Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ktav Et: an academic journal for young researchers in Jewish Studies

Call for papers to Ktav Et – An Academic Journal for Young Researchers in Jewish Studies
Papers shall address the following issues:

  • Hebrew language and literature
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Jewish languages
  • Jewish thought and philosophy
  • History
  • Arts
  • Israel
  • Jewish education
  • Other subjects relating to Jewish Studies
Papers must be submitted in English or Hebrew (with an English abstract). Editorial guidelines for the authors can be found on our website.


Ktav Et is an interdisciplinary international on-line journal, designed exclusively for aspiring (pre-Ph.D.) researchers in Jewish Studies. The idea of Ktav Et had originated from the knowledge that transition from being an aspiring academic to becoming an acknowledged scholar is a demanding process. One essential step in this development involves publishing in an academic journal. Yet Jewish studies students and beginner researchers rarely or never get a chance to publish their work; as existing academic journals are reserved for experienced and established scholars.

Thus Ktav Et is a new and innovative attempt at promoting scholarly development at the earliest stages of an academic’s career. Its mission is to give the opportunity for young researchers, to publish their work and motivate them to further academic and individual advancement.

The authors of Ktav Et project are Aleksandra Ziółek and Magda Sara Szwabowicz, both graduates of Hebrew Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw. In August 2010 they participated in The Paideia-Project Incubator with Ktav Et project. It was while attending this workshop that the idea of Ktav Et was elaborated and concretized. The feedback and support received in Stockholm was both instructive and invaluable.

Ktav Et is designed to be quarterly containing articles in English or Hebrew reviewed by the academic board.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yizkor-Books-in-Print Project

The Destruction of Czestochova is the first in a series of English translations of Yizkor books being made available through the auspices of JewishGen Inc.’s new Yizkor-Books-in-Print Project. is the most visited non-profit Jewish genealogical website online and is an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, a member of the AJL. All of the books in the series will be in hard cover, in a similar format, approximately 7” x 10” in size. Our intention is for this unique literature to be the source for research and teaching the history of Jewish communities in these towns.

For those unfamiliar with Yizkor books, they are memorial books written to honor the lost Jewish communities of villages and towns that were destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. The books in this series provide the history, personalities, and institutions of the Jews in these villages in the years before WWII. These translations provide the English speaking community with a first-hand account in hard cover format, so that researchers and descendants of those destroyed communities as well as museum, university and synagogue libraries can offer this history.

The Destruction of Czestochova (Częstochowa, Poland) was first published in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1949 in Yiddish by survivors and former residents of the town. For the assistance of researchers, the town has also been known as: Częstochowa [Pol], Chenstochov [Yid], Tschenstochau [Ger], Čenstochová [Cz], Chenstokhova [Rus], Chenstokhov, Chestokhova, Tshenstokhov.

Click here for more information about The Destruction of Czestochowa.

Visit to see all the currently available Yizkor Books in Print

For non-US orders: Try:

Sandra Hirschhorn
Publicity Specialist
Yizkor-Books-in-Print Project of Yizkor Books

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clive Sinclair: “Zion Down Under, or Israel through the Looking Glass”

Monday, January 28, 2013
12:30 – 1:45 PM
210 Humanities 1
UC Santa Cruz
Photo of Melech Ravitch with a young Aboriginal woman in the outback. Photo courtesy of Monash University.
Photo of Melech Ravitch with a young Aboriginal woman in the outback. Photo courtesy of Monash University.
Dr. Sinclair will tell us how Melech Ravitch – poet, traveller, and (until 1934) Executive Secretary of theFareyn fun Yidishe Literatn un Zhurnalistn in Varshe – got wind of the approaching catastrophe of the Holocaust, and scanned the globe for a place of refuge. With this in mind he set out for Australia in 1933, and upon arrival mounted an expedition to the Kimberleys in the Northern Territory.
His account of the journey – written in Yiddish – and his numerous photographs, display a remarkable and unusual sympathy for the aboriginal people. Indeed, he saw in them a reflection of the suffering of his own people he had left behind in Europe.
Ravitch is an engaging companion. And if it weren’t for the historic tragedies that befell both Jews and Aborigines his journey would be the stuff of comedy.
In the 1980s his journey and experience was recreated on canvas by his famous son, Yosl Bergner. Still only seventeen, Bergner had followed his father to Australia, where he soon established himself as the conscience of Australian art. Like his father he felt a kinship for the Aborigines, magnified by the awareness of what exactly had befallen European Jewry. In 1950 Yosl Bergner arrived in Israel, where he eventually became one of the country’s most distinguished artists. Just as his father saw Australia as a sort of double-exposure – Europe over-laid upon Australasia – so Bergner juxtaposes Israel and Australia, producing a looking-glass image of the Promised Land. In short, the father presents a version of What-Might-Have-Been, while the son offers a portrait of a dreamer disappointed.
Clive Sinclair has published 13 books of fiction, travel, and autobiography, some of which have been given prizes. Early in his career he was selected as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists. His most acclaimed collection of stories – The Lady and the Laptop – won both the PEN Silver pen for fiction, and the Jewish Quarterly award for fiction. An earlier collection, Bedbugs, was recently republished by Syracuse University Press in its Library of Modern Jewish Literature. In 2008 he published Clive Sinclair’s True Tales of the Wild West, an exercise in Dodgy Realism. He also leads a double-life as an academic and critic: he has published a study of Isaac Bashevis and Israel Joshua Singer – The Brothers Singer – and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement. His association with UCSC began in 1969, when he arrived from England as a graduate student; it continued in 1980-81, when he returned as a Visiting Lecturer, as he did again in 2003.

Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912–2012

Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912–2012

October 25, 2012—March 16, 2013

The Hebraic Section of the Library of Congress is recognized as one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. Its beginnings can be traced to Jacob H. Schiff’s gift in 1912 of nearly 10,000 books and pamphlets. In the century since Schiff’s initial gift, the Library has expanded its Hebraic holdings to close to 200,000 works in Hebrew and related languages.