Faculty Present at 16th World Congress of Judaic Studies

With More than 18 Faculty Presenters, YU Among the Largest Non-Israel Based Institutions Represented

More than 18 faculty members from Yeshiva University’s graduate and undergraduate schools presented at the 16th World Congress of Judaic Studies, making its presence among the largest of any non-Israeli group.

The Congress, which took place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from July 28-August 1, convenes every four years to provide a stage where new research in a wide range of fields within Jewish Studies can be presented, including areas such as “The Bible and Its World,” “History of the Jewish People,” “Rabbinic Literature,” “Jewish Law,” “Jewish Thought,” “Contemporary Jewish Society in Israel and the Diaspora,” and “Jewish Education,” among others. It is the largest assembly of its kind and provides an opportunity for more than 1,000 Judaic studies scholars from the world’s leading research institutes to meet and exchange ideas.

Dr. Moshe J. Bernstein, Professor of Bible and Jewish History and David A. and Fannie M. Denenberg Chair in Biblical Studies at YeshivaCollege, who attended his eighth consecutive World Congress, contrasted the number of YU faculty involved in this year’s program with the number who were present in 1985 when he first participated in the Congress. Bernstein suggested that “this higher level of participation in the Congress is a clear indication of the substantial strengthening of the University’s staff in academic Jewish studies over the years. It was furthermore very gratifying to observe, beyond the contributions of our faculty, how many other alumni of both undergraduate and graduate schools of YU also presented lectures at the Congress, demonstrating in yet another way the impact that YU has had internationally in this field.”

Presentations from YU faculty included “The Origins of Halakhic Culture of Ashkenaz: A Proposal,” by Dr. Haym Soloveitchik, professor of Jewish history at YU; “Radak’s Sefer HaShorashim and His Biblical Commentaries: A Comparison,” by Dr. Naomi Grunhaus, associate professor of bible at Stern College for Women; and “The Place of Hermeneutics in the Teaching of the Bible,” by Dr. Moshe Sokolow, Fanya Gottesfeld-Heller Professor OF Jewish Education and associate dean at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, among many others.

“This conference represents a barometer for measuring the status of Judaic studies scholars and their institutions throughout the world,” said Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, vice provost for undergraduate studies at YU, who delivered a presentation entitled “The Mikhbar in the Temple Scroll” and is a member of the board of the World Conference of Judaic Studies. “With one of the largest numbers of presenters from anywhere outside of Israel, we were represented in all the major areas of the field and made a fantastic contribution to the program. We have much to be very proud of as a University.”

“The large and unmistakable presence of presenters at the Congress from YU, including both faculty members and doctoral students, in a range of disciplines and panels in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education, speaks volumes about the prominent place that Yeshiva occupies on the international academic scene,” said Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Bill Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law at YU, who delivered a lecture at the conference titled, “The Observance of Mitzvot among the Jewish Population in Europe during the 12th and 13th Centuries.”

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