The Katz Center looks forward to a 2023–24 fellowship year devoted to the study of sound and music as a part of Jewish life, and we are delighted to announce the cohort of scholars who will join us for a year of research, conversation, and engagement with the Penn community and with the public.
Although it may seem like our staff brings a zealous, 24/7, laser-sharp focus to their work at the Katz Center, some (ok, all) have talents and interests that reach beyond our walls.
A number of fascinating manuscripts have been cataloged recently in Penn Libraries’ rare Judaica holdings, ranging from legal documents to a personal notebook. Here are some highlights.
Two of the recently cataloged manuscripts come from the former collection of Yosef Goldman (1942–2015). Goldman was a Hungarian scholar of American Judaica, a Judaica collector, and coauthor with Ari Kinsberg of Hebrew Printing in America, 1735–1926, A History and Annotated Bibliography (Brooklyn, 2006).
On December 21, 2022, Penn’s Judaica collections received a magnificent gift of twenty-seven historic ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) from Penn alumni Joseph T. Moldovan, C’76 and Susan Alkalay Moldovan, C’76. The donation features twenty-five handwritten and two printed ketubot, dating from 1678 to 1946, originating in Persia, Gibraltar, Italy, Morocco, Ottoman Palestine, Holland, Tsarist Russia, the U.S., the Kingdom of Poland, Yemen, and British Mandate Palestine. Accompanying the gift are detailed descriptions of each ketubah and high-resolution TIFF images.
In curating and presenting lectures in Jewish studies to audiences beyond academia, the Katz Center fulfills several aims. One crucial one is to showcase the vibrancy of current research and the inherent interest of the areas of culture and history in which Jewish studies scholars are expert. In an era of diminishing support for humanities scholarship, the warm reception our talks—accessible but not simplified—have received speaks to a real appetite outside of the university for knowledge and ideas at a high level.
A manuscript for the Sefirah counting recently cataloged in the Alfonso Cassuto Collection dates from 1839; it was written by Salamaõ Attias for Moses Buzaglo in Ponta Delgada.
Working together with the Tanenbaum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, Penn's Jewish Studies Program, and partners from other leading Jewish studies programs, the Katz Center has launched a small grant initiative to support colleagues in Jewish studies caught in the war in Ukraine.
The Katz Center is thrilled to announce the cohort for the 2022–23 academic year, engaging the theme of Jews and Modern Legal Culture. The fellows will join us from Israel, France, Germany, Canada, and the United States, and represent a range of methodological, disciplinary, and historical specializations.
The Katz Center announces the 2021–2022 fellows, on the theme Rethinking Premodern Jewish Legal Cultures
It is with tremendous excitement that we announce the incoming fellows for the 2021–2022 academic year, focusing on the theme of Rethinking Premodern Jewish Legal Cultures. These scholars bring expertise in law, drawing on a range of methodologies and evidence bases, and covering space and time from ancient Mesopotamia though medieval Sefarad and early modern Germany. Chosen from a particularly competitive pool of applicants, the incoming fellows hail from Israel, Western Europe, Brazil, Canada, and the US.