Senior Faculty

Julia Rubanovich

Julia Rubanovich

Head of the Department
Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Coordinator, Iranian Studies Track
Year 3 Advisor
Humanities Building, Room 5323. Office Hours: Wednesday, 12:15-13:00 by e-mail appointment
+972-2-5883656

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Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Julia Rubanovich spent her undergraduate years at the St-Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) university, where she studied Iranian philology.After immigration to Israel, she completed her undergraduate, graduate and PhD studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earning her PhD degree in classical Persian literature in 2005. She was a post-doctoral Rothschild fellow (2004-2005) at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations of the University of Toronto. Julia Rubanovich started her teaching career while still an undergraduate student in 1993. Since then she has been teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Iranian cultural history, medieval and modern Persian literature and language.

Her research focuses on medieval Persian literature with an emphasis on epic poetry, including Shāhīn’s oeuvre in the Judeo-Persian language; on folk literature, notably prose dāstāns, and the problem of medieval orality; on the Alexander-Romance in the Islamic domain; and more recently on literary paratexts and the concepts of authorship in connection with the notion of literary canon.

Her recent publications include an edited volume Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World: Patterns of interaction across the centuries (Brill, 2015); ʻRe-Writing the Episode of Alexander and Candace in Medieval Persian Literature,ʼ in Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages: Transnational Perspectives, ed. Markus Stock (Toronto University Press, 2015); ʻWhy So Many Stories? Untangling the Versions of Iskandar’s Birth and Upbringing,ʼ in Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World: Patterns of interaction across the centuries, ed. J. Rubanovich (Brill, 2015); ʻOrality in Medieval Persian Literature,ʼ in Medieval Oral Literature, ed. Karl Reichl (De Gruyter, 2012); ʻTracking the Shahnama Tradition in Medieval Persian Folk Prose,ʼ Shahnama Studies II, ed. Charles Melville and G.R. van den Berg (Brill, 2012).

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Reuven Amitai

Reuven Amitai

Eliyahu Elath Professor for the History of the Muslim Peoples
Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Humanities Building, Room 5134. Office Hours: Tuseday, 15:30-16:30
+972-2-5883607

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Specializes in the history of the pre-modern Islamic world and the adjacent areas. Most of his publications have centered on the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria, the Mongol Ilkhanate of Iran and the surrounding countries, and the history of medieval Palestine. From 2010 to 2014, Reuven Amitai was dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University. From 2014 to 2016 he was a senior fellow at the University of Bonn, at the "Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg: History and Society during the Mamluk Era (1250-1517)".

He is currently the chairperson of the Library Authority at the Hebrew University. His recent publications include Holy War and Rapprochement: Studies in the Relations between the Mamluk Sultanate and the Mongol Ilkhanate (1260-1335) (Brepols, 2013); co-edited with Michal Biran: Nomads as Agents of Cultural Change: The Mongols and Their Eurasian Predecessors (University of Hawaii Press, 2015); and co-edited with Christoph Cluse: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th to 15th Centuries, forthcoming at Brepols.

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Sivan Balslev

Sivan Balslev

Lecturer in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Humanities Building, Room 5307. Office Hours: By e-mail appointment Year two adviser

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Received her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University in 2015. Her dissertation, titled "Javanmard, Fokoli, Boyscout: Changing Masculinities in Modernizing Iran, circa 1870-1940"is one of the first studies on the history of Iranian and Middle Eastern masculinities. Since 2015, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

Dr. Balslev is interested in social, cultural, and gender history of modern Iran. Her articles have been published in Gender & History and in the British Journal of Middle East Studies. She also published two Hebrew translations of poet Forough Farrokhzad's books Another Birth and Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season.

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Michal Biran

Michal Biran

Max and Sophie Mydans Foundation Professor in the Humanities
Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and the Dept. of Asian Studies
M.A. advisor, pre-modern studies
Humanities Building, Room 6422. Office Hours: Monday, 11:15-12:15
+972-2-5883741

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Michal Biran (PhD Hebrew University 2000) is a historian of Inner Asia and a member of the Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities. Currently she is the director of the Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also leads the ERC-funded project Mobility, Empire and Cross-Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia.

