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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book history at the World Congress of Jewish Studies

Lots of sessions.  Here are the ones I've noticed so far:


Monday July 29

5:30-7:30 pm JEWISH BOOK CULTURE 1
Tuesday July 30


11:30 am-1:30 pm:  JEWISH BOOK CULTURE 3

3-5 pm:  Functions of Reading Yiddish through the Ages: Manuscripts, Books, and Newspapers

Wednesday July 31

3-5 pm:  Printing, Censoring, Collecting: Hebrew Books in Hapsburg Lands

5:30-7:30 pm:  Roundtable: Jewish Book Trade and book Circulation: Defining a Research Agenda

Thursday August 1

3-5  pm:  the Library of the Haskalah in the 18th Century:  Cultural Encounters and Confrontations

Full searchable program at:  http://www.jewish-studies.org/?cmd=lectures


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Braginsky Collection for your IPAD

Emile Schrijver wrote to announce "the first iPad app dedicated exclusively to Hebrew manuscripts and printed books:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/braginsky-collection/id654976542?mt=8"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lawrence Roth "Unpacking My Father's Bookstore"

Lecture at the University of Michigan.  Now available for viewing on-line:

CFP: For an AJS session or sessions

We are looking for participants for sessions focusing on the history of the Hebrew/Jewish book at the upcoming AJS Annual Conference, December 15-17, 2013 at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, Massachusetts. We envision proposing one or two sessions exploring the transition from manuscript to print in the early modern period, changes in formatting of printed Hebrew texts, technologies of textual production and dissemination in the modern era and dissemination and related questions.  Please contact either Adam Shear <ashear@pitt.edu> or Berny Cooperman <cooperma@umd.edu> with suggestions and for further information. Please note: submissions will require that you be a paid-up member of the AJS. The deadline for submission is May 8 at 5 pm so we would appreciate hearing from you by May 1.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

David Brodsky lecture: Writing and the Art of Talmudic Maintanence

in the Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing
Writing and the Art of Talmudic Maintenance: How the Shift from Orality to Writing Concretized Talmud as Text rather than Process
David Brodsky, New York University
Faculty House
7:00 PM, 04/23/2013

Conference Report

from Shlomo Berger:

On Men and Women Reading Yiddish: Between Manuscript and Print
Amsterdam 19 February 2013

An international workshop organized by Shlomo Berger (University of Amsterdam) and Lucia Raspe (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main / Universität Potsdam) was convened in Amsterdam in order to discuss to what extent the transition from manuscript to print brought about changes in reading habits and audiences of Old Yiddish literature, especially as regards gender.

Presentations included case studies of particular books or genres, such as translations of Judith into Yiddish (Ruth von Bernuth), collections of mayses or stories (Claudia Rosenzweig), or Yiddish grammars of Hebrew (Irene Zwiep), examinations of how and for whom the religious canon was made accessible through tkhines or prayers of supplication (Simon Neuberg), translations of the penitential liturgy (Lucia Raspe) and of Rashi’s commentary on the Pentateuch (Edward Fram), a gendered reading of the bilingual Sefer hahayyim (Avriel Bar-Levav), as well as more methodological considerations of the enduring production of manuscripts in the age of print (Emile Schrijver) and the emergence of the anonymous reader for printed books as understood by book producers and as interpreted by the reading public (Shlomo Berger).

From the roundtable discussion that concluded the workshop, several conclusions may be drawn. While in the age of transition from handwritten to printed books during the sixteenth century the question of gender remained of particular relevance, as manuscripts were often dedicated to women – in fact, not one Yiddish manuscript has been preserved that was expressly written for a man – in the age of print matters changed, if only because of commercial considerations. A Yiddish book was read by males and females alike; nevertheless, paratexts of printed books continue to specify groups of potential readers: males and females, married men and women, youngsters and girls. Indeed, this norm may merely reflect a topos, but it also hints, sometimes even bluntly refers to a gender differentiation which necessitates close attention to the question of how the dynamics of the respective medium shaped the content and reception of the text with each individual work.

The organizers hope to publish the lectures in an edited volume in due course.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

UPenn Rosenbach Lectures

The A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography, 2013 Rosenbach Lectures 

Paul Needham, Librarian, The Scheide Library 

The First Quarter Century of European Printing 

Lecture Dates: March 18, 19, 21, 2013 All lectures begin at 5:30pm 

Class of 1978 Pavilion, Special Collections Center Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th floor 3420 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 

March 18, 2013: The 1450s: Bookmaking Inventions 

March 19, 2013: The 1460s: Slow Diaspora 

March 21, 2013: 1470-1475: The Sowing of Printing Shops 

Registration is requested but not required. Please RSVP HERE.     

