JTS Scholar Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

February 16, 2010, New York, NY

Richard KalminDr. Richard Kalmin, the Theodore R. Racoosin Chair of Rabbinic Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), has been awarded a fellowship by the Frankel Institute for Advanced Studies for the winter 2011 semester.

Scholars invited to be fellows come from a wide range of disciplines and interests, from the United States and abroad. The theme of the fellowship is “Jewish Languages,” and Dr. Kalmin will use this fellowship to research the Aramaic Targumim in Jewish and Christian Mesopotamia. Dr. Kalmin writes that this research will “serve as a mode of entry into the difficult questions of possible linkages between Christian and Jewish communities of Mesopotamia . . . Did the Jewish and Christian communities of Mesopotamia undergo a contemporaneous process of eastern provincial Romanization in part because of connections between the Jewish and Christian communities in Mesopotamia itself?”

The Frankel Institute, a part of the University of Michigan, is a Judaic Studies center designed to “provide an intellectually stimulating environment, promote an atmosphere of openness, and encourage constructive criticism. It seeks to advance Jewish Studies globally. In addition, the Frankel Institute considers diversity and pluralism as fundamental characteristics of a public university and emphasizes such principles in all endeavors.”

A member of the JTS faculty since 1982, Dr. Kalmin is the author of several books and numerous articles on the interpretation of rabbinic stories, ancient Jewish history, and the development of rabbinic literature. He has lectured on these topics throughout Europe, Israel, and the United States.

Dr. Kalmin's award-winning book, Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine, was published in 2006 by Oxford University Press. The book was recently honored by the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Studies as a 2009 Notable Selection in the category of Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Archaeology.

Dr. Kalmin has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Hebrew Union College, and Union Theological Seminary, and a faculty fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. In addition to his fellowship at the Frankel Institute, Dr. Kalmin will serve as a visiting professor of Rabbinic Literature at the University of Michigan during the winter 2011 semester.

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