She has published extensively on Mongol and pre-Mongol Central Asia; the Mongol Empire; nomadism; and cross-cultural contacts between China and the Islamic world. Her books include Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia (Curzon, 1997), The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World (Cambridge University Press, 2005, 2008) and Chinggis Khan (Oxford: OneWorld Publications, 2007). She has co-edited (with Reuven Amitai) Mongols, Turks and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World (Leiden: Brill, 2005) and Eurasian Nomads As Agents of Cultural Change (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2015). Together with Hodong Kim she is now editing The Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire (2 volumes) as well as working on a book on The Cultural History of Ilkhanid Baghdad. She is also co-editing a volume on Universality and its Limits: Spatial Dimensions of Eurasian Empires (to be published by Cambridge University Press).

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hillel

Hillel Cohen

Associate Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Humanities Building, Room 6337.

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Studies Jewish-Arab relations in Eretz Israel/Palestine from the late Ottoman period up to the present. He has published in Hebrew, English and Arabic on Palestinian collaborators, Israeli security agencies, Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine, Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugee problem and more.

He is the head of the Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism at the Hebrew University and was appointed visiting professor at New York University (2014) and at Dartmouth College (2016). Among his books: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1929 (Brandeis University Press, 2016); Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs (University of California Press, 2011).

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Katia Cytryn-Silverman

Katia Cytryn-Silverman

Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and the Institute of Archaeology
Archaeology Building, Room 504. Office Hours: Wednesday, 10:00-11:00

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An expert in the archaeology of the Islamic period and its multi-cultural aspects. She focuses on urban patterns in the transition between the Byzantine to the Islamic periods, especially through her excavations in Tiberias since 2009, where she identified the congregational mosque (and its phases) of this district capital. She also deals with the topic of Umayyad palaces and their social and economic significance, and has excavated at the important site of Khirbet al-Minya on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Her Ph.D. and monograph on the Road Inns in Greater Syria are part of her ongoing research on road-archaeology. Her topics of urbanism and road-archaeology also offer her the opportunity to dwell on the interaction between religions, in which context she has published on the minarets of Palestine and their symbolism (especially while dealing Ramla’s White Mosque, but also with Tiberias), as well as on the erection of the mosque of Tiberias in the vicinity of the existing monumental church. Cytryn-Silverman also specializes in the pottery of the Islamic period.

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Tawfiq Da'adli

Tawfiq Da'adli

Lecturer in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Studies and the Dept. of Art History
Humanities Building, Room 5335. Office Hours: By e-mail appointment

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As an archeologist in Jerusalem Dr. Da‘adli has studied the Mamilla cemetery, the al-Qaymuriyya Mausoleum in Jerusalem, the quarters around the Cotton Merchants Marketand the Beit HaBad Market. As an art historian, he wrote his doctorate on the school of painting that developed in the city of Herat in today’s Afghanistan, at the time of Sultan Husayn, last of the Timurid rulers.

Recently he has been researching the wall paintings of the Umayyad Palace in Jericho, trying to reconstruct a series of paintings there that have never been properly published since the excavations done under the British Mandate. Another recent research project concerns Lod/Ludd, where local excavations have been taking place for years. In this project, he is trying to understand the city’s civic structure towards the end of the Ottoman period.

Dr. Da‘adli was a Buber Scholar from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, he received a fellowship from the Council of Higher Education to encourage young researchers who have been accepted to teach in Israel's universities.

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Michael Ebstein

Michael Ebstein

Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and the Dept. of Arabic Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Room 6419. Office Hours: By e-mail appointment

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Received his PhD from the Hebrew University in 2012. He has conducted postdoctoral research at the Freie Universitat Berlinand in the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University. In his research, he focuses on classical Islamic mysticism with particular attention to medieval mysticism in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). He is likewise interested in the relation between Sunni mysticism and the Shiite tradition, as well as in the links between these traditions and Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah. Among his publications: Mysticism and Philosophy in al-Andalus. Ibn Masarra, Ibn al-'Arabi and the Isma'ili Tradition, Leiden: Brill, 2014.

