Diana Matut is a lecturer in Jewish and Yiddish Studies at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and a musician (http://www.simkhat-hanefesh.com/).
She published the two-volume edition of and commentary on a Western Yiddish manuscript of songs and Purim plays from the Bodleian Library Oxford, compiled around 1600 based on her PhD work. She researches late medieval and early modern Yiddish song cultures and is currently preparing an edition of all known early modern Yiddish wedding songs. As a 2019-20 Polonsky Fellow, she will continue her research focussing on songs of lamentation.
From 2017-18, Diana Matut was the Joseph Kremen Memorial Fellow for East European Jewish Arts, Music and Theatre at YIVO (New York). There, she had the opportunity to work with the documents of interwar composer Henech Kon and in August 2019 was (together with Joshua Horowitz) the artistic director of the world-premiere of his Bas-Sheve – the only surviving Yiddish pre-war opera from Europe.
Alexandre Cerveux recently completed his PhD in musicology at Sorbonne University, on the subject of music in medieval Jewish education. He currently holds a postdoctoral position in Jewish studies at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. His research focuses on the subject of music in medieval Jewish thought, and on the relationship between linguistic and music theories. Alexandre also is a singer. He graduated from the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, and he regularly performs with Renaissance and baroque ensembles in France and abroad. During his stay at Oxford, he will study the Jewish conceptions in speculative music at the turn of the 16th century.
David Conway originally graduated in Economics and Natural Sciences at King’s College Cambridge. He later studied with Prof. John Klier at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London, where he is now an Honorary Research Associate. He obtained his PhD in 2008 for his thesis on Jewish entry to the music professions in the 18th and 19th centuries, later published by Cambridge University Press (Jewry in Music, 2012). Other publications include chapters in The Cambridge Companion to Jewish Music (CUP, 2015), Judaism in Opera (Conbrio, 2017) and The Oxford Companion to Faust in Music (OUP, 2019), as well as articles in journals in the UK and Slovakia. He has been at various times (and sometimes simultaneously) a stockbroker, a local politician, a manufacturer, and (for twenty-five years) a development aid consultant in the former Soviet Union. He is presently chair of the opera company HGO. His particular interests are in the social, political and economic histories of music.
Michael Lukin completed his PhD dissertation in the field of Yiddish Musical Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His study provides a frame of reference for the characterization of Yiddish folk singing as documented since the late nineteenth century. A typological comparative analysis of approximately 7,000 songs from the traditional repertoire revealed the following 5 dominant genres: lyric songs, ballads, lullabies, folk paraphrases of liturgical texts, and serial songs. This typology is conceived of as a multi-dimensional continuum that includes songs interfacing two or more genres. The dissertation conceptualises traditional Yiddish folk song as a creative endeavour that emerged during the early modern period in the encounter between town and village, and between western Ashkenazi heritage and Slavic environment.
Lukin and W.Z. Feldman co-authored an annotated bibliography on East European Jewish Folk Music (published by Oxford Bibliographies Online). M. Lukin also edited an annotated selection of archival recordings of the Yiddish performer and composer from Bukovina Leibu Levin (published by HU). His articles appeared in Judaica Petropolitana, Chava Turniansky Jubilee Volume, Polin32 (2019), Judaic-Slavic Journal (2019) and other publications. Lukin is a lecturer at Bar Ilan University and at Sapir College, Israel, teaching courses on Hassidic Niggun, Jewish Music and Yiddish Folklore.
As part of the research group “Between Sacred and Profane – Jewish Musical Cultures in Early Modern Europe” Lukin intends to focus on the older layers in the music of the non-liturgical repertoires of eastern European Yiddish speakers.
Naomi Cohn Zentner
Naomi Cohn Zentner is the head of the MA program in Prayer and Jewish music at the Schechter College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. She completed her PhD in 2013 at Hebrew University’s Musicology department on the singing of Zemiroth Shabbath (ritual table songs) among Ashkenazi religious-Zionists in Israel. She was a Postdoctoral fellow at Hebrew University’s Daat Hamakom Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World between 2015-2017 where she perused her interest in musical memory of place and time among German Jews. In 2016-2017 She was a Memorial Foundation Fellow focusing on the shared soundscapes of Ottoman era Safed. Her research interests more generally lie in historical ethnomusicology, sacred songs of the Ashkenazi domestic sphere and the cross-fertilization of Ashkenazi and Sephardi liturgical traditions. While at the Centre, as part of the Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies, she will be examining the widespread dissemination of one medieval table song and its melody throughout the Ashkenazi diaspora as a way to investigate the twofold relationship of early modern Zemiroth shabbat melodies with the music of the surrounding culture and with liturgical traditions from that time.
Jaclyn Granick completed her PhD in international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015 after reading Social Studies at Harvard as an undergraduate. She is currently working on a monograph, International Jewish Humanitarianism in the Age of the Great War based on her prize-winning doctoral research, which investigates American Jewish responses to Jewish suffering abroad from 1914-1929. As a Newton International Fellow of the British Academy, she is also beginning a new project on Jewish women’s internationalism and universalism in the long twentieth century.
