Core Faculty

  • Michal Raucher
    Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
    Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall 104
    Email Address: mailto:
    Phone Number: 848-932-1717

     Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Raucher conducted ethnographic research on reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel. She has been awarded grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation for anthropological research, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Crown Family Foundation. Drawing on this research, Michal will publish her first book, Birthing Ethics: Reproductive Ethics among Haredi Women in Jerusalem with Indiana University Press in 2018. Michal Raucher will be joining the Jewish Studies faculty at Rutgers in the Fall of 2018 as an assistant professor.

    Professor Raucher’s second book is titled Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling: the Ordination of Orthodox Jewish Women in Israel and America. This book surrounds the recent ordination of women in Orthodoxy, comparing the phenomenon in Israel and America. Research for this book has been supported by the Israel Institute, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the American Academy of Religion, and the University of Cincinnati. Michal has also published on sexuality and gender in Judaism, religion and bioethics, abortion legislation in Israel, and female religious advisors on the Internet.

    Dr. Raucher has been a fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center, and Yale University’s Center for Bioethics. She has consulted for the United Nations Population Fund, where she worked with colleagues from around the world on improving reproductive and sexual rights and health for women and children. Michal is on the board for the Society of Jewish ethics, is chair of the Bioethics group of the Society of Jewish Ethics and sits on the steering committee for the Religion and Families section of the American Academy of Religion. Michal is also on the board of the Feminist Studies of Religion and a co-chair of E-FSR, the electronic branch of Feminist Studies in Religion.

    Dr. Raucher earned her PhD in Religious Studies with a concentration in religious ethics and anthropology from Northwestern University. She has an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in Bioethics, and graduated from the Joint Program with The Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, earning a BA in Hebrew Bible and a BA in Religion. Before joining the faculty at Rutgers, Michal was an assistant professor of Israel and Modern Jewish Thought in the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

    Michal grew up in Connecticut and is eager to return to the East Coast with her family.

  • Gary A. Rendsburg
    Blanche and Irving Laurie Chair in Jewish History
    Schools: Ph.D., M.A. New York University, B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    CV File: Rendsburg_CV_January_2018.pdf
    Office Address: 12 College Avenue, Bildner Center
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-1628


    • The literature of the Bible
    • The history of ancient Israel
    • The historical development of the Hebrew language
    • The relationship between ancient Egypt and ancient Israel
    • Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Post-Biblical Judaism
    • Medieval Hebrew manuscripts


    (about four minutes)


    • Introduction to the Bible I
    • Introduction to the Bible II
    • Introduction to Ancient Judaism
    • Jewish Society and Culture I
    • Women in the Bible
    • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Prose
    • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Poetry
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Scroll Down: Classical Jewish Texts, from Parchment to the Internet


    redaction-genesisBooks Authored

    1. The Redaction of Genesis (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1986) (reprinted, with a new Foreword, 2014).
    2. Diglossia in Ancient Hebrew (American Oriental Series 72; New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1990).
    3. Linguistic Evidence for the Northern Origin of Selected Psalms (Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series 43; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990).
    4. The Bible and the Ancient Near East, co-authored with Cyrus H. Gordon (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997).
    5. Israelian Hebrew in the Book of Kings(Occasional Publications of the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Program of Jewish Studies, Cornell University 5; Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 2002).
    6. Solomon’s Vineyard: Literary and Linguistic Studies in the Song of Songs, co-authored with Scott B. Noegel (SBL Ancient Israel and Its Literature; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009 / Leiden: Brill, 2009).
      See book description
    7. How the Bible Is Written (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, forthcoming).

    Books Edited

    1. Co-Editor, The Bible World: Essays in Honor of Cyrus H. Gordon (New York: Ktav, 1980).
    2. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 1 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1987).
    3. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 2 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1990).
    4. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 3 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1992).
    5. Co-Editor, Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Vol. 4 (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2002).
    6. Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, 4 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2013)
    7. Co-Editor, “Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?”: Biblical, Archaeological, and Egyptological Perspectives on the Exodus Narratives (Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement 13; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2016).
    8. Co-Editor, Le-maʿan Ziony: Essays in Honor of Ziony Zevit (Eugene, Ore.: Cascade Books, 2017).

