Justine Isserles

 Researcher at the EPHE, Paris and Équipe Savoirs et pratiques du Moyen-Age au XIXe siècle (SAPRAT) – EPHE, Paris.

Justine Isserles (PhD, 2012), is a  research associate for the "Books Within Books" project and director of the Hebrew Manuscript Library of Switzerland project with the research website e-codices (www.e-codices.unifr.ch). As an independent scholar, her areas of research are devoted to liturgical, calendrical, astrological and medical texts in Hebrew medieval manuscripts from western Europe, Hebrew codicology and palaeography, as well as the cultural and intellectual history of medieval Jewry in Western Europe.

 

EDUCATION

2006-2012 : Joint PhD diploma at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, IVth section, Sorbonne, Paris) and the University of Geneva.

Doctoral thesis title: Maḥzor Vitry : étude d’un corpus de manuscrits hébreux ashkénazes de type liturgico-légal du XIIe au XIVe siècle)Advisors: Prof. Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (EPHE) and Prof. Jean-Yves Tilliette (University of Geneva). Mention: Très honorable avec félicitations du jury.

 2001 : Intensive Course on Medieval Manuscripts from Western Europe at the Institut de recherches et d’histoire des textes (CNRS, Paris), participation certificate

1996-2002:  BA and MA in Humanities, spec. medieval Art History, University of Geneva

Master’s thesis titleÉtude codicologique, paléographique et iconographique de la Haggadah de Hileq et Bileq (Ms Héb. 1333, Paris, BnF)

 

ACADEMIC GRANTS, PRIZES AND FELLOWSHIPS

- 2016-2018: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Düsseldorf

- 2013-2014: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Rothschild Foundation Europe, London

- 2013-2014: Ephraim E. Urbach Postdoctoral Fellowship, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York

- 2013: Prize of the Société des Etudes Juives (Paris) in Jewish Studies, Alain de Rothschild Fund

- 2011-2013: Postdoctoral Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, London

- 2010-2011: Fondation Ernst and Lucy Schmidheiny, Geneva

- 2009-2010: Rothschild Foundation Europe, London

- 2009-2010: Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York

- 2008-2011: Conférence des Recteurs Universitaires Suisse, Bern

- 2007-2008: Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York

- 2007-2011: Fonds Mobilité, EPHE, Paris

- 2006-2007: Rothschild Foundation Europe, London

- 2006-2007: Fonds de Solidarité et de Développement des Initiatives Etudiantes, EPHE, Paris

 

 POSITIONS AND RESEARCH PROJECTS

 Sept.2018 - ongoing: Manuscript descriptions for the database e-codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland (www.e-codices.unifr.ch). Project Director. Project title: Hebrew Manuscript Library of Switzerland. Descriptions and commentaries of medieval and pre-modern Hebrew manuscripts from Swiss public and private collections, accompanying the digitized manuscripts.

Sept.2016 - Sept.2018: Research Associate (SAPRAT, lab. EA 4116) at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Gerda Henkel Foundation (Düsseldorf) for the project and database: Books Within Books. Hebrew Fragments in European LibrariesProject title: Books Within Books: Hebrew Fragments in Italian and French Libraries and Archives.

Feb.2015 - Jul.2016: Scientific collaborator at the University Library in Geneva (BGE). Creation and publication of a catalogue with commentaries of their Hebrew manuscript collection.

2013 - 2014:Continuation of aforementioned project with other funding resources.

Sept.2011 - Sept.2013: Research Associate (Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow) at University College, London (UCL), Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Project title: Christian and Jewish Calendar texts from Medieval Franco-Germany. (Principal investigator: Prof. Sacha Stern). This project focused on how the Jewish calendar was described by 12th-15th century Christian scholars in England and Westphalia in the context of their works on chronology and the date of Easter and how their analyses relate to contemporary descriptions of the Jewish calendar. Christian calendars in Hebrew characters were also discovered during this project, appended to various types of Hebrew manuscripts (such as liturgical, Talmudic, astronomical, mathematical, medical) from Franco-Germany. Comparisons of the manuscripts shed light on the history of medieval time reckoning, on the development of medieval scientific knowledge, as well as on relations, exchanges and cross-currents between Christian and Jewish scholars in medieval north-western Europe.

