Tag Archives: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

An Interview With Sara Japhet

The OUP blog has a very cool interview with the inestimably brilliant Sara Japhet (though they misspell her first name Sarah [for now anyway]).

japhetIn an interview with Professor Marc Zvi Brettler of Brandeis University, Professor Japhet explains how she became interested in the Chronicler, which she describes as “a fresh, critical spirit with the courage to look at Israelite history in a different way.” This emphasis on new and critical perspectives, she explains, helped to frame her career, and was fitting given her appointment as the first tenured woman in the Bible Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, Japhet discusses how her early experiences with Chronicles informed her ongoing work on the larger issues of exegesis and historiography. 

There’s a link to the audio of the interview on the OUP site.  Enjoy it.  With thanks to Jack Sasson for mentioning it.

Post Doc Opening at the Center for the Study of Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Announcement today of a Post doc position in the Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. You can download the PDF containing all the relevant details here. Here’s a bit of it-

The Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellowship in one of the following areas of study:

* New Testament, Early Christianity, its literature and Jewish context
* Eastern Christianity
* Christianity in Palestine/Eretz-Israel (in all fields and throughout its entire history)
* Jewish-Christian relations

The successful candidate will be awarded for one year (or 6 months), beginning on 1 September 2013:

-A grant of $2000 per month
-Travel expenses
-Library privileges at the Hebrew University

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to pursue her/his own research and publications, and to participate in the ongoing academic activities of the CSC. The fellow will be expected to deliver one or two lectures about her/his own research, and to be present in the Hebrew University for the duration of the fellowship. The fellowship requires residence in Jerusalem.

Candidates should have received their Ph.D. degree after 1 July 2009 and before 1 July 2013 at the latest, from an institution other than the Hebrew University.

A Useful New Research Tool: KeiBi

With thanks to Jack Sasson for the heads up-
The International Keilschriftbibliographie (KeiBi)

was first published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome in the journal Orientalia in 1940 (Orientalia N.S. 9). It became an essential tool for the study, research, and teaching of Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The search for entries, though, proves quite cumbersome – a weakness that all bibliographies issued over a substantial period of time share. To enable better access we hereby present the KeiBi online Database, where all issues already published can be searched simultaneously.

A Hebrew University Archaeologist Discovers the World’s Earliest ‘Matches’

This is an interesting one from the BBC

Researchers from Israel say that mysterious clay and stone artefacts from Neolithic times could be the earliest known “matches”. Although the cylindrical objects have been known about for some time, they had previously been interpreted as “cultic” phallic symbols.

The researchers’ new interpretation means these could be the earliest evidence of how fires were ignited. “We have fire evidence in modern humans and Neanderthals, from charcoal, ashes and hearths, but there was nothing ever found that was connected with how you ignite the fire,” lead author Prof Naama Goren-Inbar of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem told BBC News.  But on a visit to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Professor Goren-Inbar recognised the shape of structures discovered at the Sha’ar HaGolan archaeological site as that found in tools used for purposes other than simply cultural ones.  “I saw this object and immediately it came to my mind that this was very, very similar to all the sticks that you see [used as] ‘fire drills’. I made the connection and it slowly developed,” she said.

Read the remainder.  Sometimes, it seems, a match really is just a match.

Azekah Lecture Series

The folk excavating at Azekah are in for a series of very fine lectures this season.  Here are just a few of them:

Monday, July 16th
Prof. Aren Maeir (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan)
The Excavations of Philistine Gath

Monday, July 23rd
Prof. Yosef Garfinkel (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
The Excavations of Kh. Qeiyafa

Wednesday, July 25th
Mr. Ido Koch (Tel Aviv University)
The Judean Lowland under Judahite Hegemony: the Great Eighth Century BCE

Monday, August 13th
Dr. Ran Barkay (Tel Aviv University)
The Pre-History of the Judean Lowland

Wednesday, August 15th
Prof. Bernard Levinson (University of Minnesota, USA)
The Neo-Assyrian Influence upon Deuteronomy

Monday, August 20th
Prof. Manfred Oeming (Heidelberg University, Germany)
David against Goliath (1 Sam 17) – an Old Fight in Modern Research

Wednesday, August 22nd
Prof. Konrad Schmid (Zurich University)

Congratulations to Amihai Mazar On His Election to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Via Chris Rollston-

Amihai Mazar of Hebrew University has been elected to membership in the prestigious Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities….Kudos to him for this much deserved honor (and my gratitude to Sam Wolff for bringing this to my attention).

