Revel Alum Will Work on a Critical Edition of Ashkenazic Liturgical Poetry

Dr. Gabriel Wasserman ’16BR, who earned his PhD at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, has been awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship, specially designated in the name of the late Prof. Yonah Fraenkel, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Wasserman’s research will focus on preparing a critical edition of the piyyutim [liturgical poetry] in the Ashkenazic mahzor [prayer book]. His dissertation on the piyyutim for Hanukkah composed in the medieval and early modern periods was written under the guidance of Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law. Wasserman’s academic supervisor, Dr. Shulamit Elitzur, is also one of the leading scholars of piyyut in the world today.

“I am excited,” Wasserman said, “that my project at Hebrew University will have the potential to benefit not only the academic world but also Jewish communities, wherever Ashkenazic piyyutim are cherished and recited — fitting with the goals of Yeshiva University to reach to Jewish communities beyond the ivory tower.”

“The fact that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — the premier institution for the study of medieval piyyut for many decades—has seen fit to award this postdoctoral fellowship to Dr. Wasserman,” noted Kanarfogel, “speaks both to the high quality of his written work to this point, and to the fact that he has already become a recognized young scholar in the field. This achievement will hopefully serve as a model for all of our outstanding doctoral students at Revel.”

Dr. David Berger, dean of Revel, noted that “this is a project of major importance, and the appointment of Dr. Wasserman to this position is a tribute to his own talent and erudition, as well as to the quality of the training that he received at Revel.”


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