From Mishnah to Microsoft: Interactive Brunch to Learn to Explore Encounters Between Holy Texts and Technological Change

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

December 18, 2008, St. Petersburg, FL

"From Mishnah to Microsoft,” an interactive Brunch and Learn sponsored by the Hereld Institute of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 4, 2009, at Congregation B’nai Israel, 300–58th Street North, St. Petersburg.

In antiquity, Talmudic texts were memorized and transmitted orally by Jewish sages. In the medieval period, these same texts were copied by scribes on parchment. For 500 years, printing was the dominant method of transmission. Today, members of the Talmud faculty of JTS have pioneered the creation of databases to preserve and transmit these texts in the prevalent medium of our age, computerization. Dr. Jonathan Milgram, assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, will explore the encounters between the holy texts of ancient Judaism and the history of technological change.

Dr. Milgram has taught at Hunter College, Drisha Institute, and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, all in New York City; and served as professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and London School for Jewish Studies (formerly Jews’ College) in England. Dr. Milgram is the former coordinator of JTS’s Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research, a research institute dedicated to the computerization of medieval Jewish manuscripts, and recently was on the editorial staff of the Encyclopedia Judaica, second edition.

Dr. Milgram’s research interests and publications deal with Talmud criticism, medieval Jewish law, and the intersection of these two fields. He holds BA degrees from Columbia University and JTS. He earned his MA and rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University and his PhD from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is being made possible by a generous grant from the Hereld Institute for Jewish Studies of JTS. Reservations are required. For more information, please contact Carolyn Kantor at (561) 852-3454.