Indeed, congratulations! The Israeli archaeologists from Tel Aviv and Hebrew University are doing brilliantly!

Congratulations to Emanuel Tov: He’s Been Admitted to the Israel Academy of Sciences!

We are happy and honored that our teacher, colleague and friend, Prof. Emanuel Tov was appointed a member to Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Prof. Emanuel Tov is Prof. emeritus of the department of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His scholarship specializes in various aspects of the textual criticism of Hebrew and Greek Scripture and in the Qumran Scrolls, as well as other aspects of biblical studies.

He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project, completed in 2006.

In 2004 he received the Israeli Emet prize for Science, art and culture, and in 2009 the Israel Prize in biblical studies.

Via Jack Sasson. We join all those congratulating Professor Tov. Certainly this is well deserved.

The Hebrew University Cuneiform Collection Online

Via Jack Sasson-

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (http://www.huji.ac.il/), in partnership with the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (http://cdli.ucla.edu/), is pleased to announce the addition of new digital content to CDLI’s web offerings.

Though modest in numbers, the seventy-two cuneiform artifacts at Hebrew University represent a compelling cross-section of Babylonian history, ranging from a group of fifty-five accounts and two fragmentary royal inscriptions from the Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC), three Early Old Babylonian royal inscriptions of the Uruk king Sin-kashid (ca. 1850 BC), and five Old Babylonian administrative tablets (ca. 1800-1600 BC), down to fragments of inscriptions of the neo-Assyrian kings Shalmaneser III (859-824 BC) and Sargon II (722-705 BC), as well as of the great neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC).

Following an initial agreement of cooperation reached between Bertrand Lafont (CNRS-Paris), CDLI’s director of European and Middle Eastern digitization initiatives, and Nathan Wasserman of HUJI’s Institute of Archaeology, Luděk Vacín of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, was given access to the HUJI cuneiform artifacts as part of a digital capture mission to collections in Jerusalem (the collections of the Sainte-Anne and Saint-Étienne monasteries, the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, are currently in preparation for web release, thanks to the cooperation and friendly assistance of their respective curators); the results of the HUJI collaboration have now been added to CDLI pages and are viewable at <http://tinyurl.com/7w79e54&gt; (one Ur III text included there, Atiqot 4, pl. 8 42, has not been accounted for). Of the sixty-five entries recorded as unedited, eight have been assigned for specialist publication (http://tinyurl.com/7mnobsr).

Any queries concerning the status of the remainder, or of course any corrections of our catalogue data, should be directed to Nathan Wasserman wasserman.nathan@gmail.com or Wayne Horowitz whorowitz@mscc.huji.ac.il at HUJI, or to CDLI cdli@ucla.edu,

The imaging in Jerusalem and post-capture processing at UCLA were made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; they are part of the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term digital preservation of ancient inscriptions on cuneiform tablets, and, in furtherance of humanities research, to provide free global access to all available text artifact data.

Media Exaggeration: This Is Why No One Should Trust the Press

The Atlantic Wire’s headline shows why the general public shouldn’t trust the media.  Instead, it should ask actual experts directly.

Archaeologists Claim They’re One Step Closer to Proving the Bible True

I don’t recall that sentiment being expressed even by Garfinkel.   Even his boldest claims don’t go so far as to say that ‘the bible is closer to being proven’.

Sadly the Atlantic Wire turned to the likes of Shanks and a dim angry atheist for the ‘other side of the story’.  So, all in all, not only do they not get Garfinkel right- they don’t even bother making inquiry of actual academics.  They must be the National Enquirer of the mainstream media.  Or maybe they’re just par for the course.

In any event, if you want to know something, ask someone who knows, not the media nor people interested only in selling magazine subscriptions or copies of their whiny ‘I can’t be a Christian anymore because I think I know everything’ book.

Thomas Römer and Yosef Garfinkel and Qeiyafa in Paris

Thomas Römer
Milieux Bibliques
Conférenciers invités

Yosef Garfinkel, Professeur à la Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israël) – Portable Shrines from Khirbet Qeiyafa and the Biblical Descriptions of Solomon Palace and Temple. Le mercredi 23 mai 2012, à 14h00.

