2011 - 2012 Fellows Biographies

Eitan Bar-Yosef
Ben-Gurion University
Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship

Eitan Bar-Yosef is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He authored The Holy Land in English Culture, 1799–1917: Palestine and the Question of Orientalism (2005) and coedited “The Jew” in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Culture: Between the East End and East Africa (2009). His research interests include postcolonialism, Anglo-Jewish history, Israeli cultural studies, and contemporary theatre. At the Katz Center, Bar-Yosef will examine the representation of African travel in Israeli Literature and Culture.


Orit Bashkin
University of Chicago
Selma Ruben Fellowship

Orit Bashkin is Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include Arab intellectual history, modern Iraqi history, and the history of Arab-Jews in the Middle East. She published The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, 1921–1958 (2009) and Others and Brothers: Iraqi Jews and the Iraqi State, 1921–1951 (forthcoming). This year, Bashkin will work on a project titled “Rediscovering Iraq: Jewish Travels in Modern Babylon, 1921–1951.”


Adam Beaver (S)
Princeton University
Albert J. Wood Fellowship

Adam Beaver is Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University. His research focuses primarily on Spaniards’ interactions with the Levant, both real and imaginary. At the Katz Center, Beaver will research Pietro Martire d’Anghiera’s Babylonian Embassy (1511), a riveting account of the Italian humanist’s 1502 embassy to Mamluk Egypt on behalf of the Spanish monarchs Fernando and Isabel.


Julia Cohen (S)
Vanderbilt University
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Julia Cohen is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Vanderbilt University. Her current book project, tentatively titled Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Belonging, focuses on the imperial loyalties and local identities of Ottoman Jews in different urban centers of the eastern Mediterranean. While at the Katz Center, Cohen will focus on a new project that traces movements of modern Ottoman Jewish merchants and merchandise around the globe.


Jackie Feldman (S)
Ben-Gurion University
Martin Gruss Fellowship
Erika A. Strauss Teaching Fellowship

Jackie Feldman is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a veteran tour guide. He focuses on the performance of contemporary pilgrimages and the role of pilgrimage in the construction of cultures and identities. Feldman will compare the representations and performances of “home” and “homecoming” in contemporary Jewish and Christian tourism to Israel.


Miriam Frenkel (F)
Hebrew University
Ella Darivoff Fellowship
Rose and Henry Zifkin Teaching Fellowship

Miriam Frenkel is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History and the School of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Deputy Chair of the Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East. Her main fields of research are Geniza studies, cultural and social history of medieval Judaism in the lands of Islam, and medieval cultural encounters between Judaism and Islam. Frenkel will study medieval Jewish travels to India and the significance of these travels to the construction of Jewish identity.


Elliott Horowitz (F)
Bar-Ilan University
Louis and Bessie Stein Fellowship

Elliott Horowitz is Associate Professor of Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University and has been a coeditor of JQR since 2003. He studies the cultural and social history of Jews in premodern Europe. Horowitz will work on a project titled “Middle Eastern Travels and Biblical Scholarship.”


Iris Idelson-Shein (F)
Tel-Aviv University
Samuel T. Lachs Fellowship

Iris Idelson-Shein teaches at Tel-Aviv University. She studies early modern and modern Jewish thought and has published on early modern perceptions of gender and ethnicity. During her stay at the Katz Center, Iris will investigate the ways in which notions of identity and alterity are expressed in the travel literature of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment).


Oded Irshai (F)
Hebrew University
Martin Gruss Fellowship

Oded Irshai is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is an expert in the areas of Jewish and Christian history during Late Antiquity. During his time at the Katz Center, Irshai will examine the two earliest Christian travelers’ and pilgrims’ reference books, the Onomasticon and the Martyrs of Caesarea, both written by the Christian historian, commentator, and polemicist Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 263–339 c.e.).


Martin Jacobs
Washington University
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship

Martin Jacobs is Associate Professor of Rabbinic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. His current research interests include Jewish historiography in medieval and early modern times and premodern Jewish travel writings. At the Katz Center, Jacobs will be working on a book project tentatively titled Reorienting the East: The Islamic World as Depicted in Medieval Jewish Travel Literature.


