J. H. (Yossi)

University of Haifa
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Research Topic

Visualizing Nature in the Kabbalistic Cosmos


J. H. (Yossi) Chajes is the director of the Center for the Study of Jewish Cultures and an associate professor of Jewish history, both at the University of Haifa. His research interests include kabbalah, early modern Jewish egodocuments, women’s religiosity, the history of Jewish attitudes toward magic, and the visualization of knowledge. He is currently directing the Israel Science Foundation-supported Ilanot Project, which is working to catalog and describe all kabbalistic cosmological diagrams.

Chajes received his PhD at Yale University. He has previously been awarded Fulbright, Rothschild, Wexner, Hartman, and Katz Center fellowships, and, in addition, has conducted research at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften at Goethe University, and at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Selected publications

  • The Tree of Holiness: A Nineteenth-Century Visualization of Kabbalah (Cherub Press, forthcoming)
  • Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003)



Challenging the methodological divide between history and anthropology in the study of Jews and Judaism.


Posing new questions about the theories, institutions, and paradigms shaping the study of nature, and about the cultural and religious consequences that emerge from such study.