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Ofer Efrati

Ofer Efrati

Senior Teacher of Arabic language in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Coordinator of Arabic Language Unit
Humanities Building, Room 6311. Office Hours: Sunday, 9:15-10:00, by e-mail appointment
+972-2-5883672

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Teaching in the department since 1992. He also coordinates Arabic Language instruction for the M.A. program in Middle Eastern Studies at the Rothberg International School for Overseas Students at the Hebrew University. He serves as a didactic mentor and a lecturer at the David Yellin Academic College of Education (since 2000), as well as the coordinator of the Arabic Language division at the Hebrew University High School.

Currently Mr. Efrati is studying towards a Ph.D. degree in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The subject of his thesis is "Scholars and Centers of Scholarship in Tiberias Capital of Jund al-Urdunn during the Early Islamic Period (634-1099)".

Ofer Efrati has appeared in the Hebrew University’s list of outstanding lecturers according to the students' teaching evaluation of academic staff, in every single since he began teaching 1992 up to the current year, 2016. He  is also the recipient of The Hebrew University’s Michael Milken Prize for long-standing excellence in teaching.

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Eyal Ginio

Eyal Ginio

Associate Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Coordinator, Turkish Studies Track and the Forum for Turkish Studies
Humanities Building, Room 5304. Office Hours: Thursday, 11:00-12:00
+972-2-5882874

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Completed his Ph.D. at The Hebrew University in Middle East Studies (1999) and post-doctorate at Oxford University in the UK (1999-2000). His research and publications in English, French, Hebrew, Turkish and Greek have focused on social history of the Ottoman Empire with a particular emphasis on the Balkan Wars (1912-13). His recent publications include: The Ottoman Culture of Defeat: The Balkan Wars and Their Aftermath (1912-1914), London: Hurst Publications and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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Meir Hatina

Meir Hatina

Jack and Alice Ormut Chair in Arabic Studies
Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
M.A. advisor
Humanities Building, Room 6309. Office Hours: Wednesday, 15:00-16:00
+972-2-5883645

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Deals with the history of ideas and politics in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries from a comparative perspective, especially in relation to Western and Jewish thought, and with an emphasis on Islamic politics, an increasingly relevant field of scholarship today. His published work has dealt with topics such as ‘ulama, Sufism, fatwas, martyrdom, Islamic protest movements, liberal discourse, modern Egypt, and Palestinian politics.

Among his publications: Islam and Salvation in Palestine: The Islamic Jihad Movement (2001); Identity Politics in the Middle East: Liberal Thought and Islamic Challenge in Egypt (2007); Ulama, Politics and the Public Sphere (2010); Martyrdom in Modern Islam: Piety, Power and Politics (2014); Arab Liberal Thought in the Modern Age (2020)

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Abigail Jacobson

Abigail Jacobson

Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Room 5308
02-5883665

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A historian working on the social and urban history of late Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean. Her main research interest is the history of ethnically and nationally mixed spaces and communities, especially during times of war and conflict. Her first book is entitled From Empire to Empire: Jerusalem between Ottoman and British Rule (Syracuse University Press, 2011). Her second book, Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine (Brandeis/New England University Press, 2016), is co-authored with Dr. Moshe Naor.

Jacobson completed her PhD at the Department of History at the University of Chicago. Before joining the Hebrew University she was the Academic Director of the Borders and Sovereignty theme (previously The Mediterranean Neighbors Unit) at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. She is the chief editor of the Journal of Levantine Studies (JLS) published at VLJI. She has been a junior research fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University; a lecturer at the Department of History at MIT; a visiting lecturer at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University; and a lecturer at the International School at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC).

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Liat Kozma

Liat Kozma

Associate Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Director, Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies
Harry Friedenwald Chair in History of Medicine
Humanities Building, Room 6715. Office Hours: Monday, 12:00-13:00
+972-2-5883652

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Received her Ph.D. from the joint program in History and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University. She is the current director of the Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University and a co-editor of the Social History Workshop blog on Haaretz website.

