The Man who never threw anything away: Moses Gaster and his World
Nov 27, 2014 6:15:00 PM
Moses Gaster (1856-1939) was born in Romania but expelled due to his political activities on behalf of the Jewish community. He emigrated to England and was appointed as Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community and later Principal of the Judith Lady Montefiore College in Ramsgate. He was one of the leading figures in the Zionist movement in England and played an important role in the negotiations that led to the Balfour Declaration. As well as his communal and political activities, he was a prolific scholar in both Jewish and non-Jewish fields. Gaster left behind a vast archive of over 170,000 items, which his heirs deposited at UCL. It includes correspondence, diaries, notebooks, unpublished memoirs, photographs, press cuttings and more. There is also a large collection of ephemera, such as visiting cards, greeting cards, invitations and menus. This talk will use items from the collection and extracts from the memoirs to describe Gaster’s life and the Anglo-Jewish community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It will be illustrated with images from the ephemera collection, which has been partially digitised.
Jewish and Christian Tombstones from ancient Zoara/Zoora
Dec 1, 2014 6:00:00 PM
The Biblical town of Zoar, referred to as Zoora in a 6th century CE map, is located by modern Ghor es-Safi, at the southeastern shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan. Regular and illegal archeological excavations that took place in the 1980s and 1990s in the site brought to light an impressive number of Greek and Aramaic epitaphs inscribed on stone, dating to the 4th–6th centuries CE. Gravestones inscribed in Greek belong to Christian burials, while the fewer stones inscribed in Aramaic were attributed to Jewish burials. This is a major discovery, not only as these texts are of exceptional quality and unusual character, but also for their sheer number: the corpus of newly-discovered epitaphs from Zoara/Zoora comprises 386 Greek and ca. 50 Aramaic inscriptions. Such figures are unparalleled in most of the cities or towns in the Roman Near East.