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Moscow School on Jewish Studies


Israel from ancient to modern: conflicts and compromises

Winter school "Israel from ancient times to the present: conflicts and compromises" took place in the hotel "Planernoye" from January 27 to February 1, 2019, the School was organized by Sefer Center in cooperation with International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Russian Jewish Congress, as well as using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation on development of civil society provided by the presidential grants.

School Program


Winter school gathered one hundred participants-lecturers and students– from Ukraine, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Israel, Moldova, USA, Poland. 


At the opening of the school Anna Shaevich and Irina Kopchenova presented current grant programs of the center "Sefer", its publishing and academic activities.

Presenting the new periodical "Judaic-Slavic Journal", Victoria Valentinovna Mochalova, Director of the center" Sefer", also noted the importance of the opening of the School on Holocaust Memorial Day.

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Within the framework of three parallel lecture streams the following subjects were reflected: the sacred geography of the biblical world as a source for the reconstruction of historical and cultural realities and worldview of the authors; the formation of the Hebrew ethno-cultural community in the context of the problems of regional history of the Eastern Mediterranean; the analysis of Maccabean books as polemically pointed and expressing ambivalent attitude to the war of Judea and Diaspora; the concept of hospitality in Talmudic and Greco-Roman literature; the key moments of the history of medieval Jewish exegesis;  features of modernization at East Jewry in an era of New time are reflected. Special attention was paid to the issues of contemporary Israeli society: the impact of the struggle of the concepts of "melting pot" and ethnic pluralism in Israeli culture; features of adaptation and integration of non Ashkenazi communities in Israel; analysis of ethnic, religious and socio-cultural diversity of contemporary Israeli society.

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There were also master classes on slow reading of various types of texts, as well as on Jewish and Israeli cuisine.


Natalie Schneiderman, Director of grantmaking, the Fund's "Genesis»:

Genesis Philanthropy Group has traditionally supported a winter school in Jewish studies by the Centre "Sefer". It is pleasant to realize that the interest of today's students, postgraduates and young scientists in the history and culture of the Jewish people is much wider than their formal academic activities. This opportunity for a week of intellectual immersion in various aspects of modern and ancient Israeli life – and this time the theme of the school is dedicated to conflicts and compromises – helps to strengthen the scientific community, wider dissemination of academic knowledge in the field of Judaism and creates a powerful educational resource for the community.