The Center for Research and Study of Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage


A. The Historical Project
One of the main ventures of Misgav Yerushalayim is to trace the history of Sephardi and Oriental Jewry in various countries of dispersion since the expulsion from Spain. The aim of this broad- based project is to generate a series of collected essays with each volume focusing on Jewish communities in a different part of the world.

The first volume of the project, The Jews in Ottoman Egypt (1517- 1914), edited by J. M. Landau, was published in 1988. ( Hebrew; 670 pp.) The book covers five major topics: Demography and Economics; Community Organization and Cultural Life; The Jews and their Neighbors; The Karaites; and the Beginnings of Modernization. The Institute is currently preparing several collections of articles which will deal with other Sephardi and Oriental Jewish communities.

B. Collected Essays and Studies in History, Society and Culture
Misgav Yerushalayim has also published several other collections of essays dealing with historical and social aspects of Jewish life in various Sephardi and Oriental communities.

The Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage, Studies, I. Ben-Ami (ed.), 1982 (Hebrew, English, French, Spanish 612pp.)
. A collection of essays based on lectures given at the First International Congress on the Study of Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage in 1980. This volume was dedicated to the memory of the late Elie Eliachar.

Culure and History, J. Dan (ed.), 1987 (Hebrew with abstracts in English). English 215pp.)
A collection of essays based on lectures at a seminar sponsored by Misgav Yerushalayim in 1983 on "The Cultural Creativity of Sephardi and Oriental Jewry between the 17th and 19th Centuries". The collection was based on the premise that in order to understand the history of any community it is necessary to study the reciprocal influences and interrelationship between patterns of thought and philosophy on the one hand and historical events on the other. The collection is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Ino Sciaky, who served as the second chairman of Misgav Yerushalyim's Administrative Committee after the death of Elie Eliachar.

L' Alliance dans les communautes du bassin mediterraneen a la fin du 19eme siecle et son influence sur la situation sociale et culturelle, S. Schwarzfuchs (ed.), 1987 (Includes articles in Hebrew, French and English 150pp.).
The collection of studies on the Alliance Israelite Universelle and its influence on the social and cultural life of Oriental Jews resulted from a special symposium sponsored by Misgav Yerushalayim at the Second International Congress on the Study of Sepharadi and Oreintal Jewish Heritage.

The Jews of Yemen and the Exact Sciences, Y.Z. Langermann, 1987 (Hebrew with an Introduction in English 190pp.).
The important role of the exact sciences in the cultural life of various Jewish communities has not been sufficiently investigated. This book tells how for hundreds of years Yemenite Jews read literature on astronomy and mathematics in addition to studying religion and philosophy.

The Age of Moses Montefiore: A Collection of Essays,I . Bartal (ed ), 1987 (Includes articles in Hebrew and English 120pp.).
A collection of essays based on lectures given at the Second International Congress on the Study of Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage in 1984, which marked the centennial of the death of Moses Montefiore.

Society and Community Proceedings of the Second Congress on Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage, held in 1984. A. Haim (ed.) 1991.(Spanish, French, English and Hebrew; 525pp.)

History and Creativity, Proceedings of Misgav Yerushlayim's Third International Congress, ed. T. Alexander, A. Haim, G. Hasan-Rokem, E. Hazan. 1994 (Spanish, Enslishs Hebrew; 670 pp.) The Congress was dedicated to Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the Shulhan Arukh, on the 500th anniversary of his birth.

C. Publications on Literature and Linguistics
Studies in Geniza and Sephardi Heritage, S. Morag and I. Ben-Ami (eds.), 1981.(Hebrew; 340pp.)
A collection of essays on documents from the Geniza which sheds new light on many questions concerning Medieval Hebrew literature and Jewish history. Also included are studies on the history of the Jewish Yemenite community and its culture.

Studies on Judaism and Islam, S. Morag, I. Ben-Ami and N.A. Stillman (eds.), 1981, (English 382pp)
. A collection of essays on the Geniza, Islam, the Hebrew language and the Jewish communities of North Africa. The latter two publications were dedicated to Prof. Shlomo Dov Goitein, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.

