Pioneering Jewish Studies. Since 1826.
UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies is the only university department in the UK dedicated to the field of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and its comprehensive, integrated study.
Our world-class research is wide-ranging and innovative, exploring areas of Jewish Studies that are transnational, interdisciplinary, and often neglected or unknown.
Our areas of research include the Ancient Near East, early rabbinic literature, eastern European Jewish history, Yiddish culture, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Jewish-Muslim relations. Recent research projects include Jewish time and calendars; code switching in the Talmud; Maskilic Hebrew; the Jews and photography; intercession (‘shtadlanut’) in Jewish political tradition; and gender in modern Hebrew literature. We explore new areas of research; our contributions to understanding and knowledge are significant, pioneering, and world-leading.
We have run several international research collaborations with colleagues in Israel, Germany, Poland, and the USA. In the last ten years, the Department has won major research grants from the ERC (European Research Council), AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), Leverhulme, and the British Academy, and has hosted a number of postdoctoral fellowships. Research students have undertaken doctorates in a very wide range of subjects.
Our location in the heart of Bloomsbury gives us close access to a wide range of libraries and unique research facilities, and to its vibrant, interdisciplinary research community.
- Current Research Projects
Professor Sacha Stern (Hebrew and Jewish Studies) has been awarded an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant for a research project entitled Calendars in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: standardization and fixation. This grant, to the value of €2,499,000, is the largest ever achieved in the Faculty. The five-year project was launched on 1 February 2013, and employs a total of five research associates.
in an Era of Transition. The case of Post-Communist Eastern Central Europe (2009–)
in cooperation with SSEES at UCL (funded by the Rothschild Foundation, Europe).
- Jewish Self-Government in Poland from its inception to
the present — a critical and annotated source reader (2009–)
A project to identify, translate and comment on the most relevant and most significant sources pertaining to the history of Jewish self-government in Poland from its beginnings in the Middle Ages to the contemporary world.
- Anti-Semitism in an Era of Transition. The case of Post-Communist Eastern Central Europe (2009–)
- Research Students
Contact Yoni Birnbaum Prof. Sacha Stern
Inclusivism in the Works of Twentieth Century Jewish American Orthodox Posqim email Yoni
Prof. Sacha Stern, Dr. Tali Loewenthal
Assessing the vision of R. Isaiah Horowitz’s Shnei Luhot Haberit as a model of Jewish Pietism in the 17th Century. email Joseph
Dr. Francois Guesnet; Dr. Bojan Aleksov
The Europeanisation of French Jews: French Jewish perceptions of Jews in Southeast Europe, 1840 to 1880 email Noemie
Prof. Willem Smelik
Prof. Neill Lochery
Paths to Peace: A comparative analysis of different approaches to peace efforts in the Middle East email Jonathan
Prof. Michael Berkowitz
Ethnicity and Minority Groups in the Colleges of London University email Felicity
Prof. Michael Berkowitz
Jacob Schiff and the Financing of Japan email Adam
Dr. Francois Guesnet, Prof. Ada Rapoport-Albert
Solomon Dubno and the Impact of Easter European Jewish Learning on the German-Jewish Enlightenment email Zuzanna
Prof. Michael Berkowitz
Jewish Chaplaincy in the British Armed Forces , from 1892 until today email Jonathan
Prof. Willem Smelik, Dr Lily Kahn
Prof. Murray Fraser, Prof. Jonathan Hill, Dr. Francois Guesnet
Prof. Sacha Stern
- Past Research Projects
External Grant-Funded Projects
Medieval Christian and Jewish Calendar Texts from England and Franco-Germany A Leverhulme-Funded Research Project.
The Jewish Calendar in Early Islamic Sources (2010–2012) A Leverhulme-Funded Research Project.
Medieval Calendars (2008–2013)
"Medieval Monographs on the Jewish Calendar" (funded by the AHRC).
Introductory Poems to the Babylonian Targums
A grant from the Rothschild Foundation Europe in the Post-doctoral Research Fellowships Programme.
The Montefiore Testimonials Digitization Project
UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Cooperation with the Montefiore Endowment.
ERC Calendars Project Workshops
- Al Biruni and his world (15 February 2016)
- Science versus popular culture in medieval Jewish society (9 November 2015)
- The origins of the seven-day week (25 June 2015)
- Calendars and Religion in Antiquity and the Middle Ages (18 February 2015)
- Images, diagrams, and tables in antiquity and the middle ages (12-13 November 2014)
- The language of ancient and medieval calendars, astronomy, and mathematics (8 May 2014)
- Diversity and Unity in Ancient and Medieval Calendars (18 February 2014)
Three leading academic journals are edited by members of the department:
- The Journal of Jewish Studies (Professor Sacha Stern)
- Aramaic Studies (Dr Willem Smelik)
- Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society England (Professor Michael Berkowitz)
- ERC Workshops
- PhD profile information