    DIGITAL HUMANITIES PROJECTS – co-developed with Jacob Binstein, launched December 2013, presents the manuscript tradition of the book of Ben Sira, from Qumran, Masada, and the Cairo Geniza.– co-developed with Joshua Blachorsky (with the assistance of Jacob Binstein), launched May 2015, presents the images and transcriptions of JTS MS R1622.1, one of the most important (albeit incomplete) extant Mishna manuscripts. – co-developed with Peter Shamah (with the assistance of Jacob Binstein), launched August 2018, presents the documents (all from the Cairo Geniza) relating to the life of Johannes of Oppido = Obadiah the Proselyte, Catholic monk who converted to Judaism in 1102 C.E.



    For a long interview, lasting 1 hour and 40 mins., conducted by Isaiah Gruber of the Israel Bible Center, discussing the full range of my teaching, research, and publications, conducted on November 4, 2018, follow the links below.

    A description and preview of the interview may be found here:

    For more on the Israel Bible Center, its faculty, its programs, its academic partnerships, and more, go to:

    The eight individual links range from 5:35 (the shortest) to 16:53 (the longest):

    Many thanks to Isaiah Gruber for his initiative and for conducting the interview, and to the Israel Bible Center for permission to post the interview at my website.



    Friends of ASOR Podcast: Gary Rendsburg, “Best of Times, Worst of Times”

    posted April 25, 2014

    Listen to ASOR’s own Ancient Near East Today editor, Alex Joffe, talk with Prof. Gary Rendsburg (Rutgers University), about the state of biblical archaeology and the study of the humanities.



    Megiddo Gate
    My online non-credit mini-course entitled “The Bible and History” is now available to the public, as the first offering from the Jewish Studies Online program, a joint venture of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and the Department of Jewish Studies. The program is made possible by a generous benefaction from Mr. Gene Hoffman of Short Hills, N.J.

    I invite you to register for the course, which is free, by following this link. I hope that you find the course to be informative and enlightening, and I encourage you to participate with other course registrants via the discussion board that accompanies the program.



    I have had the honor and privilege of producing two courses for The Great Courses program (formerly known as The Teaching Company), located in Chantilly, VA. The first course, "The Book of Genesis," was released in May 2006, while the second course, "The Dead Sea Scrolls," was released in March 2010.

    Both courses consist of a series of 24 lectures, and are available in either video (DVD) or audio (CD or download) format.
    The Great Courses: Book of Genesis
    The Great Courses: Dead Sea Scrolls

    For an article on The Great Courses, which appeared in The New York Times in March 2015, click here.

    image gordonINTERVIEW WITH CYRUS H. GORDON (1908-2001), conducted in 1998

    Interview with Cyrus H. Gordon (1998) at YouTube

    During academic year 1997-1998, I had the privilege of serving as Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (CAJS) at the University of Pennsylvania. The theme for the year was “Text, Artifact, and Image: Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion,” with about twenty scholars in the interrelated fields of biblical studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, and archaeology of the Land of Israel gathered in Philadelphia for fruitful discussion.

    See the volume Text, Artifact, and Image: Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion, edited by Gary Beckman and Theodore J. Lewis (Brown Judaic Studies 346; Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2006), which emerged from that academic year and from the conference held in April 1998.

    In light of Cyrus Gordon’s long and enduring relationship with both Dropsie College (the forerunner of CAJS) and the University of Pennsylvania, I proposed to the Center to invite the grand master to Philadelphia for several days, where he could participate in a seminar, see the new facility, and sit for a two-hour interview. The Center leadership endorsed the proposal, and thus it was that Professor Gordon visited the Center in February 1998.

    A little additional background: Cyrus Gordon was born in Philadelphia in 1908, grew up in the city, and received his primary, secondary, and university education there. Gordon earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1930), under the tutelage of Professor James Montgomery. All the while, he took courses at Dropsie College with Professor Max Margolis; and then Gordon returned to Dropsie to serve as Professor of Assyriology and Egyptology during the years 1946-1956. He described all of this in his engaging memoir, A Scholar’s Odyssey (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000), which won the National Jewish Book Award for that year. Also of interest is his book The Pennsylvania Tradition of Semitics (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986).

