This project demonstrates the commitment of Tel Aviv University in general, and the Diaspora Research Center in particular, to the innovative examination of traditional Jewish sources and customs and the ways in which they have significantly impacted later Jewish life. The project hopes to attract more researchers to the field of Jewish history and thereby lead to an expansion and deepening of Jewish self-understanding.

One aspect of this project is a thorough study of the Jewish prayer book and its development in Europe during the Middle Ages—an exciting and varied history that has yet to be fully uncovered and explained. The goal of the project is to clarify the Jewish liturgical adjustments made in the Franco-German world on the one hand and in the Islamic world on the other, and ascertain whether the reasons for these have common historical elements and factors lying behind them. Towards this end, the researchers will analyze outstanding manuscripts and early printed editions that shed light on how the Jewish prayer book was evolving in Franco-Germany in the Middle Ages and how this laid the foundation for its later development. Particular attention will be paid to the common daily prayers, with the goal of identifying the factors that most influenced which kinds of texts and formulations were preferred.

Another area of the project concentrates on mourning liturgy in the Ashkenazi communities of the medieval period. Based on liturgical poetry, statutory prayers, confessions, final testimonies, acts of charity, funeral and mourning rites, and evidence from tombstones, researchers examine the degree to which these communities were innovative in this area of communal activity and expanded the traditions inherited from the Talmudic and Geonic authorities. The treatment is interdisciplinary, ranging from the historical, sociological, economic and folkloristic to the linguistic, literary, and theological.

The study is headed by Professor Stefan Reif, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Hebrew and Fellow of St. John's College at the University of Cambridge. The research team also includes Dr. Tsur Shafir of Bar-Ilan University and Dr. Yaakov Teppler of Beit Berl College, who each concentrate on different aspects of the subject of the Jewish prayer book.


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The Digitized Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey, in Memory of Prof. Bernard Lewis z"l

The Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center is pleased to present the Digitized Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey, in Memory of Prof. Bernard Lewis z"l

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Symposium in memory of Prof. Shlomo Simonsohn z"l - postponed

The Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center wishes to update that the Symposium in memory of Prof. Shlomo Simonsohn z"l has been postponed.

A new date will be published soon


Updates Regarding the Opening of Mehlmann Library under the "Purple Badge" Regulations

In keeping with the "Purple Badge" regulations, visits to the library must be requested and approved in advance.

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