INALCO, Paris, she expanded her research to other cities in the Maghreb such as Tlemcen and Algiers proving that astrology too had a huge impact on the worldview of the Spanish descendants in the Post-Expulsion Era.

Her other research reveals the affinity of North African rabbis in the 19th-20th  centuries to the Sephardic philosophical tradition as well as to the Hebrew Enlightenment movement.

Yosi Yisraeli, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)

Yosi Yisraeli is an Historian of Jewish and Christian thought in the middle ages and Early Modern period.  His particular interest lies in the reciprocal relations between Jewish and Christian traditions of knowledge (biblical, historical, hermeneutical) and the function they each played in shaping the other’s conceptual substructures and orthodoxies. In recent years he has studied the formulation of a converso theology in early Fifteenth century Spain and its dramatic impact on the history of Christian biblical scholarship. He has published several articles on the subject and is currently completing a monograph that focuses on theological writings of the converted bishop of Burgos, Pablo de Santa Maria (c.1352-1435), and their enthusiastic reception across the continent.

Michael Zank, Boston University (academic year)

Michael Zank completed his theological and philosophical studies in Germany and Israel between 1977 and 1986 and went on to earn a PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in 1994. Since then, he has been a member of the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences Religion Department. At Boston University he serves as Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Medieval Studies, and directs the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies. His study of Hermann Cohen’s philosophy, The Idea of Atonement in the Philosophy of Hermann Cohen (2000), just appeared in a second, e-book edition in the Brown Judaic Studies Series. His edition of the early writings of Leo Strauss appeared in 2002. Since then he has authored monographs, translated and edited volumes, as well as published articles on German Jewish religious thought (incl. on Buber, Cohen, and Rosenzweig), Jewish philosophy and intellectual history, political theology, biblical hermeneutics and Jerusalem in history and international law. His current project is a study of Maimonides and his modern readers (esp. Spinoza, Cohen, and Strauss).

Rabbi Shmuel Hain, Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale/Yonkers (spring)

Shmuel Hain is a pulpit rabbi and educator. Under his leadership since 2006, YIOZ of North Riverdale/Yonkers has transformed into a vibrant community synagogue. As Rosh Beit Midrash at SAR High School, he directs the graduate Beit Midrash Fellowship, teaches advanced Judaic Studies classes, and oversees after-school and Alumni learning programs. He is also Co-Director of Machon Siach at SAR High School, a research institute for high school educators. He is also an adjunct instructor at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah where he teaches the Laws of Mourning to advanced semikha students. 

Shmuel previously served from 2005-2011 as Academic Dean of the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University. He graduated with honors from Yeshiva College with a BA in Psychology and studied both Medieval Jewish History and Talmud at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School. He was an inaugural fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon at RIETS, where he was ordained in 2000 and where he taught advanced Talmud classes to semikha students and undergraduates from 1999-2012.

Shmuel has co-authored and edited several volumes of Torah and academic scholarship, including a volume in The Orthodox Forum series entitled The Next Generation of Modern Orthodoxy (Ktav: 2012).

Shmuel was recently awarded the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship at Harvard University for the 2020-2021 academic year. His interdisciplinary research and writing at Harvard will focus on integrating academic, pastoral, and halakhic perspectives on the Hilkhot Aveilut (Jewish Laws of Mourning).

Gilah Kletenik, New York University (academic year)

Gilah Kletenik is the Alan M. Stroock Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University (2020) with a dissertation entitled, “Sovereignty Disrupted: Spinoza on Infinite Disparity.” Currently, Kletenik is working on a book project focused on Spinoza’s critique of sovereignty, tracing its ontological implications, epistemological inferences, and political consequences. 

