Join us for the inaugural Leon Levy Foundation Lectures in Jewish Material Culture. Andrea M. Berlin will deliver a series of three lectures entitled “Beyond the Temple: Jewish Households from the Maccabees to the Great Revolt against Rome.” Alex P. Jassen, Karen B. Stern, and Azzan Yadin-Israel will each respond to one lecture and also offer a corresponding lunchtime talk the following day.

Additional support provided by The David Berg Foundation.


Azzan Yadin-Israel will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, October 25, at 12:15 pm. His talk is entitled “Material Culture and Rabbinic Isolation: A Cultural Ecology Perspective.”

Like the dominant model in historical linguistics—a tree whose trunk is an ancient mother language, with later daughter languages branching out of it—late antique Judaism is often conceived of as later “branches” extending out of biblical Israel. And, like historical linguistics, the study of late antique Judaism has struggled to develop proper analytic tools to deal with the phenomenon of contact, linguistic contact, and cultural contact more broadly. Using the Onias Temple as an example, Yadin-Israel argues that the current model fails to capture the complexity of late antique Jewish life, and draws on new insights in contact linguistics to offer an alternative approach.


Azzan Yadin-Israel earned his BA from the Hebrew University and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. He has published widely on rabbinic literature, Hebrew Bible, and early Christianity, including two books on early rabbinic midrash: Scripture as Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash (2004) and Scripture and Tradition: Rabbi Akiva and the Triumph of Midrash (2014), both with the University of Pennsylvania Press. A Professor of Jewish Studies and Classics at Rutgers University, his latest book is The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen (Lingua Press, 2016).


This event will be livestreamed. Please check back the day of the event for a link to the video. To watch videos of past events please visit our YouTube page.