    On February 3, 1998, as Professor Gordon approached his 90th birthday, I conducted the interview with him, with all the CAJS fellows and several invited guests present in the room. It is my honor now to make this interview available to a larger audience via YouTube.

    A transcription of the complete two-hour interview, created by Peter Shamah, with light annotations by Peter and myself, is available pdf here . The pdf file includes an Index of Persons Named and an Index of Places Named, and it is fully searchable.

  • Jeffrey Shandler 
    Chair and Professor of Jewish Studies
    Schools:   Ph.D. Columbia University, M.A. Columbia University, B.A. Swarthmore College
    Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-1709

    Mailing Address: 12 College Avenue

    Read more about Dr. Jeffrey Shandler


    • Jewish memory practices, centering on remembering the Holocaust and prewar Jewish life in Eastern Europe
    • Jewish cultural history, centering on the role of communications media, museums, tourism, and visual culture
    • Intellectual history of Jewish Studies, especially ethnographic studies of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and America
    • Digital humanities in Jewish Studies, centering on archiving, narrative, inventory as a practice of modern Jewish culture
    • Yiddish language, literature and culture, centering on language and culture, translation, language learning, Yiddish after World War II




    • Rutgers University Press, co-editor (with Marcy Brink-Danan) of book series, Jewish Cultures of the World.
    • American Academy for Jewish Research: Fellow, 2012 - present.
    • American Jewish Historical Society: Academic Council (2001 – 2015); Executive Committee of the Academic Council (2006 – 2008).
    • Association for Jewish Studies: Board of Directors, 2003-2007, 2009-present; Vice President for Publications, 2009-2011; President, 2011-2013.
    • Center for Jewish History, New York, Academic Advisory Council of the (2004 – 2014); Co-chair (2006 – 2011).
    • Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor: Academic Advisory Council (2015 – present).
    • George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, American University of Paris: member, scientific committee (2016 – present).



  • Nancy Sinkoff
    Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies Director, Center for European Studies Academic Director, Bildner Center
    Schools: Ph.D. Columbia University M.A. Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America B.A. Harvard-Radcliffe College Fellow, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2015-2017
    Office Address: 12 College Avenue, Bildner Center
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-8681


    • Jewish History, particulary Early Modern Poland and Modern Europe
    • Jewish Politics
    • Jewish Labor and the Jewish Left
    • European Enlightenment


    The Ancient and Medieval Experience
    The Early Modern and Modern Experience
    The History of East European Jewry
    Jewish Historical Fictions
    Jewish Politics, Jewish Power
    Jewish Society and Culture II
    Community and Crisis
    Modern Jewish Historiography


    "Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz," Introduction to Lucy S. Dawidowicz, From That Place and Time: A Memoir, 1938-1947(Rutgers University Press , 2008).

    Cypess, Rebecca and Sinkoff, Nancy, eds. Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin. (University of Rochester Press, June 2018).

    Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands, (Brown Judaic Studies 336, 2004).

    From That Place and Time  Out of the Shtetl


    "The Creation of Sara Levy’s World", guest post by Rebecca Cypess and Nancy Sinkoff, Proofed, a Boydell and Brewer blog, July 4, 2018.

    pdf Enlightenment Migrations travelogue

    pdf A Melancholy Offering, Tendered with Esteem, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 107, No. 3 (Summer 2017) 409–426

    pdf From the Archives: Lucy S. Dawidowicz and the Restitution of Jewish Cultural Property ,” American Jewish History 100:1 (January 2016): 117-147.

    " pdf Sisters and Strangers: Hannah Arendt and Lucy S. Dawidowicz ," Heritage (Winter 2014): 22-23.

    " pdf What's A Friend To Do? ," Lilith Magazine, The Lilith Blog, February 11, 2013.

    " pdf From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz's Political Life ," Frankel Institute Annual (2012): 15-17.

    pdf Review essay  of Benjamin Balint, Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine that Transformed the Jewish Left into the Neoconservative Right and Nathan Abrams, Norman Podhoretz and Commentary Magazine: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons. American Jewish History, Volume 96, Number 1 (March 2010): pp. 83-88.

