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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies

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Center for Judaic Studies

Jewish Texts in Translation Project

The Jewish Texts in Translation Project includes a wide range of research projects among faculty at CJS. Text translation is a unique area of emphasis at CJS, and is a critical enterprise within the Jewish tradition and within the field of Judaic Studies.

Click on the faculty names below to read just some of the ways that CJS faculty are currently engaged in this initiative.

Visit our Current Initiatives page to learn about other exciting Initiatives at CJS.

Prof. Sari Havis

Prof. Sari Havis directs the Hebrew Program at DU and involves students daily in the activity of translation through a strongly internationalizing and diversity-enhancing set of approaches. She is also a leading scholar organizer of the international Hebrew Seminar, a language pedagogy conference for Hebrew teachers in conjunction with the National Middle East Language Resource Center. For more information on past and upcoming Hebrew Seminars, please click here.

Prof. Lydia Gil Keff

Prof. Lydia Gil Keff teaches Spanish and Spanish language literature at DU. Her work on Jewish-Latino literature in translation is a critical part our program, and helps CJS advance goals of Holocaust awareness, inclusivity, and international education. Lydia helps CJS work with the DU Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES) to bring to campus learning opportunities around Jewish-Latino culture and history through films, poems, and literature in translation. Lydia also organizes a Judaic Studies inter-term travel course to Buenos Aires: Spaces of Memory: Texts and Contexts of Argentina's Dirty War.

Prof. Sarah Pessin

Prof. Sarah Pessin works on a range of Jewish philosophical materials in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, and traces various Jewish philosophical themes from and into Greek and Latin traditions. She works on Solomon Ibn Gabirol's philosophical and poetic materials in Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin, and she has published an Arabic-to-English text translation of and commentary on Maimonides' "13 Principles of Faith." Sarah researches philosophical theories of translation in the work of modern Jewish thinkers (including Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig) and the implications of these theories for Jewish theology. Sarah's most recent book explores uncharitable ways that the history of philosophy translates and presents non-Christian views from a range of Greek, Jewish, and Islamic philosophers.

Prof. Adam Rovner

Translation is a core topic of inquiry in Prof. Adam Rovner's research and teaching. Adam teaches Hebrew literature in translation at DU, and has served as the Translations Editor for Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture. Adam is a member of the American Literary Translators Association and has contributed translations to Words Without Borders, Zeek, and many other literary projects from around the globe. Adam specializes in Hebrew-English translation and is a premier translator of Israeli literature.

Prof. Jonathan Sciarcon

Prof. Jonathan Sciarcon is working on a number of projects related to the Middle East including his current comparative study of social and political change among Jews from Baghdad and Salonica from the mid 19th century through World War I, with a particular emphasis on the shifting gender roles and the impact of Western education on these communities. Jonathan's project is the first to compare developments in a major Jewish community in the Arab world with a major Sephardic Jewish community, and his research involves work in Arabic, French, and Ladino --- a near extinct language which blends Spanish and Hebrew.

Prof. Alison Schofield

In her research on the Dead Sea Scrolls and their implications for early Judaism, Prof. Alison Schofield works directly on primary text translation. Alison was recently commissioned to embark on a fifteen-year project to produce the official translation of the Community Rule (a charter text for the Dead Sea Scrolls community). Alison also leads many of our Joint Doctoral Students in translation work in a number of ancient Near Eastern languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Aramaic.

Emeritus Prof. Rabbi Stanley Wagner

Emeritus Prof. Rabbi Stanley Wagner, of blessed memory, founding Director of CJS and Professor Emeritus with CJS, did a great deal of work on the Aramaic Bible commentary, Targum Onqelos. Together with his colleague Dr. Drazin, he has produced a five volumes set of Onkelos' Bible translation and commentary, as well as a work called, Let's Study Onkelos, a more than 300 page volume consisting of 54 Study Guides. Rabbi Wagner's (and his colleague's) project aims to enliven a critical tradition within the Jewish textual tradition.