Short Stories by Jewish Writers from Iraq, S. Moreh (ed.), 1981. (Arabic with Hebrew and English introduction 250pp.).
An anthology of stories written in Arabic by Jewish writers in Iraq, which reflects the development of motifs, styles and literary techniques as well as the transition from romanticism to realism. The anthology includes an article by the editor on literary works by Iraqi Jews, as well as a biographical description of each writer and a complete list of his literary works.

Judeo-Romance Languages, I. Benabu and J. Sermoneta (eds.), 1985. (English with abstracts in Hebrew 230pp).
A collection of essays by Israeli scholars of Jewish languages, summarizing the main studies that have been conducted in the field in recent years.

Misgav Yerushalayim Studies in Jewish Literature, E. Hazan (ed.), 1987. (Includes articles in Hebrew, Spanish, French and English 275pp). Based on lectures given at the Second International Congress on Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage, this collection contains comprehensive essays on Jewish literary works written in Hebrew, Jewish languages and foreign languages.

Binyan Ariel, Introduction to the Homilies of R. Isaac Luria, J. Avivi, 1987, (Hebrew 500pp.)
Introduction to the writings of the "Ari", R. Isaac Luria, with commentary, based on the writings of R. Luria himself and the writings of his disciple, R. Hayim Vital.

Studies in Jewish Languages Bible Translations and Spoken Dialects,, M. Bar-Asher (ed.), 1988. (Includes articles in Hebrew, English and French 225pp.).
A collection of essays based on lectures given at the Second International Congress on the Study of Jewish and Sephardi Heritage. This book is divided into two main sections: essays on translations of the Bible into Jewish languages; and studies on Jewish languages.

Liturgical Poems of Rabbi Ya'acov Ibn-Zur, Y. Bar-Tikva (ed.), 1988. (Hebrew with an abstract in English 220pp).
A first anthology of the liturgical poetry of Raabbi Ya'acov Ibn-Zur, descendant of a family expelled from Spain and one of the greatest rabbis of Morocco during the first half of the eighteenth century. The anthology is based on manuscripts and includes an introduction, textual variations and annotations.

Poetical Changes in the Literary Work of Mordechai Tabib, Y. Halevy, 1988. (Hebrew with an abstract in English 370pp).
A comprehensive analysis of the various stages in the development of the writing of Mordechai Tabib (1910-1979). It describes the spirit of his time as reflected in his writings, and discusses his conception of poetry. The book also includes documentation of Tabib's literary work based on items from his personal archives and library.

The Treasure of Our Father. Judeo-Spanish Tales, T. Alexander and D. Noy (eds.), 1989. (in Hebrew 340pp).
An anthology of folk narratives told by Sephardi Jews in various countries of the Diaspora, including Spanish Moroceo, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece and Israel. The stories were recorded verbatim as told by different story-tellers over a period of almost thirty years. They are accompanied by annotations with background information on the story, its classification in the Israeli Folk Archives, and parallel versions found in the Archives.

Pirkei Shira-From the Hidden Treasures of Jewish Poetry, J. Dishon and E. Hazan (eds.), 1990. (Hebrew 166pp)
An annotated anthology of medieval poetry composed in various centers from Central Europe to North Africa, dating back to the beginnings of liturgical poetry up to the seventeenth century. These texts, which were previously unavailable or had not yet appeared in scholarly work, enhance our knowledge of early Hebrew literature, adding new perspectives on the liturgical poets and literary genres and styles of that time.

From the Hidden Treasures of Ancient Poetry, Y. Ratzhabi (ed.), 1991. (Hebrew 404pp).
Sefer Tsafenat Pa'aneach (Book on the Revealer of Secrets) by, Rabbi Yosef Alashkar.ed M. Idel, 1990. A facsimile edition of a unique 16th century manuscript, written by a North African Kabbalist, edited by M. Idel, with a comprehensive introduction by the editor. The introduction analyzes this manuscript within the broader context of the phenomenon of Jewish mysticism, and highlights the important contribution of Alashkar's work for understanding this phenomenon and its development.