2019-2020 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Theme: “The Affective Turn in Modern Jewish History”

Francesca Bregoli, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY (academic year)
Hadar Feldman Samet, University of Pennsylvania (academic year)
Joshua Meyers, Stanford University (academic year)
Paul Nahme, Brown University (academic year)
Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University (spring)
Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University (spring)

2019-2020 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi Reuven Leigh, Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation (fall)

2019-2020 Alan M. Stroock Fellow:
Geoffrey Levin, New York University (academic year)

2019-2020 Gerard Weinstock Visiting Lecturer: (Sociology Department)
Yael Berda, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (year)

2019-2020 Joseph Engel Visiting Professor in American Jewish Studies: (History Department)
Rebecca Kobrin, Columbia University (fall)

2019-2020 Gerard Weinstock Visiting Lecturer: (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Comparative Literature); 2019-2020 Alan M. Stroock Fellow
Rachel Seelig, (year)

2019-2020 Fellows and Visiting Scholars
Miriam Goldstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (summer)
Sara Ronis, St, Mary’s University (summer)
Nadav Berman-Shifman, (academic year)
Tsivia Frank-Wygoda,
(academic year)
Ilana Szobel,
Brandeis University (academic year)
Ilan Tamir,
Ariel University (academic year)
Asaf Ziderman,
Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow (academic year)

 Francesca Bregoli, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY (academic year)

Francesca Bregoli is Associate Professor of History at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on early modern Italian and Sephardic Jewish history. She is the author of “Mediterranean Enlightenment: Livornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform” (Stanford, 2014), and co-editor of “Connecting Histories: Jews and their Others in Early Modern Europe” (Penn Press, 2019) and “Italian Jewish Networks from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries: Bridging Europe and the Mediterranean” (Palgrave, 2018). Her current project, influenced by the history of the family and the history of emotions, looks at the creation and preservation of affective and business ties in transnational Jewish merchant families, and at overlaps between family, commerce, and Judaism. 

Hadar Feldman Samet, University of Pennsylvania (academic year)

Hadar Feldman-Samet received her PhD from the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2018). During 2018-2019 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at University of Pennsylvania. Her main area of interest is early-modern/modern Sephardi and Ottoman Jewry with emphases on intercultural exchanges as manifested in poetry, ritual, music, theology and daily practices. Her scholarship has focused on the secret messianic religion and the lives of the Ma’aminim – followers of Sabbatai Tsvi who converted from Judaism to Islam in the 17th century – in the context of wider cultural trends in both Jewish and non-Jewish Ottoman societies. Among her publications are articles in Journal of Levantine Studies and Jewish Quarterly Review (forthcoming).

Joshua Meyers, Stanford University (academic year)

Joshua Meyers (PhD, Stanford University, 2018) studies the evolution of modern Jewish politics, with a special emphasis on Russian Jewry and the Russian-Jewish diaspora. His work has appeared in Jewish Social Studies and In Geveb and he his currently working on a book exploring the history of the Jewish Labor Bund during the Russian Revolution. He is also working on a side project studying the origins of the Jewish workers’ movement in the Russian Empire.

Paul Nahme, Brown University (academic year)

Paul E. Nahme is Dorot Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Hermann Cohen and the Crisis of Liberalism: The Enchantment of the Public Sphere (Indiana, 2019) and has published essays in a number of journals. His work focuses on sites of enchantment within secular modernity and tries to investigate the discourses that assemble race, religion, nation, state, subjectivity, human, and rationality. His current book project examines Jewishness as a racial affect circulating in Weimar Germany.

Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University (spring)

Dr. Orit Rozin is Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. Her research interests span the social, legal, and cultural history of modern Israel. Rozin has published on Israeli citizenship, legislation and jurisprudence, immigration, gender issues, and family life. Most recently she has published articles assessing Israel’s political and security problems from the perspective of the history of emotions.

Her book, The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism (2011), was published by Brandeis University Press. The Hebrew version of the book, published in 2008  received the Association for Israel Studies’ Shapiro best book award in 2009.

Her recent book A Home for all Jews: Citizenship, Rights and National Identity in the New Israeli State was published by Brandeis University Press 2016. It was the runner-up for the 2018 Jordan Schnitzer award from the Association for Jewish Studies. Rozin is currently completing a book titled A History of Fear: Israelis in the Shadow of War, 1949-1967.

Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University (spring)

Joshua Teplitsky is an assistant professor in the Department of History and the Program in Judaic Studies at Stony Brook University. He specializes in the history of the Jews in Europe in the early modern period, with a particular interest in cultures of knowledge making, printing, and book collecting.  His current work explores material culture, gender, public policy, and private life during periods of epidemic in early modern Europe.  He earned his PhD from New York University’s Departments of History and Hebrew & Judaic Studies and has held fellowships at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies of the University of Oxford, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the National Library of Israel.  His first book Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library was published by Yale University Press in 2019.

Rabbi Reuven Leigh, Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation (fall)

Reuven Leigh is rabbi of The Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation, as well as the director of Chabad of Cambridge. His research focuses on reading traditional rabbinic thinkers of the modern period philosophically, and he recently submitted his PhD at the University of Cambridge on the philosophy of language and gender in modern rabbinic thought and its parallels in poststructuralist philosophy.

Geoffrey Levin, New York University (academic year)

Geoffrey Levin is the Alan M. Stroock Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies. Dr. Levin received his PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies/History from New York University in spring 2019. He is currently preparing a book manuscript on the emergence of Palestinian rights as a contentious issue in the relationship between American Jews and Israel during the first three decades after 1948. His research has been supported by the Center for Jewish History, the Israel Institute, the American Academy for Jewish Research, the American Jewish Archives, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, and an Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Peer-reviewed articles by Dr. Levin have appeared in Israel Studies Review, Arab Studies Journal, Israel Affairs, and Shofar.

2018-2019 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:

Abraham (A.J.) Berkovitz, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (spring term)
Aleksandra Buncic, Independent scholar (academic year)
Jason Lustig, University of California at Los Angeles (academic year)
Martina Mampieri, Sapienza University of Rome, IRHT-CNRS, Paris (academic year)
Nathan Mastnjak, Indiana University (academic year)
David Sclar, Independent scholar (academic year)

2018-2019 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi David Greenstein, Congregation Shomrei Emunah (spring)

2018-2019 Visiting Scholar:
Christina Spaeti, Universität Freiburg, Switzerland (academic year)

2018-2019 Weinstock Visiting Professor:
Yair Zakovitch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (fall)

2018-2019 Visiting Professor in History:
Eyal Naveh, Tel Aviv University (spring)

2018-2019 Fellows:
Michal Ohana, Ben-Gurion University (fall)
Gil Rubin, Israel Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow (academic year)

Abraham (A.J.) Berkovitz, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (spring term)

A.J. Berkovitz is Assistant Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, USA. His current book-project, The Psalms in Late Antiquity: A History of Reading, focuses on the late antique reception and practice of the Psalter, and explores issues related to book history and the Jewish-Christian encounter. He is also the co-editor of Rethinking ‘Authority’ in Late Antiquity: Authorship, Law and Transmission in Jewish and Christian Tradition (Routledge, 2018).

Aleksandra Buncic, Independent scholar (academic year)

Aleksandra Bunčić (Sarajevo, 1983), graduated summa cum laude from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Sarajevo, where she studied Art History and Pedagogy. Dr. Buncic completed her doctorate in Art History at the University of Zagreb where she had been researching the iconography of a fourteenth-century Spanish illuminated manuscript produced for Jews known as the Sarajevo Haggadah. Her research on this extraordinary manuscript had been awarded several times. In 2010 and 2011, she was a Rothberg Family Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2013, she was a fellow in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University in North Carolina. In 2014, she was a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In 2015,  she received the  fellowship for final year PhD students (acknowledgment of the institution restricted). Dr. Buncic was a postdoctoral fellow in the Departments for Art History and Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2015). From 2007 to 2015 she had been employed at the Commission to Preserve National Monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specializing in the history of art and involved in the expert recording, processing and evaluation of properties to be designated as national monuments. Currently she works as an academic advisor on an international animated documentary dedicated to the study of the transmission of knowledge, of the book as a medium, and to the fascinating story of the Sarajevo Haggadah. Her current research interest also includes an unusual “astronomical anthology” that was written in Hebrew in Catalonia in 1361 (The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, LJS 57).

