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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 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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