She is the author of Policing Egyptian Women: Sex, Law and Medicine in Egypt 1850-1882 (Syracuse University Press, 2011) and Global Women, Colonial Ports: Regulated Prostitution in the Interwar Middle East (SUNY press, 2016). She is also the coeditor, with Cyrus Schayegh and Avner Wishnitzer, of A Global Middle East: Mobility, Materiality and Culture in the Modern Age, 1880-1940 (IB Tauris, 2014); and co-editor, with Magaly Rodriguez and Davide Rodogno, of The League of Nations’ Work on Social Issues (UN Press, 2016).

 

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Elie Podeh

Elie Podeh

Bamberger and Fuld Professor in the History of the Muslim Peoples
Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
President, The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Association of Israel
Humanities Building, Room 6403. Office Hours: Monday, 11:00-12:00
+972-2-5883723

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Elie Podeh’s main fields of interest are modern Egypt, inter-Arab relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict; and, education and culture in the Middle East.He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and a Board Member of Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. He has served as head of the Dept. of Islamic and Middle East Studies (2004-2009) and editor of Hamizrah Hehadash (New East, 2000-2008).

Elie Podeh has published and edited twelve books and more than seventy articles in academic journals. Among his publications: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Israeli History Textbooks, 1948-2000 (Bergin and Garvey, 2002); Rethinking Nasserism: Revolution and Historical Memory in Modern Egypt (University Press of Florida, 2004); The Politics of National Celebrations in the Arab World (Cambridge University Press, 2011); Chances for Peace: Missed Opportunities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (University of Texas Press, 2015); The Third Wave: Protest and Revolution in the Middle East (2017, in Hebrew). At present, he serves as the President of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Association of Israel (MEISAI).

 

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Ron Shaham

Ron Shaham

Associate Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Humanities Building, Room 6306. Office Hours: Tuseday, 12:00-13:00
+972-2-5883884

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Ron Shaham (Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1992; post-doc at Cornell University on a Fulbright scholarship, 1993-1994) is an associate professorat the Hebrew University. He was a visiting scholar at Princeton University (1999-2000) and at the University of Washington in Seattle (2006-2007). He served as the Director of the Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies (2008-2010) and as the Chair of the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University (2012-2015).

Prof. Shaham’s main fields of research are family law reform and its application in the shariʿa courts (especially in Egypt); the legal status of non-Muslims in modern Islamic societies; expert witnesses at the shariʿa courts; the modern discourse on the renewal of Islamic law. His main publications are: Family and the Courts in Modern Egypt (Brill, 1997); (editor); Law, Custom and Statute in the Muslim World: Studies in Honor of Aharon Layish (Brill, 2007); The Expert Witness in Islamic Courts: Medicine and Crafts in the Service of Law (University of Chicago Press, 2010) . He is currently working on a book-length study of the juristic theory and legal opinions of Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

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Michael Shenkar

Michael Shenkar

Associate Professor in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
B.A. advisor (1st year)
Humanities Building, Room 6425. Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30-13:30
+972-2-5883620

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Associate Professor of Pre-Islamic Iranian studies. His specialization is the study of civilizations and cultures of the pre-Islamic Iranian world through their material remains and visual representations. His research interests encompass the archaeology, art, and religions of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia, including Zoroastrianism (with a particular focus on religious iconography), the culture of the Eurasian nomads, the Sogdian civilization, and the “Silk Roads”.

            Prof. Shenkar is currently director (together with Dr. Sharof Kurbanov of the Tajik Academy of Sciences) of the excavations at the Sogdian town of Sanjar-Shah (5th-9th centuries CE) in northern Tajikistan.

 

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Dan Shoval

Dan Shoval

Senior Teacher of Arabic language in the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Humanities Building, Room 6311. Office Hours: Sunday, 9:30-10:15 by e-mail appointment
+972-2-5883672

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Teaches Modern Standard Arabic and has been teaching in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Sudies since 1989. In the course of his work he has been nominated more than 15 times for the list of best teachers in the Faculty of Humanities. Dan has written three textbooks for teaching literary Arabic. These books are used by hundreds of students throughout Israel.

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