History: Ancient Jewish History

Dr. Jill Katz

Jill (Citron) Katz is Clinical Assistant Professor of Archaeology at Yeshiva University.  She teaches both archaeology and anthropology, with a specialty in biblical archaeology.  Dr. Katz has excavated at several sites in Israel, including Ashkelon, Tel Haror/Gerar, and most recently Tell es-Safi/Gath where she currently serves as Field Director for Area P. Her research interests focus on political, religious, and urban development in Bronze and Iron Age Israel. Sample Titles “Who was a Jew?: The formation of Jewish ethnic identity during the time of the Judges What Yitzchak saw when he settled in Gerar?: Canaanite religion during the time of the Patriarchs How Jerusalem became the capital of the Jewish people The origins of the synagogue The Pharaohs who enslaved us: Did the Jews build King Tut’s tomb? Why it is easier to build a synagogue than a Temple Celebrating Passover in the Land of the Pharaohs The Pharaohs who enslaved us In the footsteps of the Philistines Jerusalem and Samaria: A tale of two...

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Rabbi Ari Lamm

Rabbi Ari Lamm completed his B.A. in History & Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, and his M.A. in Jewish Studies and Eastern Christianity at University College London. He completed his Semichah at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 2015, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity at Princeton University. He was Yeshiva University’s first ever recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, which took him to London for his M.A. In addition, he has received a Henry Kressel Research Scholarship, a Tikvah Postgraduate Fellowship, and is currently a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Rabbi Lamm is the Special Advisor to the President of Yeshiva University, a position he started in June with the election of YU’s fifth president, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. He works closely with the president on all matters concerning the university’s mission and vision, and oversees the intellectual and philosophical initiatives emerging from the Office of the President. Previously Rabbi Lamm was the William Fischman Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center on the Upper West Side. He is passionate about exploring Jewish identity through the study of Jewish history and archaeology during the Biblical, Second Temple and Rabbinic eras. His regular classes on Judaism and the origins of Christianity have garnered a wide, online listenership, and have been spotlighted on Voice of Israel radio. He is also a founding editor and contributing author at The Lehrhaus. He is also keenly aware of Jewish responsibilities to the rest of humankind, and to that end is an Executive Committee Member of the Sri Lanka based organization, “Global Unites,” which promotes grassroots, non-violent, youth-based peace-making in conflict-torn areas from Africa and southeast Asia to Latin America and the Middle East.  Rabbi Ari Lamm will be teaching at YU’s Community Beit Midrash for the Fall 2017 semester. Sample Titles Hero or Hypocrite? Attacks on the Pharisees During the Second Temple Period Faith & Fanatacism: The Maccabees & Christian Martyrdom From the Persian Empire to the U.N. – Hakamat...

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Dr. Ari Mermelstein

Ari Mermelstein, Assistant Professor of Bible at Yeshiva University, holds a PhD from NYU’s Department of Hebrew & Judaic Studies, a JD from NYU Law School, and a BA from Yeshiva College. He is also the assistant director of both the YU Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo Law School and the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo Law School. Dr. Mermelstein’s first book, “Creation, Covenant, and the Beginnings of Judaism: Reconceiving Historical Time in the Second Temple Period,” was published in the Supplement Series to the Journal for the Study of Judaism (Brill, 2014). He is currently working on a monograph entitled “The Cultural Politics of Religious Emotion: Power and Emotion in Ancient Judaism” as part of his broader research on emotion in ancient Judaism. Sample Titles Did the Wise Son Own a Haggadah? Talmud Torah as an Alternative to Sippur Yetziat Mitzrayim on Seder Night. Was the Greek Translation of the Torah a Good Thing? It Depends Whom You Ask. The Divine Drama of Megillat Rut. Rabbi Jesus? Portraits of Jesus in Rabbinic Literature. Did God Originally Intend to Inflict the Ten Plagues on the Egyptians? The Effect of the Deaths of Nadav and Avihu on the Structure of the Book of Leviticus. Why Did the Jews Rebel Against Rome in 66 CE? The Destruction of the Second Temple in Its Historical Context. The Case of the Missing Shofet: Judges 4. Was Joshua Almost Condemned as One of the Spies? What Happened to Zerubbavel? Politics and the Davidic Dynasty in the Persian Period. What Hath Rabban Gamaliel Wrought? The Transformation of the Passover Seder in the Aftermath of the Destruction of the Second Temple. Why did King Antiochus Persecute the Jews? The Portrait of King Herod in Rabbinic Literature ‘God Will Rule Over You’: The Conception of Kingship in...

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