Jason Lustig, University of California at Los Angeles (academic year)

Jason Lustig is a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Gerald Westheimer Early Career Fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute. Dr. Lustig received his PhD from the UCLA Department of History in 2017, and his research focuses on the history of Jewish archives in Germany, the United States, and Israel/Palestine. His work has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary History and is forthcoming in American Jewish History (summer 2018), and he is currently preparing a book manuscript titled A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture. He also is the creator and host of the Jewish History Matters podcast (

Martina Mampieri, Sapienza University of Rome, IRHT-CNRS, Paris (academic year)


Martina Mampieri earned a joint PhD in History and Jewish Studies at the University of Roma Tre and the University of Hamburg (2017). She is postdoctoral research fellow at Sapienza University of Rome and has spent a six-month visiting research fellowship to conduct archival research on Isaiah Sonne at the Yad Ben-Zvi Institute and the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem (January-July 2018). She collaborates on Digital Humanities projects such as RACINES. Critical Edition of David Qimhi’s Sefer ha-Shorashim and its Latin Translation, in Digital Form, based at the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (IRHT/CNRS, Paris), and Footprints. Jewish Books Through Time and Place. Her doctoral dissertation on the Hebrew chronicle Divre ha-yamim shel ha-‘apifior Paolo ha-revi’i ha-niqra Teatino by Benjamin Nehemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.) combines a first annotated English translation and a new edition of the Hebrew text with an in-depth study of the historical background. The resulting book is currently under review for publication. She has published peer-reviewed articles and others are forthcoming. Martina has been a visiting research fellow at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati (2016). Her research interests include Jewish history and historiography in the early modern period; Italian Jewry; Hebrew books and manuscripts; material culture; Hebrew language and literature; Jewish-Christian relationships and polemics.

Nathan Mastnjak, Indiana University (academic year)

Nathan Mastnjak (PhD, University of Chicago, 2015) has taught and conducted postdoctoral research in the literary traditions of the Hebrew Bible at Indiana University. His work focuses on issues of authority and the materiality of texts. He is the author of Deuteronomy and the Emergence of Textual Authority in Jeremiah (Mohr Siebeck, 2016) as well as articles in The Journal of Religion, Vetus Testamentum, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Biblical Interpretation. His current book project, which will be published with Oxford University Press, is entitled The Scrolls of the Prophets. Through an investigation of the prophetic literature, this study suggests that many biblical compositions had their material beginnings in collections rather than single book-length scrolls. Building on these observations, The Scrolls of the Prophets seeks to reframe how biblical scholarship imagines what it calls the “books” of the Bible.

David Sclar, Independent scholar (academic year)

David Sclar studies early modern Jewry, with emphases on social and religious history, communal and individual identity, and the history of the book. He has held fellowships at Princeton University, the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto, and New York University, and has published articles in the AJS ReviewJewish History, and Jewish Studies Quarterly. He is finishing a book on the Italian kabbalist Moses Hayim Luzzatto, and has started a new project on Western Sephardic religious culture and the development of the Ets Haim Yeshiva in Amsterdam in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

2017-2018 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Theme: “Jewish Literatures and Languages”

Miriam Goldstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)
Alessandro Guetta, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris (spring)
Nili Samet, Bar-Ilan University (spring)
Uri Shachar, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (academic year)
Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University (spring)
Willem Smelik, University College London (academic year)
Jonathan Decter, Brandeis University (spring) Honorary Starr Fellow

2017-2018 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, Hadley Wood Jewish Community (spring)

2017-2018 Alan M. Stroock Fellow:
Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania (spring)

2017-2018 Gerard Weinstock Visiting Professor:
Israel Knohl, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (fall)

2017-2018 Fellows:
Andrés Enrique-Arias, University of the Balearic Islands (fall)
Gil Rubin, Israel Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow (academic year)

