Debra Glasberg Gail is interested in the cultural history of Jewish legal texts, the material history of the book, and the history of science. Her dissertation combined these interests through a close study of the life and work of Italian rabbi and physician Isaac Lampronti (1679–1756), who is best known for producing the first alphabetically organized encyclopedia and the first periodical of halakhah. In her dissertation, Gail showed how Lampronti refashioned the traditional rabbinic system by engaging scientific methodologies and Enlightenment beliefs.

Gail completed her PhD in 2016 at Columbia University. Immediately after, she spent a year as Gruss Scholar-in-Residence at the New York University School of Law. 

Select publications:

  • “Experience Is Proof: Texts versus Observation in Eighteenth-Century Italy” (The Early Modern Workshop: Jewish History Resources, forthcoming) 
  • “Scientific Authority and Halakhah in the Paḥad Yitzḥak” (Materia Giudaica, forthcoming)

For more information about this Katz Center Fellow click here:
Debra Glasberg Gail (2017-2018)