The annual Revel Shabbaton in Washington Heights offers a great opportunity to socialize with classmates, fellow students, and faculty. This year’s Shabbaton will be on Shabbat Vayakhel-Pekude/Parah, March 13–14, 2015.

Highlights include a Friday night dinner catered by Carlos and Gabby’s, Oneg featuring a student-led text exchange “The Profound, the Wacky and the Controversial,” and Shabbat lunch home hospitality meals, and shiurim by our guest faculty, Dr. Mordechai Cohen, Professor of Bible and Associate Dean, and Dr. Daniel Rynhold, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Director of the PhD Program.

Attendance is free. Open to all current Revel students, alumni (space limited), and prospective students (space limited), and their significant others.

Reservations are required.

Please click here to RSVP, propose a primary text for the Friday night oneg, and to volunteer to host a Shabbat lunch meal in your apartment.sign up below.

Registration deadline: Sunday, March 8th.

Full Schedule:

  • Minha, Kabbalat Shabbat, and Maariv, at Shenk Shul, 560 W185th St.
  • Carlos and Gabby’s group dinner at Shenk Shul
  • Oneg following dinner at Shenk Shul (10:00 p.m):
    Student-led primary text exchange: “The Profound, the Wacky and the Controversial”
  • Shaharit at Mt. Sinai Jewish Center, 136 Bennet Ave. Guest sermon by Professor Cohen
  • Shabbat lunch home hospitality meals
  • Community Seudah Shlishit at Mt. Sinai Jewish Center, featuring a presentation by Professor Rynhold

For any questions, please contact Mayer Juni at


steven fineMany Jews have long believed that the menorah bearers of the Arch of Titus are Jews, an urban myth that is particularly well rooted in Israeli culture.  In this lecture, presented in honor of Israeli art historian Dr. Shulamith Laderman at the Schechter Institute (wife of YU alumnus, Rabbi Paul Laderman) in Jerusalem in May, 2014, Prof. Steven Fine explains the history of this counter-memory of the Arch. This research is a piece of his larger Arch of Titus Project, which includes the digital restoration of the polychromy of the Arch, a history of the menorah to be published by Harvard University Press, a history of the Arch of Titus and an exhibition at Yeshiva University Museum, — The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome, and Back — (2017).


3 Images - Vilna Gaon

On Thursday, February 19, Dr. Raphael Shuchat will be giving a guest lecture, exploring the recurrent debate over the true image of the Vilna Gaon. 7pm in Furst Hall – Room 535. RSVP here.

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

Dr. Shuchat teaches Jewish philosophy and thought at Bar-Ilan University. His research focuses on the thought of the Vilna Gaon and his followers, and the inter-relation between Judaism and science. He has published three books: The Vilna Gaon and His Beit Midrash (together with M. Hallamish and Y. Rivlin; Ramat Gan 2003), A World Hidden in Time: Redemption in the Writings of the Vilna Gaon (Ramat Gan 2008), which received the Ministry of Education’s prize for Judaic research, and Jewish Faith in a Changing World (Boston 2012). His fourth book, Studies in Lithuanian Kabbalah: from the Vilna Gaon to Rav Kook (with M. Hallamish), will be published this year by Bar-Ilan University.

This event is sponsored by the Esther Manischewitz Community Education Fund. Sponsorships are available to help support other special Revel events. Please contact Dean David Berger at or Paul Glasser at or 212.960.0852.


Leiman 2Despite the substantial research done on the Holocaust, there is much we will never be able to know about the European Jewish world it destroyed. Yet new discoveries are still possible—even seven decades later. On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, Prof. Shnayer Leiman presented new evidence of spiritual resistance by a group of women during the Holocaust and succeeded in identifying its two surviving members in a lecture delivered in memory of Mrs. Esther Manischewitz z”l at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ. The lecture marked the inauguration of the Esther Manischewitz Community Education Fund, which will enable the transmission of higher Jewish learning to the broader Jewish community.

A yellowed Lithuanian identity card dated February 1940 recently came to Prof. Leiman’s attention. This piece of paper, which granted its holder permission to live in Vilna, featured the letterhead of “Yeshivat Maharsha” from Ostrow and the surnames and initials of the two Rashei Yeshiva, Rabbis J. Berkowitz (Berkovicius) and D. J. Chazanowitz (Chazanovicius).

Vilna Residence Permit_Leiman Lecture

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Professor GurockAs a social historian and scholar of religion in America, Revel Professor Jeffrey Gurock investigates how secular cultural phenomena entered into the lives of Jewish men and women in America and the conflicts that ensued as Jews attempted to be part of American environments while maintaining connections to their faith.