2016-2017 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Theme: “Jews In the Classical World”

Todd Berzon, Bowdoin College (spring)
Todd Berzon is Assistant Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College, where he specializes in the religions of late antiquity, late antique Christianity, and theory and method in the study of religion.  His work broadly focuses on how ancient religious communities that viewed themselves as distinct (orthodox/heterodox, Jewish/Christian, etc.) articulated and negotiated perceived differences. He is the author of Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2016).  His current research project, entitled Holy Tongues: The Materiality of Language in the Religious World of Late Antiquity, investigates how Jews and Christians treated language as a material and corporeal marker of piety and impiety.

René Bloch, Universität Bern (spring)
René Bloch is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Bern (Switzerland), where he holds a joint appointment in the Institute of Jewish Studies and the Institute of Classics. He studied Classics and Hebrew Bible at the University of Basel and the Sorbonne and holds Master degrees from both Universities. He obtained his Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) as well as his “habilitation” from the University of Basel. Bloch’s research focuses mainly on Jewish-Hellenistic literature and more generally on the interactions of Jews and non-Jews in the Greco-Roman period. His most recent publications include: “Leaving Home: Philo of Alexandria on the Exodus“, “What if the Temple of Jerusalem Had not Been Destroyed by the Romans?,” and “Ancient Anti-Semitism (Oxford Bibliographies.)” He is currently working an article on “Philo between Greek and Jewish Myth” and is the chief editor of the forthcoming edition of Philo’s De Vita Mosis (Mohr Siebeck).

Richard Hidary, Yeshiva University (spring)
Richard Hidary is an associate professor of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University. He is the author of Dispute for the Sake of Heaven: Legal Pluralism in the Talmud (Brown University Press, 2010) and Rabbis and Classical Rhetoric: Sophistic Education and Oratory in the Talmud and Midrash (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). His articles appear in AJS Review, Conversations, Dead Sea Discoveries, Dine Israel, Encyclopedia Judaica, Jewish Review of Books, Jewish Studies an Internet Journal, Moment Magazine, Review of Rabbinic Judaism and Okimta.

Lennart Lehmhaus, Freie Universität Berlin, CRC/SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion” (spring)
Lennart Lehmhaus (PhD, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, 2013) works as a post-doc research associate within the Collaborative Research Center SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion” on transfer of knowledge at Freie Universität Berlin. As a member of the project A03 (on Encyclopaedic medical episteme in Late Antiquity), he inquires into Talmudic medical discourses, their Jewish epistemologies and encyclopedic dimensions, with a comparative eye on Graeco-Roman and (Ancient) Near Eastern cultures. His dissertation and first book on Seder Eliyahu Zutah combines a first-time annotated German translation and bi-lingual edition with a thorough study of the innovative literary, discursive and socio-cultural dimensions of this work. He has published several articles on rabbinic Judaism and midrashic traditions in a multi-cultural context, and on Jewish literature and knowledge. His research interests comprise ancient Jewish cultures and literatures; knowledge and science in the ancient world; literary theory, intertextuality and socio-cultural readings of texts; trajectories of Jewish traditions into contemporary Jewish and Israeli culture.

Françoise Mirguet, Arizona State University (academic year)
Francoise Mirguet (PhD, University of Louvain, 2007) is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University, where she teaches at the School of International Letters and Cultures and in Jewish Studies. Her current research focuses on emotions in ancient Jewish literature. Her forthcoming book is entitled An Early History of Compassion, and will be published by Cambridge University Press towards the end of 2017. Her first book, La représentation du divin dans les récits du Pentateuque, was published in 2009 by Brill. She has also published several peer-reviewed articles in different journals. Her latest article is “What is an ‘Emotion’ in the Hebrew Bible? An Experience that Exceeds Most Contemporary Concepts,” published in Biblical Interpretation. Francoise has been a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard) in Washington, DC. She teaches Biblical Hebrew and ancient Jewish literature, as well as the history of emotions.

