Ashkenaz at the Crossroads of Cultural Transfer II: Tradition and Identity

International Conference, November 28-30th 2016

Ashkenaz at the Crossroads of Cultural Transfer II:

Tradition and Identity

Institute of Judaic Studies, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main

Seminarsaal, 10th floor, Juridicum, Senckenberganlage 31 (Campus Bockenheim)


Monday, November 28th

09:15-10:00 a.m.         Saskia Dönitz, Elisabeth Hollender, Rebekka Voß (Frankfurt): Welcome and Introduction

10:00-10:30 a.m.         Coffee


Session 1

10:30-11:10 a.m.         Elisheva Baumgarten (Jerusalem): Biblical Models Transformed: A Useful Key to Everyday Life in Medieval Ashkenaz

11:10-11:50 a.m.         Sarah Japhet (Jerusalem): Biblical Exegesis as a Vehicle of Cultural Adaptation and Integration: A Case Study

11:50-12:30 p.m.        Oren Roman (Düsseldorf): Tanakh-Epos: Early Modern Ashkenazic Retellings of Biblical Scenes

12:30-02:00 p.m.        Lunch Break

Session 2

02:00-02:40 p.m.        Talya Fishman (Philadelphia): Cultural Functions of Masorah in Medieval Ashkenaz

02:40-03:20 p.m.        Hanna Liss (Heidelberg): The Challenges of the Infiltration of Oriental Textual Tradition into Ashkenazi Bible Text Tradition

03:20-03:50 p.m.        Coffee

Session 3

03:50-04:30 p.m.        Ephraim Kanarfogel (New York City): Moving from the Medieval to the Early Modern in Rabbinic Scholarship and Method: Aryeh Leib Heller’s Use of Texts of the Rishonim in His Qezot ha-Hoshen

04:30-05:10 p.m.        Ted Fram (Beer Sheva): What Divides Ashkenaz from Poland in the Sixteenth Century?

05:30 p.m.                   Transfer to the Jewish Museum (Judengasse)

Public Lecture in the Jewish Museum (Judengasse)

06:00-07:00 p.m.        Katrin Kogman-Appel (Münster): The Visualization of Midrash in Medieval Jewish Art

07:00 p.m.                   Reception


Tuesday, November 29th


Session 4

09:00-09:40 a.m.        Rami Reiner (Beer Sheva): The Yerushalmi on Rabbeinu Tam’s Bookshelf

09:40-10:20 a.m.        Ronit Nikolsky (Groningen): Tanhuma Reception in Ashkenaz

10:20-11:00 a.m.        Joshua Teplitsky (Stony Brook, NY): Collecting, Nostalgia, and Constructing Medieval Ashkenaz in the Oppenheim Library

11:00-11:20 a.m.        Coffee


Session 5

11:20-12:00 a.m.         David Shyovitz (Chicago): “Man and Beast You Redeem, Oh Lord”: Animal Eschatology in the Theology and Art of Medieval Ashkenaz

12:00-12:40 p.m.        Rebekka Voß (Frankfurt): The Last King of Edom: The Jewish Last Emperor Prophecy from the Early Middle Ages through the Sixteenth Century

12:40-02:00 p.m.        Lunch Break

Session 6

02:00-02:40 p.m.        Ephraim Shoham-Steiner (Beer Sheva): The Development of the Term “Hasid”

02:40-03:20 p.m.        Avriel Bar Levav (RaŹ½anana): Sefer Hasidim as Source of Early Modern Death Rituals

03:20-04:00 p.m.        Maoz Kahana (Tel Aviv): The Stormy Afterlife of a Medieval Pious: Rabbi Yehuda He-Chassid’s Will in the Early Modern Era

04:00-04:30 p.m.        Coffee

Session 7

04:30-05:10 p.m.        Annelies Kuyt (Frankfurt): Hekhalot! Or not? Eleazar of Worms and Hekhalot Literature

05:10-05:50 p.m.        Sharon Flatto (New York City): Jewish Mysticism in Early Modern Central Europe (esp. Prague)


07:00 p.m.                   Dinner (by invitation)



Wednesday, November 30th


Session 8

09:30-10:10 a.m.         Israel Yuval (Jerusalem):  Why the Jews Do Not Have an Oedipal Complex? The Case of Ashkenaz

10:10-10:50 a.m.         Saskia Dönitz (Frankfurt): Ashkenazic Use of the Past: Rewriting Second Temple Literature

10:50-11:20 a.m.         Coffee


Session 9 

11:20-12:00 a.m.         Claudia Rosenzweig (Ramat Gan): When the Prayer Needs a Story: Some Examples from Yiddish Literature (16-17th Century)

12:00-12:40 p.m.        Lucia Raspe (Frankfurt/Berlin): Minhagim Books: From Hebrew to Yiddish

12:40-01:00 p.m.        Concluding Discussion


01:00 p.m.                  End of Conference/ Lunch



For those interested

02:30 p.m.                  Guided tour at the Jewish Museum/Judengasse (duration: 1,5 hours)




Contact Info: 

Dr. Saskia Dönitz

Prof. Rebekka Voß

Prof. Elisabeth Hollender

The conference is open to the public. Admission is free. Visitors please register at

Contact Email: 
28 November 2016 - 30 November 2016