Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies-Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
Distinguished Fellowship in Jewish Manuscript Studies

In 2015, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies created an invitational fellowship, funded in part by the David B. Ruderman Visiting Scholar fund, that allows us to bring a scholar of pre- and early modern Jewish studies to the University of Pennsylvania each year to use our manuscript collections for research. Fellows are paired with a manuscript or group of manuscripts, selected in conversation with the committee. The result, we hope, is an enriched understanding of the significance of the manuscript(s) to Jewish studies and an opportunity for the scholar to engage with these unique artifacts of our intellectual heritage in a direct and meaningful way.

Each year a scholar of international renown takes up a brief residence at Penn, works closely with the manuscript or manuscripts, and interacts with the community to share his or her findings in a range of venues. The scholar gives a public lecture sponsored by Penn’s Jewish Studies Program, prepares a video course (MOOC) about the manuscript and its value for Jewish studies and beyond, and is invited to publish his or her findings in the Jewish Quarterly Review or Manuscript Studies.


Meet the SIMS-Katz Fellows

Tzvi Langermann (20152016), Professor of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. The publication that emerged from this fellowship is Y. Tzvi Langermann, Transcription, Translation, and Annotation: Observations on Three Medieval Islamicate Medical Texts in University of Pennsylvania MS Codex 1649,” in Manuscript Studies 1.1 (2016): 135–50. Watch Professor Langermann interact with this manuscript in his online mini-course here.

Alessandro Guetta (20162017), Professor of Jewish thought at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris, France. Professor Guetta guides us through the manuscript in his online course here.

Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (20172018), Professor of Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic Manuscript Studies, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France and Head, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

Elisabeth Hollander (20182019), Professor of Jewish studies at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Fabrizio Lelli (20192020), Professor of Hebrew language and literature at the University of Salento in Lecce, Italy.