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International Conferences on Jewish Studies



The XX International Conference on Jewish Studies, February 3-5, 2013

The Twentieth Annual International Conference on Jewish Studies was held on February 3-5, 2013 at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center (Moscow). It was organized by Sefer Center with the financial support of “Joint” Distribution Committee, “Genesis” Fund  and the Russian Jewish Congress.


During its long history the annual international “Sefer”conference has become a major scientific forum, the meeting place for leading experts engaged in research in various fields of Jewish Studies. Such distinctive features of the conference, as a high academic level of reports, the quality of presentations, a wide variety of topics and formats of meetings and discussions, the real relevance and novelty of the topics, opennes explain the unflagging interest to the annual event among both the academic community, Jewish community and the wide public.


This year conference included over 200 presentations of scholars and researchers from different regions of Russia, CIS and Baltic States, Georgia, Poland, Israel, the USA, Italy, Great Britain, South Africa, Hong Kong.

The official opening of the XX International Conference on Jewish Studies was held on February 3. The Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar welcomed the audience, the First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel M. Pellivert read the letter by Ambassador of the State of Israel Ms. Dorit Golender, the warm words to the participants and guests were said by representatives of the sponsors: Yuri Kanner (Russian Jewish Congress ), Ofer Glanz (“Joint”), Marina Suslova (“Genesis” Fund ), Director of “Sefer” Victoria Mochalova, Reb Boruch Gorin and prof. Aliza Chenard. Uri Gershovich presented  the Research Center of the Jewish Museum, then a short film about the Center "Sefer" was shown. At the second part of the opening  the plenary lectures were given by prof. Arkady Kovelman (Jewish Museum: History, Metahistory, Culture ), prof. Aliza Shenhar (Women in the Book of Esther) and prof. Mikhail Chlenov (Jewish Autonomism: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow?).


At the second plenary meeting the Prof. Eugene Weiner grants were awarded to J. Kondrakova and J. Eidelking. Then scholars, research centers and publishing houses presented the latest publications in Jewish Studies.



The conference included the following thematic sections:


·  Museums: Collections, Concepts, Solutions

Chairpersons: Uri Gershovich, Leonid Finberg.

·  65 Years of the State of Israel. From History to Modernity

Chairperson: Tatyana Karasova.

·  History of East European Jews

Chairperson: Shimon Goldin

·  War, Holocaust and Historical Memory

Chairpersons: Ilya Altman, Tanya Manusov; Arkady Zeltser, Eugeny Rozenblat; Serguey Shpagin

·  Jews and Surrounding Nations. Jewish-Christian Relationships

Chairpersons: Alexander Lockshin, Galina Zelenina

·  Mountain Jews: History and Modernity

Chairpersons: Mark Kupovetsky, Igor Semyonov

·  Judaism and Jewish Thought (In Memoriam of Leonid Mazikh)

Chairpersons: Ruven Ferber, Eugene Rashkovsky

·  Regional Studies. From the History of Jewish Communities

Chairperson: Lilia Kalmina


·  65 Years of the State of Israel. Modern Israel

Chairpersons: Dmitry Maryasis, Zeev Khanin; Tatyana Karasova, Tatyana Nosenko

·  Jewish Art

Chairpersons: Eugenia Khazdan, Eugene Kotlyar

·  History of East European Jews

Chairperson: Jurgita Verbickiene

·  Biblical Studies

Chairpersons: Vladimir Jakobson, Serguey Tischenko

·  Karaites’ History and Culture in Modern Period

Chairperson: Maxim Hammal

·  Jews and Surrounding Nations. Jewish-Christian Relationships

Chairpersons: Alexander Lockshin, Galina Zelenina

·  Hebrew Language: Studying and Teaching

Chairpersons: Julia Kondrakova, Eugene Maryanchik

·  Yiddish: Language and Culture

Chairperson: Valery Dymshits

·  Jewish Literature

Chairperson: Leonid Katsis

·  History of Jews in the Russian Empire

Chairperson: Dmitry Elyashevich

·  History of Jews in the USSR

Chairpersons: Elena Genina, Serguey Zvyagin

·  Jews in Modern World: Identity, Memory, People’s Fates

Chairperson: Elena Nosenko-Stein

·  History of Jews in USSR

Chairpersons: Elena Guenina, Serguey Zvyagin

·  Hebrew Language: Studying and Teaching

Chairpersons: Julia Kondrakova, Eugene Maryanchik

·  Jewish Genealogy and Family History

Chairperson: Anatoly Worobyev


An interesting example of the innovation adoption was again shown by the section “Hebrew language”.  MultiSite Conference format allowed the participants from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and from South Africa to give reports without being present. The online broadcasting of the session work was organized at the St. Petersburg State University, Yerevan State University, the University of Pyatigorsk. Students and professors had an ability not to listen only, but also to take an active part in the discussion of the reports.


In addition to sessions and plenary lectures the conference program comprised the meeting with members of the editorial board of the Complete Works of Jabotinsky, the Round table on “Jews on the Far East and Southeast Asia”, Round table of the Editors of Academic Periodical Publications on Jewish Studies (Sefer in cooperation with the Center for Jewish Studies, European University for Humanities (Vilnius)), lecture-discussion, Panel Discussion “Gender Approach in Jewish Studies” (organized by  “Eshkolot” project with Yad Vashem and the Israeli Embassy in the Russian Federation with the support of  “Avi Chai” Foundation  and “Genesis” Fund)

XX Conference program (pdf)

 Conference Photo Album

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