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International Conferences on Jewish Studies

International Conferences on Jewish Studies

International conferences on Jewish Studies organized by Sefer Center take place every year in Moscow since 1994. 26 annual international conferences have already been held (1994–2019). This is the only large-scale interdisciplinary conference on Jewish studies in the entire post-Soviet space. It is the unique academic meeting place for the researchers from around the world who work with different aspects of Jewish Studies from Biblical Studies to the History of the State of Israel, from Jewish philosophy to Jewish-Christian relations, Jewish literature and art, history of the Jews in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, etc.

During 19942017 Sefer Center annually published proceedings of the International conferences on Jewish Studies. Since 2018, the Sefer Center seized to publish conference proceedings in favor of the publication of a new academic peer-reviewed "Judaic-Slavic Journal".

Recently Center "Sefer" in cooperation with the Center for Slavic-Jewish studies the Institute of Slavic studies organized the 27th International conference on Jewish studies (Moscow, July 11-13, 2021).

We plan to alternate winter and summer conferences, keeping the new frequency of the conference - once a year and a half.

The conference program usually includes sections reflecting traditional areas of Judaism (biblical and Talmudic studies, Jewish thought, Jewish history of different periods, Judeo-Christian relations, the Holocaust, Israeli studies, languages and literature, art, Ethnology, demography, genealogy, museums and archives, etc.). Topics that allow for an interdisciplinary approach to research are welcome. Reports of graduate students and young researchers, as shown by the positive experience of the past few years, are included in the youth panels of the conference with the participation of specially invited debaters.

More detailed information about the recent 27th Conference is presented atConference website

Sincerely, organizing Committee.

The reports on the previous conferences can be found below on this page.


The XVIII International Conference on Jewish Studies, February 1-3, 2011

The XVIII Annual International Conference on Jewish Studies took place in Moscow, February 1-3, 2011, with the support of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC), the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund and the Israeli Cultural Center in Moscow.Informational support was provided by the websiteBooknik:Jewish texts and themes.

The conference – one of the most significant events in Jewish Studies in Russia – was attended by over 150 scientists, university professors and students from the CIS and Baltic States, Israel, USA, Austria and Poland. Among the participants and guests were Mikhail Chlenov (SeferAcademic Board Chairman, Secretary General of the EAJC), Yuri Kanner (President of the RJC), Alec Nadan (Director of the JDC Moscow office); representatives of the Embassy of the State of Israel – Michael Pellivert, Yossie Tavor, and Shlomo Voskoboinik; Israeli scholars – Cyril Aslanov, Ilya Dvorkin, Alec Epstein, Uri Gershovich, Semyon Goldin, Ilia Lurie, Shaul Stampfer, Batya Valdman, Aharon Weiss; representatives of theYad VashemInstitute – Sana Britavsky, Tanya Manusova, Arkadi Zeltser; Russian scholars – Ilya Altman, Valery Dymshits, Dmitry Elyashevich, Alla Gerber, Lilia Kalmina, Tatiana Karasova, Leonid Katsis, Evgenia Khazdan, Victor Kelner, Alexander Kobrinsky, Irina Lapina, Alexander Lokshin, Elena Nosenko-Stein, Vladimir Petrukhin, Eugene Rashkovsky, Sergey Tishchenko, Efim Zhigun (presented report by Evgeny Satanovsky), and many others.

At the Conference openingSeferdirector Victoria Mochalova delivered the greeting messages from the JDC Honorary Vice-President Ralph Goldman, one of theSefer"founding fathers", and, as well,Prof. Haim Avni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). RJC President Yuri Kanner who took part in opening and closing the Conference, and also visited several panels, said that Moscow is becoming one of the centers of Jewish Education and Science. "The Russian Jewish Congress promotes the formation of the modern Jewish community, and it is very important what happens here today," - said the head of ariver.He also urged the scientific community and public officials to cooperate with the rivers in order to attract additional funding for implementation of academic and educational programs: RJC is - a tool for fundraising. And we are ready to cooperate with everybody".

Head of the JDC Moscow office Alec Nadan noticed that theSeferconferences contribute to discovering historical truth and objective perception of events in the development of inter-national relations. "All this is very important, because terrorism, and racism and negative stereotypes still exist, and we must fight them", - emphasized Mr. Nadan. He also noted the importance of theSeferand the Jewish academic community of communities and countries that represent the participants of the conference: "Today, the life of the Jewish community in Russia and the former Soviet withoutSeferis unimaginable".

Opening remarks were also given be the first secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Moscow Mr. Shlomo Voskoboinik, who was representing the Israeli Cultural Center in Moscow. This year it is the first time ICC participated in theSefer’s conference on Jewish Studies. This is especially significant as 2011 marks the 20thanniversary of the restoration of Russian-Israeli diplomatic relations (a special panel was devoted to this date at the Conference).

Other panels at the conference were covering such issues as Biblical Studies, Judaism and Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, different periods of Jewish history, the Holocaust (this section was first organized in close cooperation with the Jerusalem InstituteYad Vashem), the Modern Israeli society, Sociology and Ethnology, Jewish literature and Literary relations, Visual arts, Music, Theater and Film.

According to the prevailing academic tradition, the section "History of Jews in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Time" was dedicated to the memory of the late Ukrainian Professor Boris Elkin (1947–2011), who had done a lot for the establishment of Jewish Studies in the Ukraine; and the section "Hebrew Language: Learning and Teaching" – to the memory of Professor, Member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Konstantin G. Tsereteli (1921–2004), an outstanding representative of the Georgia School of Semitic studies. In this connection, the conference received congratulatory telegram from the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, Academician T. Gamkrelidze.

New publications on Jewish studies were presented at the Conference. In particular,SeferCenter made a presentation of the Proceedings of the 17thannual Jewish studies conference (2010), as well as an Annual conference devoted to the comparative study of Slavic and Jewish cultural tradition ("Dialogue of Generations"), and a collection of articles and memoires dedicated to the memory of prematurely departed Rashid Kaplanov (1949–2007) – first Chairman of theSeferAcademic Board and one of the prominent Russian scientists, who devoted his life to Jewish Studies and education.

There were also presented new issues published during last year:

- the French translation ofThe Book of Pogroms, which appeared previously with support ofSefer(Book of the pogroms. Pogroms in the Ukraine, Belarus and the European part of Russia during the Civil War 1918–1922. A Collection of Documents. Moscow, ROSSPEN, 2007, 995 pages) – L.Milakova, N. Werth.Le livre des pogroms. Antichambre d'un génocideUkraine, Russie, Biélorussie. 19171922;

- Documents on the History and Culture of Jews in the Archives of St. Petersburg: A Guide. Volume 1: Federal Archives;

- the latest books issued by the largest Judaica books publishersTextandScribes;

Gesharim / Bridges of Culture-Khazars: Myth and History,

Studia Anthropologica: a collection of articles in honor of MichaelChlenov.

A special presentation of the publications on the Holocaust took place, among them – the publications by theYad Vashem;the 2ndedition ofThe Encyclopedia: The Holocaust in the Soviet Union,and many others.

The fourteen-volume edition under the title of “Activi”: Anthology for Jewish Educator, published with the support of the JDC, was also introduced.

On the eve of the conference (27-31 January) in the hotelITAR-TASSPushkinonear Moscow the annualSeferWinter School in Jewish Studies as a part of theSefereducational projects was held, co-organized with theChais Center for the development of Jewish studies in Russian(Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

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