2010-ongoing: Research Associate at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris), member of the team of Savoirs et Pratiques du Moyen Age (SAPRAT) (Paris) (lab. EA 4116) for the project and database: Books Within Books. Hebrew Fragments in European LibrariesProject titleBooks Within Books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries (responsible for research in Switzerland).

 

 ACADEMIC SERVICE

2019-2021: Evaluations of doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship applications in the medieval period for the Memorial Foundation of Jewish Culture, New York (MFJC).

2018: Congress panel organization: From Cairo to Amsterdam. Hebrew Scrolls from the 10th to the 18th Century  ("Distinguished panel”). In the XIth International Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies (EAJS) 15th-19th July 2018, Cracow, Jagellonian University.

2017: Congress panel organization: Books Within Books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries, Discoveries and Updates. In the 70th World Congress of Jewish Studies, 6-10 August 2017, Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Hebrew University.

Peer reviews:

2014: Journal Viator: Medieval and Renaissance History (Turnhout: Brepols). Blind peer review for the article by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), « Shared and Contested Time: Jews and the Christian Ritual Calendar in the Late Thirteenth Century», Viator, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, vol. 46, 2 (2015), pp. 253-276.

 

OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

January 2017: Mandate agreement for insurance appraisal of the Judaica objects of the Beth-Yaacov Synagogue (Geneva) for the Jewish community of Geneva (CIG).

2001-2009: Sotheby’s Geneva, jewelry, silver and old printed books sales. Consultant for sales, organization of the sales and client relations.

2000-2002: Collaboration in the preparation of the exhibition catalogue of manuscripts and old printed books from the Rabbinical Seminary in Breslau (Worclaw), exhibited at the University Library in Geneva from February to May 2002, in collaboration with the Jewish Community of Geneva (CIG).

 

 PUBLICATIONS

« Mahzor Vitry: A Study of Liturgical-Halakhic Compendia from Medieval Franco-Germany », Jewish History (forthcoming, 2021).

« The Particular Case of an Esther Scroll Attributed to Shalom Italia », in From Cairo to Amsterdam: Hebrew Scrolls from the 10th to 18th Centuries, E. Abate and J. Isserles (eds.), Henoch: Historical and Textual Studies in Ancient and Medieval Judaism and Christianity, Special Issue (forthcoming, 2021).

J. ISSERLES, J. OESCH, F. HUBMANN, « The Torah Scroll Fragment from the Parochial Archives in Romont (Switzerland) », in The Sefer Torah of Bologna. Features and History, M. Perani (ed.) (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 199-226.

« L’usage du vernaculaire et du latin au sein de textes calendaires, astrologiques et astronomiques dans les manuscrits hébreux d’Europe médiévale », in Fleur de Clergie. Mélanges en l’honneur de Jean-Yves Tilliette, Y. Foehr-Janssens, O. Collet and J.-C. Mühlethaler (eds.) (Geneva : Droz, 2019), 933-959.

« Typology and Use of Medieval Hebrew Liturgical Fragments of Northern Europe and Italy from the ‘Books Within Books’ Database », Materia Giudaica, XXIII (2018), 407-428 and « Corrigendum », Materia Giudaica, XIX (2019), 639-640.

« Bloodletting and Medical Astrology in Hebrew Manuscripts from Medieval Western Europe », Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, vol. 101, 1 (2017) 2-41.

S. STERN and J. ISSERLES, « The Astrological and Calendar Section of the Earliest Mahzor Vitry Manuscript (MS ex-Sassoon 535) », Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism, 15.2 (2015), 199-318.

« Description d’un manuscrit liturgique de rite français supplémentaire, conservé à la Bibliothèque de Genève », Revue des Etudes Juives, 175 (3-4), July-December (2016), 483-484. Addendum to the article of Colette Sirat entitled « Les manuscrits liturgiques des juifs en France médiévale », Revue des Etudes Juives, 174 (3-4), July-December (2015), 325-357.