    " pdf Fiction's Archive: Authenticity, Ethnography and Philosemitism in John Hersey's The Wall ",
    Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society, n.s. 17, no. 2 (Winter 2011): 48–79.

    "(What Was Once) The World's Largest Jewish Community",
    Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 97, No. 4 (Fall 2007) 647–659.

    "History and Law: The Case of Joseph Perl in Austrian Galicia, "
    (Hebrew), The Varieties of Haskalah, Shmuel Feiner and Israel Bartal, editors (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 2005): 123-136.

    "The Maskil, the Convert, and the Agunah: Joseph Perl as a Historian of Jewish Divorce Law,"
    AJS Review 27:2 (2003), 281-300.

    " pdf Strategy and Ruse in the Haskalah of Mendel Lefin of Satanów (1749-1826) ,"
    New Perspectives on the Haskalah, David Sorkin and Shmuel Feiner, editors
    (London and Portland, OR: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001): 86-102.

    "Triestine Jewry: The Exception that Proves the Habsburg State-Building Rule." Review of Lois Dubin, The Port Jews of Habsburg Trieste: Absolutist Politics and Enlightenment Culture (Stanford, CA, 1999),
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (H-NET List for the study of East Central European History since 1500). May 24, 2000.

    "Benjamin Franklin in Jewish Eastern Europe: Cultural Appropriation in the Age of the Enlightenment," Journal of the History of Ideas 61.1 (January, 2000): 133-152.

    pdf Educating for "Proper" Jewish Womanhood: A Case Study in Domesticity and Vocational Training , 1897-1926 , American Jewish History, 77:4 (1988:June) p.572.


    "The Centrality of the Polish Language and of Polish History to the History of European Jewry"
    "The Worlds of Sara Levy"
    The Life and Work of Lucy S. Dawidowicz



    American Historical Association
    American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
    Association for Jewish Studies
    Women's Caucus, Association for Jewish Studies
    Columbia Faculty Seminar, Center for Israel and Jewish Studies
  • Paola Tartakoff
    Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies
    Schools: Ph.D., Columbia University, B.A., Harvard College
    Office Address: 14 College Ave, Miller Hall 105
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-1620


    Paola Tartakoff studies the social and cultural history of Jews and Christians in medieval and early modern Europe. She is particularly interested in conversion to and from Judaism, the medieval and Spanish inquisitions, and ritual murder accusations. Her first book was based on archival research conducted in Catalonia, Aragon, and Valencia. Her current work explores Western Europe and the Mediterranean more broadly.


    The Development of Europe, Part I
    Jewish Identities in the Medieval Mediterranean
    Muslims, Christians and Jews: Conflict and Coexistence (honors seminar)


    Conversion, Circumcision, and Ritual Murder in Medieval Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Middle Ages Series, forthcoming in 2019).

    Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Middle Ages Series, 2012).


    • “Martyrdom, Conversion, and Shared Cultural Repertoires in Late Medieval Europe,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, forthcoming in 2019.
    • “From Conversion to Ritual Murder: Re-Contextualizing the Circumcision Charge,” Medieval Encounters 24 (2018): 361–89.
    • “Testing Boundaries: Jewish Conversion and Cultural Fluidity in Medieval Europe, 1200-1391,” Speculum 90 (July 2015), 728–62.
    • “Conversion and Return to Judaism and the Charge of Jewish Proselytizing in Medieval Europe, 1150-1350,” in Contesting Conversion in the Medieval World, ed. Yaniv Fox and Yosef Schwartz (Farnam, UK: Ashgate Publishing), forthcoming.
    • "Segregatory Legislation and Jewish Religious Influence on Christians in the Thirteenth Century,” in Medieval Minorities: Law and Multiconfessional Societies in the Middle Ages, ed. John Tolan, Capucine Nemo-Pekelman, Jerzy Mazur and Youna Masset, forthcoming.
    • “Of Purity, Piety, and Plunder: Jewish Converts and Poverty in Medieval Europe,” in Converts and Conversion to and from Judaism, ed. Theodor Dunkelgrün and Pawel Maciejko (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Jewish Culture and Contexts Series), forthcoming.
    • “The Toledot Yeshu and the Jewish-Christian Controversy in the Medieval Crown of Aragon,” in Toledot Yeshu Reconsidered, ed. Peter Schaefer et al. (Berlin: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 297-309.
    • “Christian Kings and Jewish Conversion in the Medieval Crown of Aragon,” Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 3 (2011): 27-39.
    • “Jewish Women and Apostasy in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, c.1300-1391,” Jewish History 24.1 (2010), 7-32.


