Columbia University
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship

Research Topic

German Jews and the Imperial Supreme Court, 1495–1690


Tamar Menashe is a historian of late medieval and early modern Jewish and European history, especially in Germany, in what was the Holy Roman Empire. Her research interests lie at the intersections among law, religion, gender, culture, and interfaith relations. Drawing on archival research in twenty-nine archives across three continents, at the Katz Center, Menashe will continue to reconstruct Jews’ intensive pursuit of civil and religious rights at Germany’s Imperial Supreme Court in the context of the wide-ranging legal and religious reforms between 1500–1700.

Menashe received her PhD in History at Columbia University with a dissertation titled “The Imperial Supreme Court and Jews in Cross-Confessional Legal Cultures in Germany, 1495–1690,” which won the 2022 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize at the German Historical Institute. Her research has been supported by the Renaissance Society of America, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the Central European History Society, the Posen Foundation, DAAD, the Center for Jewish History, and the Association for Jewish Studies.



Focusing on the broad contexts in which Jewish (and Israelite) law was developed by and for Jews, and in which it operated, treating law as a necessary component for understanding the broader dynamics of culture, history, governance, and economics of each place and period.