Nifty.  I sure hope Duane Smith and others don’t mind that they are discussing it at a conference before it’s peer reviewed…

Another Snippet of a Tease About the Press Conference to Be Held Tuesday, May 8

The media relations department of Hebrew University relates

On Tuesday, May 8, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will hold a press conference and private tour to announce all-new findings related to the time of Kings David and Solomon, including presentation of artifacts never before seen by the public related to construction of Solomon’s temple and palace.

Via Joseph Lauer.  This notice adds just a bit more of a tease to the previously released snippet discussed here.  In the meantime, there’s also this.

It looks like Tuesday is going to be an interesting day.

Archaeological Tease: The Valley of Elah and Yosef Garfinkel’s Big Reveal

Via Joseph Lauer


Hebrew University archaeologist to reveal new findings at press conference and archaeological tour: On Tuesday, May 8, Prof. Yosef Garfinkel from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will announce an archaeological discovery with implications for archaeology, history and biblical studies. The announcement, including artifacts never seen by the public, will take place at a press conference on the Mt. Scopus campus. A tour of the archaeological site will follow.

—9 a.m.: Registration, equipment setup and light breakfast
—9:30 – 11 a.m.: Press conference at Mt. Scopus campus
—12:30 p.m.: Tour of archeological site.

LOCATION: PRESS CONFERENCE: Senate Hall in the Sherman Administration Building, the Hebrew University’s Mt. Scopus campus.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE: Approximately 30 km. southwest of Jerusalem, in the Valley of Elah. —Directions will be provided at the press conference.

Something to anticipate for next Tuesday.  I’m not a gambler, but I suspect it has something to do with something they’ve found at Qeiyafa.  That, or they’ve finally found Goliath’s rattle.

70% of Israelis Are Willing to Accept a UN / Palestinian State Declaration

Israel should accept the decision if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, about 70 percent of Israelis answered in a recent Hebrew University poll.  The poll, which was conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also found that over 80% of the Palestinians support turning to the UN to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state. The survey was supported by the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

That puts those Israelis against a Palestinian state in a clear minority. And it also makes the American Christian Zionists who decry such a state even more absurd (if that’s possible) than they already are.

The IAA Press Release Concerning the Google / Dead Sea Scrolls Collaboration

Israel Antiquities Authority, Partner with Google R&D Center in Israel –
To Make Dead Sea Scrolls Available On-line With Lead Funding from the Leon Levy Foundation
and a Major Donation of the Arcadia Foundation

“Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library” Will Enable Imaging, Digitization of 900-Manuscript Collection

19 October 2010 – As part of the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its establishment, the Israel Antiquities Authority is launching a unique project – The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library – to document the entire collection of  the Dead Sea Scrolls.A major lead gift from the Leon Levy Foundation, with additional major funding from the Arcadia Foundation and the support of Yad Hanadiv Foundation, will enable the Israel Antiquities Authority to use the most advanced and innovative technologies available to image the entire collection of 900 manuscripts comprising c. 30,000 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in hi-resolution and multi spectra and make the digitized images freely available and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world on the internet.  This is the first time that the collection of Scrolls will be photographed in its entirety since the 1950’s.

The IAA announced this morning that it is collaborating with the Google R&D center in Israel in this milestone project to upload not only all of the digitized Scrolls images but also additional data online that will allow users to perform meaningful searches across a broad range of data in a number of languages and formats, which will result in unprecedented scholarly and popular access to the Scrolls and related research and scholarship and should lead to new insights into the world of the Scrolls.

The innovative imaging technology to be used in the project has been developed by MegaVision, a U.S. based company, and will be installed in the IAA’s laboratories in early 2011.  The MegaVision system will enable the digital imaging of every Scroll fragment in various wavelengths in the highest resolution possible and allow long term monitoring for preservation purposes in a non-invasive and precise manner.  The images will be equal in quality to the actual physical viewing of the Scrolls, thus eliminating the need for re-exposure of the Scrolls and allowing their preservation for future generations.  The technology will also help rediscover writing and letters that have “vanished” over the years; with the help of infra-red light and wavelengths beyond, these writings will be brought “back to life”, facilitating new possibilities in Dead Sea Scrolls research.  Uploading the images to the internet will be achieved with the assistance of Google-Israel and will be accompanied by meta-data including transcriptions, translations and bibliography.