    • Review of Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten, Ruth Mazo Karras, and Katelyn Mesler (Philadelphia, 2016), in Jewish History 31(2018): 353–55.
    • Review of Benjamin Gampel, Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391–1392 (New York, 2016), in The American Historical Review 123 (2018): 1008–1009.
    • Review of David Nirenberg, Neighboring Faiths. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today (Chicago, 2014), in The Association for Jewish Studies Review 40 (2016): 175-77.
    • Review of James Amelang, Parallel Histories: Muslims and Jews in Inquisitorial Spain (Louisiana State, 2013), in The Association for Jewish Studies Review 38 (2014): 463­­-66.
    • Review of Jonathan Ray, ed., The Jew in Medieval Iberia 1100-1500 (Boston, 2012), in The Medieval Review, September 2012.
    • Review of Robin Vose, Dominicans, Muslims, and Jews in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Cambridge, 2009), in Sefarad 70 (2010): 512-14.
    • Review of Nina Caputo, Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia: History, Community, and Messianism (Notre Dame, IN, 2008), in The Medieval Review, August 2008.


    • Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem
    • European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS)
    • Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, Rutgers University
    • Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Fellowship
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
    • Fulbright Scholarship to Spain
    • Richard Hofstadter Fellowship
    • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies


    • American Historical Association
    • Association for Jewish Studies
    • Medieval Academy of America
    • Mediterranean Seminar
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Society of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
  • Azzan Yadin-Israel
    Professor of Jewish Studies
    Schools: Ph.D. University of California Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union, B.A. Hebrew University
    CV File: yadin-israel-azzan-cv.pdf
    Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall 103
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-1714


    Rabbinic legal hermeneutics; origins of midrash; biblical interpretation.


    Classical Jewish Philosophy
    The Dead Sea Scrolls
    Prophets, Priests and Rabbis


    My scholarship is publicly available at:


    • Scripture and Tradition: Rabbi Akiva and the Triumph of Midrash. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.
    • Intuitive Vocabulary: German. Lingua Press, 2013.
    • Scripture as Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

    Articles (asterisk denotes peer review):