P. NOTHAFT and J. ISSERLES, « Calendars beyond Borders: Exchange of Calendrical Knowledge Between Jews and Christians in Medieval Western Europe (12th-15th c.) », Medieval Encounters, 20 (2014), 1-37.

« Some Hygiene and Dietary Calendars in Hebrew Manuscripts from Medieval Ashkenaz », in Time, Astronomy and Calendars in the Jewish Tradition, Charles Burnett and Sacha Stern (eds.) (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 273-326.

« Parallèles esthétiques des manuscrits hébreux ashkénazes de type liturgico-légal et des manuscrits latins et vernaculaires médiévaux », in Manuscrits hébreux et arabes. Mélanges en l’honneur de Colette Sirat, N. de Lange and J. Olszowy-Schlanger (eds.), Bibliologia (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), 77-114.

« Maḥzor Vitry : étude d’un corpus de manuscrits hébreux ashkénazes de type liturgico-légal du XIIe au XIVe siècle », Revue des Etudes Juives, 173, (1-2), January-June, (2014), 191-194. (Doctoral dissertation summary)

« Medieval Hebrew Fragments in Switzerland: Some Highlights of the Discoveries », in Books within Books. New Discoveries in Old Book Bindings, A. Lehnardt and J. Olszowy-Schlanger (eds.), ‘European Genizah’: Texts and Studies, Studies in Jewish History and Culture, 3, (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2013), 255-269.

« De la Sortie d’Égypte à la Rédemption finale : analyse de cinq folios tirés du manuscrit Hébreu 1333 de la Bibliothèque nationale de France à Paris », Cahiers Archéologiques, 52 (2005-2008), 145-160.

 

Online Publications:

2018-ongoing: E-Codices. Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland: Hebrew Manuscript Library of Switzerland: Descriptions and commentaries of Hebrew manuscripts in Swiss public and private collections (link: http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en)

2016 : Catalogue des manuscrits hébreux de la Bibliothèque de Genève, notices et commentaires (link: http://doc.rero.ch/record/261214)

2016: The Mahzor Vitry of the British Library (Add. MS 27200-27201) (link: https://www.bl.uk/hebrew-manuscripts/articles/the-mahzor-vitry-of-the-british-library)

2010-ongoing: Books within Books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries. Technical descriptions of Hebrew manuscript fragments found in archives, incunabula, Latin and vernacular manuscripts, as well as old printed books in libraries and archives in Switzerland, France and Italy. (link: http://www.hebrewmanuscript.com )

Exhibition catalogue entries:

Savants et Croyants. Les juifs d’Europe du Nord au Moyen Age, Musée des Antiquités, Rouen (Gand : Éditions Snoeck, 2018) (exhibition 25 May to 16 September 2018) : descriptions of the following 6 Hebrew manuscripts : Paris, BnF, Mss hébreu 36, 113, 415, 643, 637 and Paris, Alliance Israélite Universelle, Ms 133H.

Articles for the general public:

« Les manuscrits hébreux dans les collections suisses » Revue Juive 3 (2020), 10-11.

« Die Hebräischen Handschriften der Schweiz », Jüdische Zeitung. Wochen Zeitschrift der jüdischen Orthodoxie der Schweiz 22 (2020), 10.

« Fragments de manuscrits hébreux découverts dans des incunables de la BCU (Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Fribourg) », BCU info, December (2012), Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Fribourg, 49-51.

 

CONGRESSES, CONFERENCES AND LECTURES

22 April 2021 : Lecture at the University of Bern, Mittelalter Zentrum. Title of paper: Hebrew manuscripts and Fragments in Switzerland.

5 December 2017: Lecture at the ‘IXe Journée d’Etudes doctorales de l’EPHE’, Paris on La matérialité de l’écrit. Title of paper: L’usage et la mise en page des fragments de manuscrits hébreux médiévaux liturgiques recueillis sur Books Within Books.

