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The Center for the Study of Jewish Languages and Literatures


The main goal of the Center is to advance the study and research of Jewish languages and of the literatures written (or orally transmitted) in these languages. The Center aims to promote comparative research between different Jewish languages and the study of the contact between Jewish languages and Hebrew.

The Center encourages scientific activity by regularly organizing research seminars and inter-university and international scientific conferences, and through the publication of a scientific journal (Massorot) and research monographs.

The Center promotes the teaching of Jewish languages at the Hebrew University through the Department of Hebrew Language, both at the undergraduate level and on the graduate level. Undergraduate students may choose a minor concentration in Jewish languages and literatures focusing on Judeo-Spanish/Ladino/Judezmo, Judeo-Arabic or Yiddish. Graduate students may choose an individually designed Master's program in Jewish languages and literatures focusing on one or more Jewish languages.

The establishment of the Center for the Study of Jewish Languages and Literatures resulted from the initiative of a group of Jewish Languages researchers at the Hebrew University led by Prof. Moshe Bar-Asher. These researchers were seeking to create a forum that would enable collaborative and comparative studies of the various Jewish Languages.

The process for the establishment of the Center began in 1981, leading to its formal inauguration in 1985. Teaching courses in this field was promoted through the Unit for the Teaching of Jewish Languages and Literatures.

Since its establishment in 1985 and for more than 35 years the Center has been advancing research activity in the field of Jewish Languages and Literatures through its international conferences, its seminar series, and the publication of monographs and of the scientific journal Massorot. Since 2007 the Head of the Center is Prof. Ofra Tirosh-Becker.

For additional information please contact the Director of the Center for the Study of Jewish Languages and Literatures, Prof. Ofra Tirosh-Becker at otirosh@mail.huji.ac.il