    • *“For Mark was Peter's tanna: Oral Tradition versus Eyewitness History in Papias,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 23 (2015).
    • *”Some Uses of Deixis in Rabbinic Hebrew,” Journal of Semitic Studies 60 (2015), 331-340.
    • *“Bavli Menahot 29b and the Diminution of the Prophets,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 5 (2014), 88-105.
    • *“Rabbinic Polysemy: A Response to Steven Fraade,” AJS Review 38 (2014), 129-141.
    • Qabbalah, Deuter¬osis, and Semantic Incommensurability: A Preliminary Study,” in Ra'anan Boustan, Klaus Hermann, Reimund Leicht et al. (eds.), Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), 917-940.
    • *“A Note on a A Middle High German Calque in Sefer Hasidim,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 19 (2012), 385-387.
    • “Concepts of Scripture in the Schools of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael,” in Benjamin Sommer (ed.), Jewish Theologies of Scripture, (New York: New York University Press, 2012), 47-63.
    • “The Creaturely Limits of Knowledge: Martin Heidegger’s Theological Critique of Immanuel Kant,” in Leonard V. Kaplan and Rudy Koshar (eds.), The Weimar Moment: Political Theology, Liberalism, and the Law (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012), 123-144. Co-authored with Sam Moyn.
    • “Rabbi Aqiva and the Site of Revelation,” in Moulie Vidas and Philippa Townsend (eds.), Revelation, Literature, and Community in Late. Antiquity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 177-216.
    • *"‘Aretz et la sémantique de la terre,"Les Cahiers du judaïsme 30 (2011), 104-113.
    • *“Rabbi Akiva’s Youth,” in Jewish Quarterly Review 100 (2010), 573-597.
    • “Engaging Rabbinic Literature: Four Texts,” in Paul Socken (ed.), Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-first Century?: The Relevance of the Ancient Jewish Text to Our World (Lanham, MD.; Lexington, 2009), 201-214.
    • *“The Semantics of tinoq in Mishnaic Hebrew” (Hebrew), Leshonenu: The Journal of the Academy of the Hebrew Language 71 (2009), 73-79.
    • “Blorit: Pagan Mohawk or Sabra Forelock?: Ideologically Manipulative Secularization of Hebrew Terms in Socialist Zionist Israel,” in Tope Omoniyi (ed.), The Sociology of Language and Religion: Change, Conflict, and Accommodation (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 84-124. Co-authored with Ghil’ad Zuckermann.
    • *“Ronald Dworkin and Self-Undermining Interpretation,” in Diné Israel: An Annual of Jewish Law 25 (2009), 209-234.
    • *“Rabban Gamliel, Aphrodite’s Bath, and the Question of Pagan Monotheism,” Jewish Quarterly Review 96 (Spring 2006), 149-179.
    • “Resistance to Midrash? Midrash and Halakhah (Oral Tradition) in the Halakhic Midrashim,” in Carol Bakhos (ed.), Current Trends in the Study of Midrash (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006), 35-58.
    • *“Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla’s works ‘Gates of Justice’ and ‘Gates of Light’” (Hebrew), Pe‘amim 104 (2005), 41-64.
    • *“Goliath’s Armor and Israelite Collective Memory,” Vetus Testamentum 54 (2004), 373-395.
    • *“Qol (Voice) as Hypostasis in the Hebrew Bible,” Journal of Biblical Literature 122 (2003), 601-629.
    • *“Hammer on the Rock: Mekhilta Deuteronomy and the Question of Rabbinic Polysemy,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 10 (2003), 1-17.
    • *“A Greek Witness to the Semantic Shift לקח-‘Buy’,” Hebrew Studies 43 (2002), 31-37.
    • *“4QMMT, Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Legal Midrash,” Dead Sea Discoveries 10 (2002), 130-149.
    • *“Shnei Ketuvim and Rabbinic Intermediation,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 33 (2002), 386-410.
    • *“Samson’s Hida,” Vetus Testamentum 52 (2002), 407-426.
    • *“Web of Chaos: Bialik and Nietzsche on Language, Truth and the Death of God,” Prooftexts 21 (2001), 179-203.


    Association of Jewish Studies

    Society for Biblical Literature

    Prooftexts: Journal of Jewish Literary History (rabbinics book-review editor)

  • Yael Zerubavel
    Professor of Jewish Studies and History, Former Founding Director, The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life
    Schools: Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, M.A. University of Pennsylvania, B.A. Tel-Aviv University
    Office Address: 14 College Avenue, Miller Hall 106
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 848-932-2033


    Desert in the Promised Land
    Desert in the Promised Land


    Recovered Roots
    • Collective memory, autobiographical memory, history and memory
    • Nationalism, national myths 
    • Tradition and change
    • Israeli culture, Israeli literature
    • Jewish memory, Jewish space
    • Jewish immigrant literature


    Israeli Culture
    Cultural Memory
    Jewish Immigrant Experience
    Jewish Memory
    Jewish Space
    Trauma and Memory in Israeli Culture
    Israeli Society through Film



    Books Authored

    Desert in the Promised Land (Stanford University Press (in press), December 2018)

    Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition,         
        University of Chicago Press, 1995
        Paperback edition, University of Chicago Press, 1997
        Winner of the 1996 Salo Baron Prize of the American Academy for Jewish Research

    Recent Articles (Selected)

    “Putting Numbers into Space: Place Names and Collective Remembrance in Israeli Culture,” in Taking Stock: Cultures of Enumeration in Contemporary Jewish Life,edited by Michal Kravel-Tovi and Deborah Dash Moore. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016, 69-92

    “’Numerical Commemoration and the Challenges of Collective Remembrance in Israel,” History and Memory 26, 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 5-38.
    Hebrew version: “Hantsaha misparit ve-shiyum he-avar: zikaron ve-shikhekha ba-merhav ha-tziburi be’israel,”in Majority-Minority Relations: Memory and Oblivion in Geographical Place Names, eds. Amer Dahamshe and Yossi Schwartz. Tel Aviv: Resling (191-223)

    "Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film,” in Deeper than Oblivion: Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema, edited by Raz Yosef and Boaz Hagin. New York & London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 299-327.

