In 2012, the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research in Israel presented a fascinating and engaging series of lectures called The Book, Literature, and The Library. The series consisted of five animated sessions, and every week we had the privilege of hosting two lectures.
An impressive and diverse audience took advantage of this wonderful opportunity: Jerusalem residents, professors, researchers, and laypeople. The lectures covered a wide breadth of aspects related to the history of the Hebrew book, illumination of manuscripts, and the development of Hebrew letters. Topics included "The Image of the Jew Through the Mirror of Art," "Authors, Editors, Printers, and Books in the Ottoman Empire," "Window into Responsa Literature," "The Development of the Aleph-Bet and Its Influences," and "The Lives of Jews in Art." Lecturers included Dr. Shula Lederman and professors Aaron Demsky, Joseph Hacker, Nahem Ilan, Shmuel Glick, and Ze'ev Gross.
In light of the success of this series, a new group of lectures was begun in March 2013, and featured some of Israel's finest scholars and lecturers. Topics covered were manuscripts, literature, Talmudic literature and its development, and more. Lecturers included Professors Catherine Kajman-Appel, Elhanan Reiner, and Margalit Shilo, Chagai Ben Shamai; Drs. Chana Kahat and Chayuta Deutsch; and Israel Prize winner, Professor Abraham Grossman. This remarkable set of lectures has and will continue to highlight the important role of The Jewish Theological Seminary as an academic and cultural presence in Jerusalem. Another lectures series is already being planned.
The Schocken Institute for Jewish Research of The Jewish Theological Seminary, a research institute dedicated to academic excellence and research in all branches of Jewish studies, is housed in Jerusalem at the Schocken Library, a historic landmark and architectural masterpiece.