Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Updated and Accessible SfarData website!


from Malachi Beit-AriƩ:

A comprehensive version of the website SfarData – the Hebrew Palaeography Project’s codicological detailed database of the Hebrew manuscripts that are explicitly dated or containing the scribe’s name – has recently been launched (sfardata.nli.org.il). The Hebrew-English website includes all the data recorded in some 250 libraries and all retrieval functions; scans of the detailed documentation questionnaires which contain also uncoded parascriptural graphic elements and of relevant descriptions culled from the Project’s printed corpora of dated manuscripts and from recent catalogues of the Bodleian Library, the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma and Biblioteca Apostolic Vaticana; and sample pages of each codicological unit.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HUC Press-Pitt Press partnership

More about the future of Jewish books, than about the past, but perhaps of interest here:

Academic Presses Launch Innovative Collaboration in Jewish Studies


The Hebrew Union College Press (HUCP) and the University of Pittsburgh Press (UPP) announce a new cooperative effort to publish books in the field of Jewish Studies.
HUCP will be responsible for selecting manuscripts for publication, peer review, manuscript development, and copy editing, while UPP will provide its production and marketing expertise to support this effort.  But both presses see the arrangement as more than merely a division of labor; it will be a truly collaborative effort.
“By working closely together, HUCP will be able to focus its energies on expanding its superb editorial program in Jewish Studies, while UPP will work to ensure that these books reach the widest possible audience,” said Peter Kracht, director of the UPP. “Certainly this joint program will widen our offerings to include an important field of scholarly inquiry. But most of all, it is these authors, their books, and the contribution they can make to scholarship that will benefit as we work together to achieve these goals.”
David H. Aaron, director at HUCP, stated, “This exciting collaboration will enable our presses to reach audiences neither has had as a consistent part of its intellectual purview in the past. This agreement is about something much greater than a business arrangement. Books are not simply vessels for information dissemination; books produce the fabric from which cultures are woven.
“A press increases its potential impact on the marketplace of ideas by diversifying its subject holdings and by distributing its publications to increasingly diverse audiences," Aaron said. "The heart of this collaboration is about that diversification and the desire of both of our presses to influence the world of ideas.”
Adam Shear, director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, said the collaboration “not only brings together two outstanding presses, but also represents a new model for cooperation in academic publishing. This is a wonderful initiative that will serve both institutions and the scholarly world well.”
Among the early collaborative projects is In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner, translated by Rachel Tzvia Back, which presents the first major English translation of this great Israeli poet.
Since its founding in 1924, Hebrew Union College Press has published scholarly works across the entire spectrum of Jewish Studies, including books and journals covering biblical studies, classical texts, history, liturgy, literature, philology, law, and philosophy. The University of Pittsburgh Press, founded in 1936, publishes titles in urban and environmental studies, Latin American studies, Russian and East European studies, composition and literacy studies, and the history and philosophy of science. UPP also has an acclaimed poetry series and regularly publishes a variety of local and regional histories. http://press.huc.edu

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Penn, May 11-12, 2014: MANFRED R. LEHMANN MEMORIAL MASTER WORKSHOP with Daniel Sperber



Please Post






The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, are pleased to announce the fourteenth annual Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop to be held on May 11-12 (Sunday-Monday), 2014, at the Katz Center. The topic is The Jewish Book, Halakhah, and Minhag. This year’s workshop will be led by Professor Daniel Sperber, President of the Institute of  Advanced Torah Study at Bar-Ilan University and Professor Emeritus of Talmud. Professor Sperber is one of the world’s leading authorities on the intersection of Jewish booklore and halakhah. He is the author of numerous books on Rabbinic literature and the language and realia of the Greco-Roman World, and the multi-volume work Minhagei Yisrael, many of whose chapters deal with issues of halakhah, minhag, and booklore. 

This year’s workshop will be devoted to intersections between Jewish law and customs and the Jewish book. Topics to be covered include the Masorah (and problems of misunderstanding it due to its  transmission); the impact of material features of the book (like lacunae and misprintings) on halakhah; the role of  the emender; the corrective use of manuscripts and early printings for the decisor; iconography and its interpretation; and the use of illustrations and other paratexts as sources for the historical reconstruction of minhag and halakhah. Because the Workshop will involve textual study, participants should be able to read unpointed Hebrew texts. 

The workshop is open to professors and independent scholars, professional librarians in the field of Jewish and related studies, and graduate students in Jewish Studies. Attendance at previous workshops is not a prerequisite for admission.

For faculty and professionals, tuition is $250. In addition to attendance and all materials for the workshop, the tuition includes two or three nights in a hotel (double-occupancy) for the nights of May 10 and 11 (with the option of May 9), and all meals and refreshments (all kosher) during the course of the workshop. Graduate students may apply for a full scholarship to the workshop. To apply for the scholarship,  the graduate student should write us giving the details of his or her academic program and a brief statement explaining how the workshop will further his or her academic studies. S/he should also ask a faculty advisor to write us a letter of recommendation on the student's behalf.    

Attendance is limited. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please notify us immediately. Full payment must be received by March 1, 2014. Make checks payable to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. 
A registration form is available at: https://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jwst/events/2014/lehmann-workshop

Please address all correspondence to:


Lehmann Workshop

c/o Jewish Studies Program

711 Williams Hall

255 S. 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305



The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation along with grants from Mr. Albert Friedberg, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Andrew H. Cohn, Esq. C'66, and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.


Monday, December 2, 2013

More manuscripts digitized

Emile Schrijver sends this link to a  new website with manuscripts of Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos:


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

OCt 29: Emile Schrijver speaking at Columbia.

Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
411 Fayerweather Hall, 6.00-8.00 pm


Emile Schrijver, Professor of Jewish Book History at the Universiteit van Amsterdam:
Natural and Unnatural Boundaries of the Jewish Book

An abstract of the talk is available on our website:

Professor Schrijver's presentation will begin at 6.00 pm sharp. Dinner will be held at Community Food and Juice after the presentation around 8.00pm. If you would like to join us for dinner, please RSVP to the seminar's rapporteur Hannah Barker (hkb2106@columbia.edu) no later than Thursday, October 24.

Fayerweather Hall is located on the northeast side of campus near Amsterdam Avenue. A map is available here:

Columbia University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  University Seminar participants with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact the Office of Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu. Disability accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, are available on request.  Requests for accommodations should be made two weeks in advance.  On campus, Seminar participants with disabilities should alert a Public Safety Officer that they need assistance accessing campus.

We look forward to seeing you at the October meeting of the Seminar on Religion and Writing.

Mahnaz Moazami & Dagmar Riedel, co-chairs
Hannah Barker, rapporteur