Jewish Studies in Arab Contexts

For the Academic Community
Monday, March 25, 2024 -
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

420 Walnut Street

Philadelphia PA 19106

Steve Weitzman

On March 25 and 26, the Katz Center will host a pioneering symposium devoted to Jewish studies as it is developing in various Arab contexts today.

Motivating this conference is our desire to call attention to the rise of various kinds of Jewish studies scholarship in Arab and Islamic countries—in universities, museums, and journals—reflecting efforts to retrieve the Jewish histories and cultures of these countries, histories that often go back thousands of years. The emergence of such scholarship is a significant development but there is not enough awareness of it in North America. In addition to making such work better known to American scholars, we seek to build connections between scholars here and there. 

Invited speakers include Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Egyptian, Iraqi, and Palestinian scholars, along with scholars based in North America; they have in common deep expertise in Jewish history and Jewish culture as it has developed in various modern-day Arab contexts. The Katz Center is indebted to Yoram Meital (fellow in 2018–2019) of Ben Gurion University for his leadership in conceiving, and invaluable help developing the extraordinary program.

The symposium is not open to the public but if you are a faculty member or student at Penn and want to sit in on the symposium, please contact Katz Center director Steve Weitzman at, and he will aim to include you, space permitting.


This program has been made possible by a School of Arts and Sciences Conference Support Grant; funding from the Religious Studies Department's Boardman Symposium; and cosponsorship from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.