OSRJL Call for Visiting Fellowship Applications

The OCHJS and its newly created OSRJL invites applications for a Visiting Fellowship from applicants who are current, established academics and/or postdoctoral researchers working on any aspect of Judeo-languages, including linguistics, literature, manuscript studies and book history. The successful applicant will become a Visiting Fellow of the OCHJS for at least one calendar month during either Oxford University’s Hilary Term 2022 or Trinity Term 2022. As such a Visiting Fellow, she/he will be the recipient of a stipend of £3,000.

For more details, please consult the description here. To apply, please submit the documents listed in the description, along with one academic reference and a completed details form. All documents must be submitted to Academic Registrar Ms Madeleine Trivasse at registrar@ochjs.ac.uk before the deadline.

The deadline to apply is 15 November 2021 at 12pm UK Time.

New OSRJL Application Form for Hilary & Trinity Terms

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR CLASSES BEGINNING IN HILARY AND TRINITY TERMS 2022. Please do not use old application forms to apply for classes beginning in said terms; such forms will not be accepted.

The application deadline for classes beginning in Hilary Term 2022 is Monday 3 January 2022 at 12pm UK Time.

The application deadline for classes beginning in Trinity Term 2022 is Monday 11 April 2022 at 12pm UK Time.

APPLICATIONS FOR CLASSES BEGINNING IN MICHAELMAS TERM ARE CLOSED. We will not accept any further applications for classes beginning in said term.

For more information, check out our website at: Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages – Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies (ochjs.ac.uk).

The HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project

We are pleased to share with you the work of an organization offering free online events and other resources about Jewish languages: The HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project. If you’d like to join their mailing list, then you can do so here: https://www.jewishlanguages.org/contact.

Additionally, you can learn about their upcoming events and watch videos of past events at: https://www.jewishlanguages.org/events.

In particular, we would like to highlight three of the Jewish Language Project’s upcoming events:

(Photos and Information by Sarah Benor)

Gala Celebrating the Documentation

of Endangered Jewish Languages

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This celebratory gala, benefiting Wikitongues and the Living Tongues Institute, will include a panel of speakers of endangered Jewish languages (including Rachel Amado Bortnick and Alan Niku), a presentation of oral history videos compiled by Wikitongues, and a showcase of Living Dictionaries for endangered Jewish languages. Sarah Bunin Benor will give a brief introduction to Jewish languages, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their own Jewish language stories. The theme of the night: intergenerational transmission of Jewish languages. Attendance is free, but advance registration is requested.

October 17, 2021, 4pm Pacific / 7pm Eastern Register

Documenting Endangered Jewish Languages:

Practical, Ethical, and Cultural Issues

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  • Daniel Bögre Udell, Executive Director, Wikitongues
  • Yehudit Henshke, Director, Mother Tongue
  • Tamari Lomtadze, Linguist, Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia
  • Ross Perlin, Linguist, Co-Director, Endangered Language Alliance

These scholars and activists summarize their many years of work to record the remaining speakers of Judeo-Shirazi, Judeo-Arabic, Jewish-Neo-Aramaic, Judeo-Georgian, and other endangered languages. They discuss how they find speakers, structure their interviews, document variation, and ensure ethical treatment of speakers.

November 14, 2021, 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 8pm Israel Register

Ladino/Judeo-Spanish Documentation and Revitalization Efforts: Language, Music, and Folklore

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Moderator: Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald, Linguist, Bar-Ilan University

Panelists:

  • Derya Agis, Linguist, University of the People
  • Rachel Amado Bortnick, Founder, Ladinokomunita
  • Judith Cohen, Ethnomusicologist, Performer, York University
  • Bryan Kirschen, Linguist, Binghamton University
  • Devin Naar, Historian, University of Washington
  • Rey Romero, Linguist, University of Houston-Downtown

These scholars and activists introduce their recent work, which includes collecting artifacts of Sephardic history, teaching Ladino, and researching Ladino language and song. They discuss what additional documentation is necessary and how researchers, activists, and performers can work together to increase knowledge about and engagement with Ladino language and culture.