Judith Newman, University of Toronto (spring)
Judith Newman is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism in the Department for the Study of Religion at Emmanuel College in University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the history of scriptural interpretation, embodied practices, and the formation of self and communities in early Judaism and Christianity. Her project as a Starr Fellow, “Transforming Time through Speech and Blessing in Early Judaism” seeks to identify ways in which communities constructed alternative temporalities in the Greco-Roman period. She is also completing a monograph Before the Bible: the Liturgical Body and the Formation of Scripture under contract with Oxford University Press and writing a commentary on the book of Judith. Other publications include Early Jewish Prayers in Greek with Pieter van der Horst and Praying by the Book: The Scripturalization of Prayer in Second Temple Judaism.

Ellen Birnbaum, Independent scholar (Honorary Starr Fellow)
Ellen Birnbaum has taught and/or conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard, Brandeis, and Boston University. She is presently co-editing a commentary with Professor John Dillon of Trinity College Dublin on Philo’s On the Life of Abraham for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. To complete the project, they received support from a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant. Author of The Place of Judaism in Philo’s Thought, she has also written several articles on Philo and the ancient Alexandrian Jewish community. For many years, she served as Co-Chair of the Philo of Alexandria Group/Seminar in the Society of Biblical Literature and is currently a member of the Seminar’s Steering Committee.

2016-2017 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Rabbi Caryn Broitman, Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center (spring)
Rabbi Caryn Broitman has been a congregational rabbi for the past 25 years and has served the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center since 2003. She graduated with a BA in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Her central academic interest has been the study of literature and religion, and she has written on the use of literary theory in the teaching of Jewish texts. She further explored this topic as a Melton Fellow in Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1996/97. Prior to the Silver Fellowship, Rabbi Broitman participated in the Ministers in the Vicinity program at the Harvard Divinity School, taking classes on literature and religion. Her focus of research for the Silver Fellowship is the “secular sacred” in modernist literature, especially in Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Yiddish writer Jacob Glatstein.

Weinstock Visiting Professor:
Elliot Wolfson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Visiting Scholars:
Moshe Rosman, Bar-Ilan University (summer 2016)

Ofra Tirosh-Becker, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (academic year)
Ofra Tirosh-Becker is a Professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and in the Department of Hebrew Language at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her PhD from the Hebrew University and had her post-doctoral training at Harvard University. She is the Head of the Hebrew University’s Center for Jewish Languages and Literatures, and has recently served as the Chairperson of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Languages. Prof. Tirosh-Becker is also a full member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language in Jerusalem. She is the founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Jewish Languages published by Brill, a co-editor of Massorot: Studies in Language Traditions and the Jewish Languages, and the editor of the Languages and Linguistics Section of the online edition of the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. She is currently a visiting professor at Harvard University. Tirosh-Becker is a recipient of the 2011 Asaraf Prize from The Academy of the Hebrew Language, the 2013 Ben-Zvi Award for Research of Jewish Communities in the East, and the 2013 Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines (First Prize). Her two-volume book Rabbinic Excerpts in Medieval Karaite Literature was published in 2011. Her research focuses on the contacts between Arabic and Hebrew, including: North-African Judeo-Arabic; Judeo-Arabic translations of the Bible and of post-biblical literature; Medieval Hebrew; Hebrew in Algeria in the 19th-20th centuries; The contact between Hebrew and Arabic in the Middle Ages; Rabbinic Hebrew in Karaite writings.

Liu Jinzhong, Nanchang University (academic year)

2015-2016 Harry Starr Fellows in Judaica:
Yonatan Miller (academic year)
Sara Ronis (academic year)
Elisha Russ-Fishbane, New York University (spring)
Sasha Senderovich, University of Colorado-Boulder (academic year)
Nadav Sharon (spring)
Rachel Wamsley (academic year)

Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow:
Geoffrey Goldberg, Pennsylvania (spring)

Yaakov Elman, Yeshiva University (academic year)

Rachel Greenblatt (academic year)
Liora Halperin (academic year)
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (summer 2015)
Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (summer 2015)