Katz Center Special Events


  • Professor Steven Weitzman appointed Center's new director
  • The Katz Center is delighted to welcome the incoming 2014-2015 fellows, who will gather in September to bring new perspectives to the origins, context, and diffusion of the academic study of Judaism
  • The fall 2014 seminar schedule is now available here
  • We are currently accepting applications for our 2015-2016 fellowship year, on the topic Jews Beyond Reason: Exploring Emotion, the Unconscious, and Other Dimensions of Jews' Inner Lives. To find out more about the topic and how to apply please click here
  • Take a look at the latest Katz Center newsletter
  • Taking Note: 20 Years of Scholars and Scholarship at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, 1993–2014, a collection of essays, images, and a history of the Center since it became part of Penn in 1993 is now available as an e-book and a pdf
  • We are currently accepting proposals for future fellowship themes. Please see the revised guidelines for proposals

  • Professor Steven Weitzman Appointed Center's New Director


    Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

    The Katz Center and the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Steven Weitzman as the new Ella Darivoff Director of the Katz Center, beginning July 1, 2014.

    Steve is a widely respected scholar of the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism, who received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is currently the Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University, and director of Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies. At Penn, in addition to being the Ella Darivoff Director, he will serve as the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures in the Department of Religious Studies.

    Steve is an adventurous and creative intellect who is a perfect fit for the Center; he will lead the Center into its next chapter with energy and vision, while remaining true to what has made the Center so successful in its first two decades at Penn under the leadership of David Ruderman.

    The Katz Center in the News


    The chairman of our Board of Overseers, Thomas O. Katz, has been profiled in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Penn's Arts and Sciences Magazine. Click here to read the full article in which Tom talks about his relationship to the center and the importance of continuing the legacy of his father, Herbert D. Katz.


    Click here for Heather A. Davis's Penn Current profile of the Center: "Rare Finds at Katz Center" (April 18, 2013).


    David Ruderman was recently featured in two stories: Click here to link to see an extensive video/story on the European news channel Jewish News One (JN1), and you can click here to hear Prof. Ruderman talk about his time at the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA), where he was invited to lecture.


    We are thrilled to announce that three past fellows have just won the 2013 Israel Prize: Yosef Kaplan was honored in the category of the study of the history of Israel, Chava Turniansky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem won the prize for the study of Jewish languages and literature, and Yoram Bilu was honored in the field of sociology and anthropology. In the ceremony on Independence day (April 16, 2013), Israel's Education Minister Shai Piron said: “Society is measured by the importance of its intellectuals and leaders.” We could not agree more. Mazal tov to all three!

    Recent acquisition by the Katz Center Library: A 19th-century Bulgarian Ketubah


    Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

    The Katz Center library is pleased to announce the acquisition in December of 2011 of a marriage contract (ketubah) from Ruse, Bulgaria  (1831).

    The ketubah in black ink and watercolor is written in Aramaic and Hebrew Sephardic semi-cursive script, on thick paper. It features an Italianate and Islamic-influenced double-arch design with colorful floral and geometric patterns in the supporting columns and vines along scalloping. The text has three paragraphs: standard ketubah text in the right arch, conditions and bride’s dowry in the left arch. Two verses from Proverbs (19:14, 18:22) are enclosed in the arches and cross beam.
        The wedding took place on Mon. 10 Marḥeshvan, 5592 [October 17, 1831] in the city of Oroniḳ, today the town of Ruse, on the River Ṭuna, known as the Danube River. The groom is Aharon beha-r. Mosheh ha-m. Mirḳado H.y.ṿ. ben ha-n. u-m. beha-r. Mosheh b. Efrayim H.y.ṿ. The bride is Biliya t.m. de-miḳre Bekhorah t.m. bat ha-manoaḥ Ḥayim Daniyel di Leʼon ha-m. Parisiʼado. Witness signatures are illegible.

    This piece was acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Elis & Ruth Douer Term Fund Elis and Ruth Douer Endowment for Sephardic Culture.