D. Records and Documents
The Jews in Izmir in the 19th Century, Ottoman Documents from the Shar'i Court, H. Gerber and J. Barnai (eds.), 1984 (Hebrew and Turkish; 120pp.). This book consists of a representative sample of Turkish documents from the archives of the Moslem court in Izmir dating from the years 1847-1866. The documents deal with the life of the Jewish community in the city.

Jews in the Caribbean,ed. Zvi Locker,1991 (English; 400pp.)
A survey based on hitherto unknown documents from archives and other sources. These documents provide valuable information on the history, social life and economic activities of the Jews in this distant part of the world during the 17th and 18th centuries.

E. The Bibliographical Series
Sir Moses Montefiore, (1784-1885) - a bibliography, R.P. Goldschmidt-Lehmann, 1984. (Hebrew with an Introduction in English 175pp).
This volume is the product of comprehensive bibliographical research. It utilizes a large number of documents, including scientific material, letters, diaries and newspaper articles found in archives, libraries and private collections.

Menasseh Ben Israel (1604-1657) -a bibliography, ed, J. H. Coppenhagen.1990 (multi-lingual;420pp)
A comprehensive bibliography which illuminates Menasseh ben Israel's eventful life and his activities in the political, cultural, and economic spheres. The book provides a most useful research tool for historians specializing in 17th century Europe and the Jews at that time.

F.Publications on Art and Folklore
0hel Moshe, Centennial of the Neighborhood and its Synagogue, 1882-1982, ed. N. Feuchtwanger, 1984.(Hebrew; 94pp.)
This album, which contains a large number of photographs and illustrations is divided into two main sections: A history of the neighborhood (written by Yosef Katz), and the synagogue and its ritual objects (written jointly by Tamar Moscovitz, Tamar Manor, Naomi Feuchtwanger and Chaya Friedberg). The book is the product of a systematic survey of synagogues in Jerusalem sponsored by the Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University, the Center for the Integration of the Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage at the Ministry of Culture, the Department of Culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Association of Jewish Art and Misgav Yerushalayim.

Continuity and Change in Sephardi Musical Heritage, A Shiloah. Ino Sciaky Memorial Lecture, 1986. (Hebrew with abstracts in English, French and Spanish 30pp).

The Rabbi Haim Capusi Synagogue, D. Cassuto. Ino Sciaky Memorial Lecture, 1987. (Hebrew with abstracts in English, French and Spanish 20pp).

Further Publication
Living with Jews, by Elie Eliachar, 1980 ( Hebrew; 30 pp . )

From Rhodes to Africa: the Jews who built the Belgian Congo, by S.I. Minerbi, 1989 ( Hebrew ; 20pp)

The Sephardim during the Yishuv Period - Tradition and Nationalism by P. Morag-Talmon, 1991 (Hebrew; 15 pp )

Ulepha'atei Mizrah Kadima - A Study of Oriental Motifs in Israeli Music, by A. Shiloah, 1991 (Hebrew; 35 pp.)

Circa 1492, Proceedings of the Jerusalem Colloquium: Litterae Judaerum in Terra Hispanica, ed. I. Benabu, 1993 (English: 235 pp. )

A Lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Modern Judezmo, by D. Bunis, 1993 (Enslish; 507 pp . )

The Written Judeo-Arabic Poetry in North Africa, by J Chetrit, 1994 (Hebrew, 400 pp.)

S. Romano's Judezmo-French-German Dictionary, a facsimile edition of a Ph.d thesis.

The Aliya of Bukharan Jews and their Settlement in Eretz Israel (1868-1945), by G. Pozailov (Hebrew)

Publication in Preparation
Voices from Jewish Salonica ed. D. Bunis (Judezmo and English)

The Jews in North-Africa, ed S. Bar-Asher (Hebrew)

Hispano-Jewish Civilization after 1492, Proceedings of Misgav Yerushalayim's 4th International Congress, eds. M. Abitbol, Y. Assis and G. Hasan-Rokem


Misgav Yerushalayim sponsors research projects on topics related to Sephardi and Oriental Jewry since the expulsion from Spain. Research proposals must be approved by the Academic Committee, whether the project is fully or partially financed by the Institute. The extent of support varies, depending on the nature of the project.

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