The Jewish encounter with American sports—a robust example of what Professor Gurock calls “cultural clamor and religious conflict”—is the subject of his new article, “The Clothes They Wear and the Time They Keep: The Orthodox Athletes’ Tests of Tolerance in Contemporary America,” which appeared in Muscling in on New Worlds: Jews, Sport, and the Making of the Americas, ed. Raanan Rein and David M.K. Sheinin (Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2014), pp. 68-84. This study looks closely at the challenges traditional Jewish men and women faced over several generations in entering the arenas of sports. It also points out how changing American attitudes towards minority religions have generally facilitated religious Jews—and others of deep faith commitment—participating in sports without violating their religious scruples.

For the full text of Professor Gurock’s new article, click here.


Revel Student’s Research Examines Daily Legalities of Biblical Life Through a Comparative Lens

Judaism relies heavily on its legal library: written discussions of the law are almost synonymous with the religion, describing practices that date back to the beginnings of the Bible and beyond. But what did those practices actually look like in the day-to-day lives of ancient Israelites? Like many civilizations of the time, the Jews of the biblical era used papyrus for everyday business affairs; few artifacts from the era survive to illustrate how the rules and regulations found in the canonical Torah were observed.

Yael_Landman WermuthFor Yael Landman Wermuth, a doctoral student at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, the key to understanding these texts lies not so much in the history of ancient Jews, but in that of their neighbors.

Landman Wermuth’s doctoral thesis examines areas of biblical law through a comparative lens, drawing on examples from the contemporary Mesopotamian and Hittite law codes, which contain many similarities to that of the Bible, as well as ancient Near Eastern contracts, letters, trial records and other documents that offer a glimpse of legal practice in everyday Mesopotamian life.

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Faygel 7_for blog

The Rabbi’s Daughter: New Evidence on Spiritual Resistance in the Holocaust

Join us Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Congregation Bnai Yeshurun located at 641 W. Englewood Avenue in Teaneck, New Jersey for a special community lecture  by Professor Shnayer Leiman, commemorating the first yahrzeit of Mrs. Esther Manischewitz z”l.

Professor Leiman’s lecture will address the role of women in transmitting Torah teaching from one generation to the next, identifying an otherwise unknown young woman who heroically laid down her life for the cause of Torah. It will also deal with the recent discovery of a document whose significance for the history of Torah study before, during and after the Holocaust will be examined. Click to RSVP

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Yigal-sklarinRevel PhD candidate Rabbi Yigal Sklarin was recently awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes five passionate and talented emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been working in the field for 10 years or less.

Sklarin earned his BA in history from Yeshiva College where he received the Max and Sophie Manicoff Award for Excellence in Talmud. He received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated RIETS and was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. He also completed an MA from the Revel, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Modern Jewish History.

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rsz_img_3979Halakhic texts were shown to “talk” social history at the special Revel lecture “Aspects of Thirteenth-Century Jewish Lay Piety” by Bar-Ilan University Professor Judah Galinsky on November 24. Galinsky, a Revel alumnus, focused on discussions in rabbinic texts that aimed to explain why otherwise observant Jewish men in medieval Ashkenaz did not don tefillin. This was especially problematic because the Talmud (b.Rosh ha-Shanah 17a) states that “a skull that does not don tefillin” will be consigned to Gehenna. Rabbenu Tam sought to remove his coreligionists in Ashkenaz from this classification by suggesting that they were well-intentioned and refrained from donning tefillin because they feared they would be unable to maintain the requisite levels of purity and holiness befitting the tefillin. Subsequent rabbis, including Joseph Bekhor Shor, added that those who did not don tefillin may have been motivated by a sense of religious modesty, and of not wanting to distinguish themselves by publicly observing a commandment neglected by others.

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10 Elisheva Carlebach, Jewish historyRevel extends an enthusiastic congratulations to Elisheva Carlebach, Salo Baron Professor of Jewish History, Culture and Society in the Department of History, Columbia University, and adjunct Professor of Jewish History, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, who is the recipient of the Association for Jewish Studies’ (AJS) 2014 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History for her book, Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press).

Publication Palaces-of-TimeAccording to the AJS, the prize “recognizes and promotes outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and honors scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: rigorous research, theoretical sophistication, innovative methodology, and excellent writing.” The prize, awarded once in three years per category, will be presented on Sunday night December 14, 2014 at the AJS Conference in Baltimore.

Upon receiving notification of this award, Dean David Berger reacted as follows: Prof. Carlebach is a scholar of international renown and is also a figure of great stature in the professional leadership of the field of Jewish Studies.  There is no higher compliment than to say that this book is worthy of her.  Prof Carlebach’s position as Senior Adjunct Professor in the Bernard Revel Graduate School adds luster to our institution and affords our students a treasured opportunity to benefit from her instruction and her guidance.