December 5, 2021, 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 8pm Israel Register

OSRJL Classes Have Begun

Thank you to all those who have applied to our OSRJL classes thus far! We received well over 400 applications before the Michaelmas-Term deadline and are delighted by the response to our new programme.


Classes beginning in Michaelmas Term (applications for which closed on 27 September) already have begun this week, are we are looking forward to seeing these first OSRJL classes take shape this term.


If you wish to apply for classes beginning in Hilary or Trinity terms, then please check back on our website later for an updated application form. Please do not use old application forms to submit such applications at this time; applications using the old forms will not be accepted.

More information regarding the OSRJL can be found here: Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages – Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies (ochjs.ac.uk).

Michaelmas Term Applications Closed

Thank you to all those hundreds of people who applied for classes through our new Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages! We were thrilled with the great interest and responses we received to the programme and are looking forward to this inaugural year together.

APPLICATIONS FOR CLASSES BEGINNING IN MICHAELMAS TERM ARE NOW CLOSED. We will not accept any further applications for classes beginning in said term. Check back on our website later for an updated application form for classes beginning in Hilary and Trinity terms. Please do not use old application forms to apply for classes beginning later in the year; such forms will not be accepted.

To learn more about the OSRJL, check out our website here: Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages – Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies (ochjs.ac.uk).

Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages

We are pleased to announce 2021-22 as the inaugural year of the new Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages (OSRJL) of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (OCHJS), in collaboration with other institutions across Europe and beyond. Beginning in October 2021, OSRJL will offer a range of free online language classes on eleven vernacular languages, spoken and/or written by Jews from the Middle Ages until today, taught by leading academics at universities in Europe and elsewhere.

Jewish languages are an essential part of the Jewish history, creativity, culture, and identity. Usually written using the Hebrew alphabet and including Hebrew and Aramaic words to express specifically Jewish concepts, these languages share common features even when their linguistic definitions vary. Although these Jewish languages were originally used as means to communicate with the world outside Jewish communities, such vernaculars became the languages of Jewish families, the means of expressing emotions and daily concerns, and, in many cases, vehicles for literature and science as well as tokens of Jewish identity.

As such examples of extremely important immaterial Jewish heritage, some of these Jewish languages are in danger of extinction while others are already dead, known only from early writing. Therefore, OSRJL responds to a real need: European academia offers very few learning opportunities for most of these rare Jewish languages, whereas new research programmes stress their fragility and immense role in Jewish life and culture.

The OSRJL will be the first online school of its kind. By offering free, online teaching of rare Jewish languages and their cultural and historical contexts, along with public lectures and an educational blog series on the same topics, OSRJL aims to preserve, spark interest in, enable access to, and reflect on the nature and role of Jewish languages as rich linguistics facets of Jewish life and history.

Student places are available by application only and are offered at no cost to students. Spaces are limited and priority will be given to current university students, but other members of the public are welcome to apply.

Languages taught through OSRJL will include:

Judeo-Arabic
Judeo-French
Judeo-Greek
Judeo-Italian
Judeo-Neo-Aramaic
Judeo-Persian
Judeo-Tat
Judeo-Turkish
Karaim
Ladino
Yiddish

Class timetables and student application forms can be found on the OSRJL page of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies’ website (www.ochjs.ac.uk). Please note that student applications must be submitted no later than two weeks before the start-date of classes applied for. If you have any queries or comments, and to submit student application materials, please email OCHJS Academic Registrar, Ms Madeleine Trivasse, at osrjl@ochjs.ac.uk.

(The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, a registered charity, aims to support, at the highest level, the full scope of Hebrew and Jewish Studies from antiquity to the contemporary world. To learn more about OCHJS, please consult our website at www.ochjs.ac.uk.)