Yeshiva University Jewish Studies Faculty to Present at Conferences, Serve as Visiting Scholars in San Francisco Area

Nearly a dozen members of Yeshiva University’s faculty will participate in this year’s annual conferences of the American School of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion taking place in San Francisco, California on November 16-22, 2011.

Jill Katz will be one of 11 YU Jewish studies faculty members presenting in San Francisco.

The conferences bring together thousands of scholars and students from all over the world to present and hear the most recent research in their respective fields and network with colleagues.

This year, YU will send eleven of its Jewish studies faculty to speak and present scholarly papers. The scheduled presentations include: “Poetic and Rhetorical Features in the Genesis Apocrypha” by Dr. Moshe Bernstein, professor of Jewish history and Bible; “Preserving Sin as Evidence in Court” by Dr. Shalom Holtz, assistant professor of Bible; “Multiple Aspects of Tribalism in Iron Israel” by Dr. Jill Katz, lecturer in Jewish history; “Semantics of ‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ in Ancient Hebrew: Synchronic and Diachronic Analyses” by Dr. Aaron Koller, assistant professor of Bible; “Conversion as Immigration: The Case Medieval Jewish Converts to Christianity” by Dr. Chaviva Levin, visiting assistant professor of Jewish history; and “The Emotional World of the Qumran Sect,” by Dr. Ari Mermelstein, instructor of Bible.

“We are extremely proud of the ability of our YU Jewish studies faculty to carry the message of their scholarship to wide audiences in the Jewish community,” said Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, vice-provost for undergraduate education. “We are sure that the communities will be enthralled by the chance to share in the phenomenal teaching that our students regularly receive.”

In addition to providing opportunities for members of the YU faculty to present their research, the conferences also offer the chance for faculty members to interact with the Jewish community where the conference takes place and to represent a unique aspect of YU’s Torah and values. This year, five faculty members will serve as scholars-in-residence at three synagogues in the San Francisco Bay area on the Shabbat of November 17-18. Mermelstein will serve as scholar-in-residence at Congregation Adath Israel in San Francisco; Holtz and Koller are the featured speakers at Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland; and Bernstein and Levin will lecture at Congregation Emek Bracha in Palo Alto.

“The professors and rabbis at Yeshiva University are a rare breed, capable of synthesizing Torah study of the highest order with first-rate biblical scholarship,” said Rabbi Judah Dardik of Beth Jacob Congregation. “As a student there I had exposure to some of the greatest minds in the world today and I treasure the opportunity to bring a taste of this level of learning to my community.”

YU relationship with the Bay Area will receive another boost this winter when students visit while participating in the Center for the Jewish Future’s Jewish Life Coast to Coast service learning mission over winter break.