6-10 August 2017: International Congress of the 70th World Congress of Jewish Studies (WCJS), Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Hebrew University. Title of paper: Tentative typology of Hebrew liturgical manuscript fragments in Italy from the ‘Books Within Books’ database.

18-22 June 2017: International Congress of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna (It), entitled Ex Nihilo Zero Conference on Research in the Religious Fields. Title of paper:  Tentative typology of Hebrew liturgical manuscript fragments in Italy from the ‘Books Within Books’ database.

14 November 2016: Lecture at the Institut Maïmonide, Averroès, Thomas d’Aquin in Montpellier, organized by the Laboratoire d’études sur les monothéismes (UMR 8584, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris and the CNRS of Montpellier) within the Varia Judaicaseminar. Title of paper: La saignée et la médecine astrologique dans les manuscrits hébreux médiévaux d’Europe occidentale.

5 January 2015: Lecture at the Institut Maïmonide, Averroès, Thomas d’Aquin in Montpellier, organized by the Laboratoire d’études sur les monothéismes (UMR 8584, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris and the CNRS of Montpellier) within the Varia Judaicaseminar. Title of paper: Calendriers Juifs et Chrétiens au sein de manuscrits hébreux et latins d'Europe médiévale (12e-15e s.): mise en page, usage et transmission.

8 December 2014 :  Lecture at the Arye Maimon-Institut für Geschichte der Juden at the University of Trier, given within the framework of the research project : Medieval Ashkenaz : Corpus der Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden im spätmittelalterlichen ReichTitle of paper: Jewish and Christian Calendars in Hebrew and Latin Medieval Manuscripts from Western Europe (12th-15th c.): Layout, Use and Transmission.

27-29 July 2014: International conference at the Institute for Jewish Studies at University College London (UCL), London, entitled Defining Jewish Medicine. Title of Paper: Bloodletting and Medical Astrology in Hebrew Manuscripts from Western Europe (13th-15th c.)

20-24 July 2014: Xth International Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies (EAJS), Paris, organized under the auspices of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, entitled Jewish and Non-Jewish Cultures in Contact: New Research Perspectives. Title of paper: The Use of Vernacular and Latin in Julian, Bloodletting and Regimen Calendars in Hebrew Manuscripts from Western Europe (13th-15th c.): Written and Oral Transmission.

20 March 2014: Lecture within the framework of the interreligious Jewish and Christian dialogue group of Geneva at the Jewish Community Center in Geneva (CIG). Title of paper:Calendriers Juifs et Chrétiens au sein de manuscrits hébreux et latins d'Europe médiévale (12e-15e s.): mise en page, usage et transmission.

10-12 November 2013: International conference at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg, Germany, organized by the Heidelberg University Subproject B04 (SFB 933), entitled Text-Image Relationship and Visual elements in Written Hebrew Sources from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Period. Title of paper: Jewish and Christian Calendars in Hebrew and Latin Medieval Manuscripts from Western Europe (12th-15th c.): Layout and Use.

25-27 June 2012: International conference at the Institute for Jewish Studies at University College London (UCL), London, entitled Time, Astronomy and Calendars in the Jewish Tradition. Title of paper: Some Hygiene and Dietary Calendars in Hebrew Manuscripts from Medieval Ashkenaz.

18-20 July 2011: Annual colloquium of the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS) on the European research project:  Books Within Books: New discoveries in Old Book Bindings, Oxford, Wolfson College. Title of paper: Hebrew Manuscript Fragments in Switzerland.

11 March 2010: Annual reunion of the European research project:  Books Within Books: New discoveries in Old Book Bindings, Paris, EPHE. Title of paper: Hebrew Manuscripts Fragments in the Municipal Library of Solothurn, Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

 

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News

Books within Books General Assembly - June 21-22

Saturday June 19, 2021

Online event:

Monday 21st June at 15-18 CET

Tuesday 22nd June at 15-18 CET

Registration required:
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Les dialectes néo-araméens, divergents et en voie de disparition, parlés par les juifs d’Asie de l’ouest.

Tuesday May 4, 2021

Dans le cadre du cycle «Judéo-langues» le 5 mai 18H-19H

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