Yael_Landman WermuthThe Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture has awarded a Doctoral Scholarship to Revel PhD candidate Yael Landman for 2015-2016. Through its generous dissertation grants, the Foundation helps train qualified individuals for careers in Jewish scholarship and research.

Yael is a doctoral candidate in the Bible department interested in biblical and ancient Near Eastern law and literature and Semitic linguistics. Her dissertation, “The Biblical Law of Bailment in Its Ancient Near Eastern Contexts,” examines the institution of bailment through its treatment in biblical and cuneiform law corpora, biblical narrative, and Mesopotamian legal documents.

In response to her achievement, Dean David Berger remarked, “Yael Landman is preparing a groundbreaking study standing at the intersection of biblical law and that of other Ancient Near Eastern societies.  She has already received other  awards and presented her work at scholarly venues.  We expect her to become a noted scholar who will make important contributions to her field.”




Book Cover_ZimmermanDr. Joshua Zimmerman, Associate Professor of History and Eli and Diana Zborowski Professorial Chair in Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies, has published a new book entitled, The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

This book examines one of the central problems in the history of Polish-Jewish relations: the attitude and the behavior of the Polish Underground – the resistance organization loyal to the Polish government-in-exile – toward the Jews during World War II. Using a variety of archival documents, testimonies, and memoirs, Zimmerman offers a careful, dispassionate narrative, arguing that the reaction of the Polish Underground to the catastrophe that befell European Jewry was immensely varied, ranging from aggressive aid to acts of murder.

By analyzing the military, civilian, and political wings of the Polish Underground and offering portraits of the organization’s main leaders, this book is the first full-length scholarly monograph in any language to provide a thorough examination of the Polish Underground’s attitude and behavior towards the Jews during the entire period of World War II.


Leonard-GrunsteinMr. Leonard Grunstein, a member of Revel’s Board of Overseers, published a new article in the Fall/Winter 2014 edition of the Real Estate Finance Journal entitled “The Origin of Non- Recourse Mortgage Financing: How Ancient Is This Seemingly Modern Financing Technique and Is It Perhaps Sha‘ariah and Halachically Compliant?” The article explains the modern non-recourse mortgage financing structure, traces its origins, and suggests that, conceptually, the non-recourse financing format bears more than a passing resemblance to three financing forms in use in medieval times, known as the Iska (in Judaism), Qirad (in Islam) and Commenda (in Christianity). These forms enabled the financing of trade and business. They also provided for an interest-like return to the financier, in many cases, without violating the Biblical prohibition against making interest-bearing loans. This essay is one of a number of studies that Mr. Grunstein to has published that bring together the fields of finance and halakhah. He has also recently given a shiur on Ribit and Iska at Yeshivat Sha‘alvim.


Karlip_Moss_OlsonOn Thursday, April 30, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies hosted “Shifting Jewish Identities and Ideologies From the Dawn of the 20th Century Until the Shoah,” a discussion focusing on two recently-published books by Revel faculty: Dr. Jess Olson’s Nathan Birnbaum and Jewish Modernity (SUP, 2013) and Dr. Joshua M. Karlip’s Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe (HUP, 2013).

Both works explore how and why certain twentieth-century Jewish leaders moved between different ideologies throughout the course of their lifetimes. Olson outlined the life of Nathan Birnbaum, a charismatic figure who transitioned from secular Zionist nationalism and Yiddishism to Orthodoxy, while Karlip discussed Elias Tcherikower, Yisroel Efroikin, and Zelig Kalmanovitch, who were immersed in the Diaspora Nationalist and Yiddishist movements in Eastern Europe and many of whose writings can be found in the Yiddish journal Oyfn Shedveg.

Dr. Kenneth Moss, Associate Professor and Felix Posen Chair of Modern Jewish History at Johns Hopkins University introduced and moderated the discussion, and a sizable crowd was in attendance, including Birnbaum’s great-granddaughter Miriam Birnbaum-Kaganoff, as well as descendants of other figures involved in the ideological and political movements under discussion, such as Miriam Oles, a granddaughter of Eliezer Schindler who was a religious writer active in the Bais Yaakov movement and an associate of Nathan Birnbaum.

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Join us on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 4pm in the Sky Cafe (Belfer Hall-12th floor, 2495 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10033) for camaraderie and socializing with students, faculty, and administration as we celebrate the graduating class of 2014/2015, and welcome incoming students:

Welcome and Collation

Professor Aaron Koller

Greetings from
Dean David Berger
Recognizing our Graduates

President Richard M. Joel
Presentation to the Graduates

Associate Dean Mordechai Cohen
Year in Review

Shira Shiowitz
Class Representative Presentation

Director of Admissions and Student Affairs Rona Steinerman
Building the Revel Student and Alumni Community

Sponsored parking is available in the YU lot (E) on Amsterdam Avenue and West 183rd Street.

Rsvp at yu.edu/revel/reception