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Noah's Ark

On Sunday, November 30th, 2014 from 2 – 5 PM, the Yeshiva University Museum, together with Yeshiva College and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, will be hosting a symposium titled “Modeling the Flood Story: Midrash and Movie,” featuring interpretations of the Biblical flood account and a discussion of the 2014 film Noah. Reservations are required and tickets are available, free of charge, at

PART 1 The Biblical Flood Story, Background and Interpretation

The Mesopotamian Flood Story: Old Stories, New Discoveries
Dr. Irving Finkel 
(The British Museum)
Brave New World: The Biblical Flood Story in its Literary Context
Dr. Devora Steinmetz (Drisha Institute)
Rabbinic Interpretation of the Flood Story
Dr. Jeffrey Rubenstein (New York University)

PART 2 Noah (2014)

Biblical Films and Noah
Dr. Eric Goldman (Yeshiva University)
Noah as Midrash and Art
Rabbi Hayyim Angel (Yeshiva University)
, Dr. Devora Steinmetz, and Dr. Jeffrey Rubenstein 
in conversation with
 Dr. Eric Goldman

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Reif Q&AA feeling of camaraderie pervaded the fifth floor of Furst Hall on October 29 when Professor Stefan Reif delivered a talk at Revel about attitudes toward non-Jews in Genizah documents. Speaking without a microphone, Professor Reif interspersed his lecture with personal anecdotes and Yiddish sayings, and regaled the audience with stories of his time in Jew’s College, London. He made special note of his relationship with Hakham Solomon Gaon, who founded the YU Sephardic Studies Program, and in whose memory the lecture was dedicated. Not merely an academic analyzing dry Genizah texts, Reif is a deeply committed Jewish scholar who loves bringing the primary sources of our tradition to life.

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Galinsky CroppedOn Monday, November 24 at 7:00 P.M. in Furst Hall – Room 535, Revel will host a guest lecture by Dr. Judah Galinksy, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at Bar-Ilan University, on “Aspects of Lay Piety in the Jewish Community During the 13th Century.” Response by Professor Ephraim Kanarfogel, Revel’s E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law. Free parking is available to event attendees at YU Parking Lot (E) – 2497 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY, 10033.

Click to RSVP and join, share, and like our Facebook Event!

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rsz_20140129_revel_symposium_059Haifa Professor Yeshayahu Maori, a many-time visiting professor at Revel, just published an article on Rashi based on his talk at the Revel Symposium on Parshanut ha-Miqra this past January. Appearing in the Israeli academic journal Sha’anan, this study focuses on Sefer ha-Zikkaron, a supercommentary on Rashi by R. Avraham Bakrat, who settled in Algiers after the 1492 expulsion from Spain. Maori presents Bakrat’s theory regarding Rashi’s motives in incorporating midrash into his commentaries—notwithstanding his stated peshat agenda.

Click here to download the full article.


Reif FlatscreenPlease join us on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. in Furst Hall, Room 535 for a guest lecture by Dr. Stefan Reif: “Attitudes to Non-Jews in Prayer Texts Found in Early Hebrew Manuscripts.” (Click to RSVP)

Dr. Reif is Professor Emeritus of Medieval Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, the retired Director of the Cairo Genizah Collection/Research in the Cambridge University Library, the retired Director of the Oriental Division of the Cambridge University Library, a Fellow of St. John’s College at Cambridge University, and the former President of the Jewish Historical Society of England and of the Cambridge Theological Society. Dr. Reif also served as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and at Dropsie College in Philadelphia. 

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img_5482_SLRevel celebrated its 48 MA Program graduates of 2013-2014 at the school’s annual Year-End Student-Faculty Reception on May 28. The event took place on the Wilf Campus, utilizing Revel’s new Graduate Lounge and Dean’s Suite on the third floor of Furst Hall. The event brought together students, faculty, and new graduates and their families.


img_5466_SLIn his address to attendees, Dean David Berger stressed the academic qualifications of Revel students and alumni that make the school so scholastically unique. “There is no other graduate program with a substantial body of students who can almost all confront the classical sources of Judaism in their original languages with the knowledge and sophistication that you bring to your studies,” he stated. “It is a pleasure–even an honor–to teach you.”


img_5469_SL-smallThe first part of the program featured a special presentation by Revel’s senior adjunct Visiting Professor of Jewish History and Literature Sid Z. Leiman to retiring YU Judaica librarian and collector Zalman Alpert, who has served as an indispensable resource for Revel and other YU faculty for over 35 years. Leiman presented Alpert with

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polyglot11It isn’t every day that you have the occasion to study a 16th century piece of history.  Revel students were treated to just that on Friday, April 25 when Professor Jesús de Prado Plumed, an expert from Universidad Hebraica de México, joined Prof. Ronnie Perelis’ Medieval Jewish History class and Prof. Jeffery Freedman’s Stern College class on the “History of the Book” at the New York Public Library to view the Compultense Polygot Bible, from the library’s collection. 

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10007362_873583192667833_5692352090669802879_oAmong the masterpieces of Renaissance printing are two multi-volume Bibles presenting multiple different ancient versions of Scripture (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic) in parallel columns across the page, so-called Polyglot Bibles. These Bibles were monuments to intellectual and technical collaboration between the scholars and print professionals who produced them. Since the Hebrew and Aramaic texts they edited and printed had been transmitted for centuries not by Christians but by Jews, these Polyglot Bibles also represented the exploration by Renaissance Christian humanists of medieval Jewish traditions of textual transmission.

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c1.45.1VThe Bernard Revel Graduate School was pleased to welcome back alumna Dr. Shana Schick (BRG ’11) to deliver a special guest lecture on Tuesday evening, February 25th.  Dr. Schick was the first woman to earn a doctorate in Talmud from Revel and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at The Center for Inter-disciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah at Haifa.  While the academic community is well aware of the Genizah, one of the goals of Schick’s program is to bring it to the public’s attention and share insights into its significance through various educational frameworks. Her lecture, “Midrash Reishit HaParshiyot: A Genizah Discovery,” presented some of her research findings through a close reading of a particular midrashic fragment.

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"Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim” at the YU MuseumIt’s the only book in the Bible to omit all mention of God, the Torah and the land of Israel. Aside from Genesis, it’s also the most written-about biblical work in the Talmud. Throughout the ages, the unique tension in the Book of Esther has made it one of the most fascinating books in Jewish tradition, and also one of the most deeply complex. On March 10, in honor of the upcomingfestival of Purim, scholars from schools across Yeshiva University came together to discuss those complexities and their implications for Jewish thought and experience.

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