According to Shuka Dorfman, IAA General Director, “we are establishing a milestone connection between progress and the past to preserve this unique heritage for future generations.  At the end of a comprehensive and profound examination we have succeeded in recruiting the best minds and technological means to preserve this unrivalled cultural heritage treasure which belongs to all of us, so that the public with a click of the mouse will be able to freely access history in its fullest glamour.  We are proud to be embarking on a project that will provide unlimited access to one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century, crucial to Biblical studies and the history of Judaism and early Christianity.  We are profoundly grateful to Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation for their lead major gift and to the Arcadia Foundation for its major gift to this project.”

Professor Yossi Matias, Director of Google-Israel R&D center, said that “We are proud to take part in a project that will share the IAA’s National Treasures with the entire world.  This project will enrich and preserve an important and meaningful part of world heritage by making it accessible to all on the internet.  We shall continue with this historical effort to make all existing knowledge in archives and storages available to all”.

The announcement this morning comes after 3 years of research in which the IAA investigated the best imaging technologies, information systems, and preservation methods and raised the necessary funds to begin the project. Pnina Shor is the project manger on behalf of the IAA and is assisted by academic institutions and the best professionals in their respective fields in Israel and abroad, including Prof. Steve Weiner from the Weitzman Institute, Prof. Zeev Aizenshtat from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Gregory Bearman, formerly a principal scientist at the jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Dianne van der Reyden, Director of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, Washington, USA, and Prof. Emilio Marengo and Marcello Manferdi from Eastern Piemont University, Italy.

About The Leon Levy Foundation: The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, a legendary investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy.  The Foundation’s overarching goal is to continue the tradition of humanism characteristic of Mr. Levy by supporting scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large. www.leonlevy.org

About the Arcadia foundation: Arcadia is the charitable foundation of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Since inception in 2001 Arcadia has awarded in excess of $192 million. For more details on Arcadia please visit their website www.arcadiafund.org.uk

The Israel Antiquities Authority is the preeminent organization in the field of Israeli and Biblical archaeology. It is responsible for all matters of archaeology in Israel including land and marine excavations, development and protection of archaeological sites, archaeological research, education, publication, conservation and restoration of objects and sites, and presentation of archaeological material in Israel and abroad. It is the custodian of the National Collections, including nearly 1 million archaeological objects among them the Dead Sea Scrolls, and more than 20,000 archaeological sites throughout Israel. The archaeological work conducted in the country is both universal in preserving the heritage of all humankind and the historic record of human culture in the world of Israel, and at the same time uniquely meaningful to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. www.antiquities.org.il

Click here to download high resolution pictures. Credit: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

1. Image of Deuteronomy Scroll with the Ten Commandments (bottom of 2nd column & 3rd-4th column.

This is the earliest known copy of the Ten Commandments

2, 2A Images taken during the pilot in St Paul

3-5 images in three different wavelengths of a fragment from Deuteronomy Scroll with Moses’ blessing

notice how the writing clarifies gradually

6. A fragment from the Psalms Scroll being shot with a particular wavelength, both studio and fragment are light with the light projected by the wavelength, each wavelength has a different color.

7. A fragment from Thanksgiving scroll while exposed to a wavelength

8. Imaging of the Deuteronomy with the MegaVision system

For further information, kindly contact:
Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority spokesperson, 052-5991888,

Yael Hager, SAPR – Google IL  – 052-3584132

Website, texts and photos © Israel Antiquities Authority

{Via Joseph Lauer}

TAU and HUJ Not Included in the World’s Top Universitites?

The opening ceremony of The Hebrew University ...

That is absurd.

Two Israeli universities are complaining about the recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings, saying data collectors failed to contact them or get in touch with the right people, reports Haaretz. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, which have appeared on other global-rankings lists, are not included in the World University Rankings, which debuted last week.

Tel Aviv University says Thomson Reuters never contacted the proper person at the institution. And Hebrew University says it could find no record of the requests. “The university is saddened by the fact that the editors of the ranking did not carry out their work responsibly, and thus harmed the university,” a Hebrew University spokesperson told the newspaper.

They are both outstanding institutions and should surely be ranked in the top 25, easily.

Looks to me like someone’s let their politics get in the way of fairness and accuracy. Or maybe the Supplement doesn’t like them because they aren’t ‘accredited’ by some American ‘accreditation’ mill. That’s got to be it, because it can’t have anything to do with the quality of education or instruction at those outstanding and sterling schools.