The JTS Library Cosponsors “The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium” at The Jewish Museum

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

December 10, 2012, New York, NY

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies are cosponsoring "The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium" on the occasion of the exhibition Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries at The Jewish Museum in New York City through February 3, 2013. The symposium will take place on Sunday, January 13, from noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. RSVP to Hector Guzman at The Jewish Museum is located in Manhattan at 1109 Fifth Avenue (at 92nd Street).

Over the last several decades, the study of the Hebrew manuscript has undergone a massive sea change. The emergence of the History of the Book as a discipline, vast advances made in Hebrew codicology, and new historical and methodological approaches that have shaped recent scholarship on medieval book art-all these developments together have radically changed the ways in which the medieval Hebrew manuscript is now viewed and studied.

"The Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today: A Symposium" event will assess the state of contemporary Hebrew manuscript scholarship. In line with the focus of the Crossing Borders exhibition, it will concentrate on the different ways in which intercultural comparisons and historical contextual studies have reshaped our understanding of medieval Hebrew manuscripts, and what these manuscripts can teach us about their producers, patrons, readers, and the place of medieval Jews in the larger cultures they inhabited. Of particular focus will be Jewish-Christian-Muslim interactions.

This symposium offers an important opportunity to understand the significance of medieval Hebrew manuscripts to the population at large, and to the worlds out of which they emerged.

The event will consist of two sessions: "Crossing Cultural Borders in Producing Hebrew Manuscripts" and "Crossing Cultural Borders in Interpreting Hebrew Manuscripts." A panel discussion, "The Future of the Medieval Hebrew Manuscript," will follow.

Featured speakers are:

Sabine Arndt, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies
Zsofia Buda
, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies
Adam Cohen
, University of Toronto
Evelyn Cohen
, New York City
Marc Michael Epstein
, Vassar College
Eva Frojmovic
, University of Leeds
David Kraemer
, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Vivian Mann
, The Jewish Theological Seminary
César Merchán-Hamann
, Oxford Centre for Jewish Studies and Bodleian Library, Oxford University
David Stern
, University of Pennsylvania

This exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures, co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for The Bodleian Library, Oxford, United Kingdom, in 2009. The New York City presentation has been organized by The Jewish Museum's curator Claudia Nahson, facilitated by the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

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