    Ha’tanakh akhshav: Ikh’shuv, satira politit ve’zikaron le’umi” [“'The Bible Now': Contemporizing, Political Satire, and National Memory”], a combined issue of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore vol. 28 and Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature vol. 25 in honor of Galit Hasan-Rokem, (2013), II, 755-74 [in Hebrew].

    “Transforming Myths, Contested Narratives: The Reshaping of Mnemonic Traditions in Israeli Culture,” in National Myths: Constructed Pasts, Contested Presents, edited by Gérard Bouchard. London: Routledge, 2013, 173-90.

    Ha’hazara el ha’tanakh:Ha’tiyul ve’zikhron ha’avar ba’siah ha’tayaruti be’israel [“Back to the Bible: Hiking in the Land as a Mnemonic Practice in Contemporary Israeli Tourist Discourse”], in History and Memory: Essays in Honor of Anita Shapira, edited by Meir Hazan and Uri Cohen. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2012, vol. 2, 497- 522 [in Hebrew].

    “Coping with the Legacy of Death: The War Widow in Israeli Films,” in Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion, edited by Miri Talmon and Yaron Peleg. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011, 84-95.


    Public Space (Ha-Merhav Ha-Tziburi), Tel Aviv University (editorial board, 2016-present)
    Association for Jewish Studies (board member, 1993-2002, 2006-present)
    Association for Israel Studies (board member, 1997-2001; 2006-09)
    Israel Studies (editorial board, 1995 – present)
    Journal of Israeli History (editorial board, 2002 – present)
    Israel Studies Forum (editorial board, 2000 – present)
    Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds (editorial board, 2005-present)
    Rutgers University Press, Jewish Cultures of the World Series, (editorial board, 2007- present)
    Academic Studies Press, Israel: Society, Culture, And History Series (editorial board, 2009-present)
    AJS Perspectives, the bi-annual magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies (editorial board, 2009 – present)


    Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
    Kazan State University, Russia
    Ben-Gurion Research Center, Ben-Gurion University, Sde Boker
    Institute for Advanced Studies, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem
    École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris


    The Inaugural Michael Feige Annual Lecture, “The Desert and the Island as Symbolic Spaces: On Landscapes, Identity and Memory in Israeli Culture,” Ben-Gurion Research Institute on Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, May 2018

    “The Performance of Origins in Modern Hebrew Culture,” Conference on “The Origins of Jews,” Brown University, March 2017

    “The 'Return to the Bible' and the Performance of the Past in Israeli Culture,” Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 2016

    “Numerical Commemoration and Commemorative Place Names: Memory and Forgetting in Israeli Public Space,” The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, January 2015

    The David Patterson seminar, “The 'Return to the Bible' in Popular Israeli Culture,” Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Yarnton Manor, October 2013

    Keynote address: “Israel, Cultural Memory, and the Transformations of a National Tradition," Graduate student conference in Israeli Studies, Yeshiva University, New York, May 2013.

    The Einhorn Endowed Lecture, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, "The Bible, the Lure of Antiquity, and Israeli Popular Culture," April 2012.

    Keynote address: "Heritage, National Memory, and Identity Politics in Israel," International Society for Cultural History, annual meeting on "History – memory – myth,” Oslo, 2011.

    The Forkosh Judaic Studies Lecture, “Imagining Exile in the Homeland: Cultural Diversity and the Politics of Remembrance in Israel,” at Carleton College, Minnesota, February 2010.

    The Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures, “Encounters with the Past: Remembering the ‘Bygone’ in Israeli Culture,” University of Washington, May 2009.