Medieval Jews and the Cairo Geniza in the Digital Age

Medieval Jews and the Cairo Geniza in the Digital Age

By Marina Rustow

Given at the University of Minnesota on February 27, 2019

Recent projects to digitize the contents of the Cairo Geniza—the largest cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered—have revolutionized research in the field. They have done so in two main ways: by enabling scholars to reunite fragmentary texts virtually, and by provoking a new interest in manuscripts as objects rather than only containers for words. This illustrated lecture will share recent findings that have provoked scholars in the field to reconsider their views on core aspects of medieval Jewish life and beliefs in the Middle East.

Marina Rustow is the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East at Princeton University. She is a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. Her work focuses on the study of Judeo-Arabic documents found in the Cairo Geniza and the history of Jews in the Fatimid Caliphate.

Top Image: Two segments of the Passover Haggadah, fragments of a text that was stored in the Cairo Geniza. Photo by Younes and Soraya Nazarian Library, University of Haifa & The Friedberg Genizah Project

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