Her research interests include interactions among transnational non-governmental organizations, states, and international organizations; religious internationalism; history and historiography of Jewish diplomacy and philanthropy; late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century institutional and diplomatic history in the United States and Europe; humanitarianism, human rights, and social reform.
Peter Bergamin completed his DPhil in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford in 2016, with a thesis that traced the ideological development of the pro-Fascist, Revisionist Zionist ideologue, Abba Ahimeir. His research focuses on Maximalist-Revisionist Zionism, and Jewish anti-British resistance during the period of the Mandate for Palestine. He is currently working on a monograph based on his doctoral thesis (The Makings of a Zionist Revolutionary: Abba Ahimeir’s Ideological Genesis, 1921-1934), as well as carrying out research for a new project that examines Britain’s decision to withdraw from Mandate Palestine, in 1947. In the future, he hopes to combine his previous experience as a musician with his current research interests, in projects that will examine the effects of antisemitism on Gustav Mahler’s directorship of the Vienna Court Opera, and antisemitic characterisations in the operas of Richard Wagner. In addition, he is a tutor for the Visiting Student Programme at Mansfield College, Oxford.
Daniel Schumann is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow with a project entitled “A New Methodology for Comparative Analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Cognate Literature”. He completed his PhD in Theology (New Testament and Ancient Judaism) at Münster University in 2018, with a thesis on vows in Ancient Judaism and Earliest Christianity that had a special focus on the possibilities and limits of making exegetical and historical use of Rabbinic texts in the course of elucidating traditions from the time of the Second Temple. In the future, he hopes to combine the outcomes of his PhD thesis and his postdoctoral project in a textbook on comparative work in the study of the New Testament and Ancient Judaism.
Yael Fisch submitted her PhD dissertation titled Paul’s Interpretation of Scripture and the Pre-History of Midrash at Tel Aviv University (2018). She is interested in scriptural interpretation in antiquity and in the history of hermeneutical methods (allegory, typology, pesher, midrash) and in the possibilities (and limitations) on using the Paul’s letters in the reconstructing early and under-documented Jewish interpretative traditions in the first century CE. She has also worked and published on parallel traditions between Josephus and the Rabbis. In her postdoctoral project, titled The Hermeneutics of Torah to the Gentiles: Scripture Beyond Ethnic Particularity, she intends to explore Jewish discourses from Alexandria and Judea/Palestine that think of scripture as addressing non-Jews as well as Jews, and the ways by which these discourses have reshaped Torah and its interpretative practices. Beyond a contribution to the field of scriptural interpretation, she intends the project to serve as a critical inquiry into the ancient Jewish roots of universalism.
Ran Ortner completed his PhD in the Faculty of Jewish Studies – Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archology in Bar Ilan University, Israel in 2017. The subject of his dessertation was, “The Roman Empire Fighting the Jewish Revolts – Strategic and Tactical Aspects: First to Second Century CE.” This dessertation won the Bar Ilan University IHEL Foundation research grant that allows him to continue an independent post-doctorate research project, on “the Whereabouts of the Tenth X Roman Legion’s base camp in Jerusalem after 70 A.D.” Since graduating, he has completed two new studies in field archaeology and history: “The Cestius Gallus and the XII Legion Campaign to Jerusalem in 66 A.D. and its Historical and Strategic consequence – reexamination” and “My Home is My Castle – Combat in built-up and sub-terrain area in the Roman Army in Judea”. Both studies were presented in the 24th Limes congress for Roman Frontier Studies.
Binyamin Katzoff is a faculty member in the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature department at Bar Ilan University. His main research interests are the history of Jewish law and liturgy, the history of the Tannaitic Literaturefrom its composition through middle ages, and methods of study and transmission in late antiquity and middle ages. Currently he is preparing together with Prof. Adiel Schremer a critical edition with introduction for Tosefta Nezikin part B (Sanhedrin – Horayot).
Among his publications are:”The Speech Verbs אמר and ברך in Liturgical Contexts in Rabbinic Literature”, Lešonenu 77 (2015), pp. 177-192; “A Story in Three Contexts: The Redaction of a Toseftan Pericope”, AJSR38 (2014), pp. 109-127; “Blessings over Mitzvotin Eretz Israel and in Babylonia: Further to David Rosenthal, ‘TefillinBlessing in Eretz Israel and Babylonia'”, Tarbiz 79 (2010), pp. 385-387; “‘God of our Fathers’: Rabbinic Liturgy and Jewish–Christian Engagement”, JQR 99 (2009), pp. 303-322.
Aaron W. Hughes is the Philip S. Bernstein Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Studies. He is the author of sixteen books, twelve edited volumes, and over eighty articles and book chapters. He is also the co-editor of the 20-volume Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy. Books titles include The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought (2004); Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History (2012); Jacob Neusner: An American Jewish Iconoclast (2016); and Shared Identities: Medieval and Modern Imaginings of Judeo-Islam (2017).
His time at Oxford is supported by a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where he will work on a project tentatively titled “Silent History: Judaism on the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad.”