Jack Kugelmass (F)
University of Florida
Ellie and Herbert D. Katz Distinguished Fellowship

Jack Kugelmass is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida. He is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on the anthropology of Jewish life, especially in Poland and the United States. Kugelmass will research the writings of the great Yiddish travel writer Hayyim Shoshkes (1891–1964).


Joshua Levinson (S)
Hebrew University
Dalck and Rose Feith Family Fellowship

Joshua Levinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a theorist of aggadic narrative and has published, among other publications, The Twice-Told Tale: A Poetics of the Exegetical Narrative in Rabbinic Midrash (2005), “Enchanting Rabbis: Contest Narratives between Rabbis and Magicians in Late Antiquity” (JQR 100 [2010]: 54–94), and “There is No-Place Like Home: Rabbinic Responses to the Christianization of Palestine” (forthcoming). Levinson will explore travel narratives in rabbinic literature. 


Ora Limor (S)
Open University
Ellie and Herbert D. Katz Distinguished Fellowship

Ora Limor is Professor of Medieval History at the Open University of Israel. Her publications include Die Disputationen zu Ceuta [1179] und Mallorca [1286] (1994) and Holy Land Travels: Christian Pilgrims in Late Antiquity (1998). Limor will examine Holy Land travel accounts and devotional literature from the late Middle Ages. 


Vered Madar
Hebrew University
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Vered Madar recently completed a dissertation in the Department of Jewish and Comparative Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation examines the poetic traditions of Yemenite Jewish women, lamentationsand the songs for birthing women. Madar will research contemporary books written by Yemenite women about their journey from Yemen to Israel focusing theoretically on thetransitionfrom oral tradition to a written mode ofexpression.


Limor Mintz-Manor (S)
Hebrew University
Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellowship

Limor Mintz-Manor is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History of the Jewish People at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is completing a dissertation on the representations of America and its indigenous people in early-modern Jewish texts. She published “Symbols and Images in the Sephardic Congregation in Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries” (Pe‘amim 120 [2009], 9–59). For the past two years she was a Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for Advancement of Peace. Mintz-Manor will research Jewish ethnographies of non-European groups in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.


Chaim Noy (F)
Sapir College
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship
Nancy S. and Laurence E. Glick Teaching Fellowship

Chaim Noy is Senior Lecturer at Sapir College in Israel. His publications include A Narrative Community: Voices of Israeli Backpackers (2007), and “Mediation Materialized: The Semiotics of a Visitor Book at an Israeli Commemoration Site,” (Critical Studies in Media Communication 25.2 [2008]: 175–195). At the Katz Center, Noy will explore visitors’ books in Israeli pilgrimage sites.


Nils Roemer (S)
University of Texas, Dallas
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship

Nils Roemer is Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. His fields of interest are Jewish cultural and intellectual history addressing questions of popular culture and memory. He published “London and the East End as Spectacles of Urban Tourism” (JQR 99.3 [2009]: 416–434). Roemer will study central European Jewish travelers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Asher Salah
Bezalel Academy of Arts, Israel
Primo Levi Fellowship

Asher Salah is Senior Lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. His scholarship deals mainly with Jewish literature of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Italy. His publications include a translation into Italian and an analysis of Samuele Romanelli’s Masa‘ Be‘arav, a Hebrew account of an Italian Jew’s extended stay in Morocco at the end of the eighteenth century (2006), and La République des Lettres: Rabbins, médecins et écrivains juifs en Italie au XVIIIè (2007). Salah will work on a project titled “Romanelli’s Travelogue as a Model of Modern Jewish Subjectivity.”


Dimitry Shumsky
Hebrew University
Charles W. and Sally Rothfeld Fellowship

Dimitry Shumsky is Lecturer in the Department of History of the Jewish People at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studies the intellectual and cultural history of Zionism as well as contemporary Israeli society. Shumsky will research Zionist travel literature with an eye to understanding the complex relations between Diaspora and Zion.


Anat Zanger (S)
Tel-Aviv University
Rebell Family Fellowship

Anat Zanger is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Film and Television and Chair of the MA Program in Film Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her research interests include Israeli cinema, mythology, collective memory, intertextuality, and space and landscape. She is the author of Film Remakes as Ritual and Disguises (2006) and is currently completing a book on space in Israeli film. Zanger will study the cinematic journeys to and from Jerusalem as performed by cine-travelers.