Since 1998, Paul Needham has served as the Curator of the Scheide Collection at the Princeton University Library, before which he worked at Sotheby's and the Pierpont Morgan Library. He is on faculty at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School. Widely acknowledged as the leading expert on Johannes Gutenberg and the early history of printing, Dr. Needham has written or contributed to more than 90 publications. His most recent book is Galileo Makes a Book: The First Edition of Sidereus nuncius, Venice 1610 (Akademie Verlag, 2011). For more information: (215) 898-7088; jpollack@upenn.edu

List of Past Rosenbach Lectures: Rosenbach Lectures for 2007-2011 are available through the Penn Libraries Scholarly Commons repository. View and download available podcasts. The Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliography, established by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, honors a gift for that purpose from A.S.W. Rosenbach, one of America's greatest book dealers and collectors. Its intention is to further scholarship and scholarly publication in bibliography and book history, broadly understood. Rosenbach Fellows typically present a series of three lectures over a period of one to two weeks while in residence at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of a continuing commitment to the series by the University of Pennsylvania Press, many of these lectures have been published as book-length studies. The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. The series began in 1931, with Christopher Morley as the first Rosenbach Fellow. Over the years, lecture topics have included fifteenth-century printing, the relationships between print and manuscript, papermaking, book illustration, American reading and publishing, and medical and scientific texts. Among recent lecturers are Robert Darnton, Anthony Grafton, Peter Stallybrass, David D. Hall, Paul Saenger, Michael Warner, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, and Alberto Manguel.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lectures on the Hebrew Book in Venice


dal manoscritto ai nuovi media

Ciclo di lezioni (Marzo-Aprile 2013)

Lunedi 4 marzo

Il libro ebraico dal manoscritto alla stampa

Giuliano Tamani

(Universitא Ca’ Foscari Venezia)


Simon Levis Sullam

Lunedi 11 marzo

Prima del libro: manoscritti ebraici

nelle biblioteche veneziane

Natascia Danieli

(Universitא Ca’ Foscari Venezia)


Paolo Eleuteri

*L’incontro si terrא presso la Biblioteca-Archivio “R. Maestro”

Mercoledל 20 marzo

La societא cristiana e il libro ebraico:

editori, censori, inquisitori

Saverio Campanini

(CNRS, Parigi)


Mario Infelise

Mercoledi 3 aprile

Donne ebree autrici e lettrici

Cristiana Facchini

(Universitא di Bologna)


Adelisa Malena

Mercoledi 17 aprile

Libri celebri di Venezia ebraica:

le opere di Leon Modena e Simone Luzzatto

Giuseppe Veltri

(Universitא di Halle)


Shaul Bassi

Lunedi 22 aprile

Il Talmud e altri libri ebraici nell’era digitale

Gianfranco Di Segni

(Collegio Rabbinico Italiano, Roma)


Gadi Luzzatto Voghera

9-11 Giugno 2013

International Conference:

THE JEWISH BOOK: Histories, Media, Metaphors




Dipartimento di Studi




di Studi Ebraici

con il sostegno della

Rothschild Foundation

Gli incontri si tengono dalle ore 17 alle ore 19, presso il Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici,

Universitא Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Palazzo Malcanton Marcorא, Dorsoduro 3484/d, Sala Morelli

(*l’incontro di Lunedi 11 marzo, si terrא presso l’Aula Didattica del Museo Ebraico, Calle del Forno 1107, Ghetto Vecchio).

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 19 in Amsterdam: Reading Yiddish

The University of Amsterdam organizes a one-day symposium entitled On Men and Women Reading Yiddish: Between Manuscript and Print on 19 February 2013.

Date: Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Place: VOC Zaal, Bushuis-UvA, Klovebiersburgwal 48, Amsterdam
Organizers: Shlomo Berger (Amsterdam), Lucia Raspe (Frankfurt am Main / Potsdam).
Contact: Esther Beijk


Yiddish Narrative: Reading for Pleasure?
09:00–09:45 Claudia Rosenzweig, “Getlekhe un nisht getlekhe mayses.”
09:45–10:30 Ruth von Bernuth, “In honor of all women: Translating Judith for Jewish Readers.”
10:30–11:00 Coffee

Yiddish and the Religious Canon
11:00–11:45 Simon Neuberg, “Tkhines Revisited: MS Opp. 666 and the Printed Tradition.”
11:45–12:30 Lucia Raspe, “Three Sixteenth-Century Translations of Penitential Prayers into Yiddish.”
12:30–13:15 Edward Fram, “Translations of Classic Rabbinic Texts into Yiddish.”
13:15–14:30 Lunch Break

Yiddish and Hebrew
14:30–15:15 Avriel Bar-Levav, “The World of Texts and the World of the Readers: Sefer Hahayyim (Amsterdam, 1703).”
15:15–16:00 Irene Zwiep, “For Whom, for What? Early Modern Yiddish Grammars of Hebrew.”
16:00–16:30 Coffee

Yiddish Books and their Readers: Methodological Aspects
16:30–17:15 Emile Schrijver, “The Simultaneous Production of Jewish Manuscripts and Printed Books in Early Modern Europe: Methodological Consequences.”
17:15–18:00 Shlomo Berger, “Early Modern Yiddish Books and the Emergence of the Anonymous Reader.”
18:00–18:30 Concluding Discussion

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 13 in NY: The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium

The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium

Sunday, January 13, 2013
Noon - 5:00pm

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies are cosponsoring “The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium” on the occasion of the exhibition Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries at The Jewish Museum.

Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. RSVP to Hector Guzman at heguzman@jtsa.edu

I. Crossing Cultural Borders in Producing Hebrew Manuscripts
II. Crossing Cultural Borders in Interpreting Hebrew Manuscripts.
Panel discussion: The Future of the Medieval Hebrew Manuscript
Featured Speakers
Sabine Arndt, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies
Zsofia Buda, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies
Adam Cohen, University of Toronto
Evelyn Cohen, New York City
Marc Michael Epstein, Vassar College
Eva Frojmovic, University of Leeds
David Kraemer, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Vivian Mann, The Jewish Theological Seminary
César Merchán-Hamann, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies and Bodleian Library, Oxford University
David Stern, University of Pennsylvania