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The Arch of Titus Project on Coursera!  
The Arch of Titus: Rome and the Menorah explores one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and later Christian history and art. The Arch of Titus commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem by the emperor Titus in 70 CE, an event of pivotal importance for the history of the Roman Empire, of Judaism, of Christianity and of modern nationalism. Together with your guide, Professor Steven Fine, director of the Center for Israel Studies, you will examine ancient texts and artifacts, gaining skills as a historian as you explore the continuing significance of the Arch of Titus from antiquity to the very present. Course members will accompany Professor Fine on virtual "fieldtrips" to museums and historical sites in Los Angeles and New York where you will "meet" curators, scholars and artists. You will attend an academic colloquium and even "participate" in office hours. Students will participate in the latest advancement in the study of the Arch - the restoration of its original colors. You will learn how color was used in Roman antiquity and apply that knowledge to complete your own 'color restoration' of the Arch of Titus menorah relief. Read more about this project on the YU News. 
The YU Center for Israel Studies 2015 conference, commemorating:
Yitzhak Rabin: Twenty Years After



View the entire conference at:





  Sunday November 1, 2015, 10:00-4:00,    
  Weissberg Commons, Yeshiva University,    
  500 West 185th St, New York.   
  For the security of all, admission is only upon presentation of a valid ID.
 10:00.  Greetings:   
President Richard Joel, Yeshiva University   
Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York    
Mrs. Dalia Rabin, Chair, Yitzhak Rabin Center, Tel Aviv   
10:30-1230.  Session 1:  From the Yeshiva     
 Rabbi Yosef Blau (YU),    
Rabbi Shalom Carmy (YU),    
Rabbi Ozer Glickman (YU)
  12:30-1:30. Lunch Break   
1:30-4:00.  Session 2:  From the University   
Dr. Robert O. Freedman (Johns Hopkins), The Ups and Downs of US-Israeli Relations Since the Rabin Assassination   
Dr. Akiva Covitz (YU), Responses to Extremism in Democratic Societies through the Lens of the Rabin Assassination   
Dr. Selma Botman (YU),  The Arab World's Reaction to the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin    
Concluding Comments, Steven Fine (YU)
Kel Maleh Rahamim, Rabbi Ozer Glickman  
 This event is co-sponsored by:  
 The Consulate General of Israel in New York   
 The Yitzhak Rabin Center, Tel Aviv






YU Undergraduates refute claims that the Menorah is at the Vatican in an open letter to President Shimon Peres

"Yeshiva Students Challenge Myths of the Menorah: Theory that Golden Treasure is in the Vatican Disputed by Research," Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2014.  

   The Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project    




The newest publication of the CIS, based upon our 2011 conference:

Talmuda de-Eretz Israel: Archaeology and the Rabbis in Late Antique Palestine brings together an international community of historians, literature scholars and archaeologists to explorehow the integrated study of rabbinic texts and archaeology increases our understanding of both types of evidence, and of the complex culture which they together reflect. This volume reflects a growing consensus that rabbinic culture was an “embodied” culture, presenting a series of case studies that demonstrate the value of archaeology for the contextualization of rabbinic literature. It steers away from later twentieth-century trends, particularly in North America, that stressed disjunction between archaeology and rabbinic literature, and seeks a more holistic approach. 


Table of Contents


  Steven Fine and Aaron Koller

  Preface v

  Shawn Zelig Aster

  Mishnah Baba Metsia 7:7 and the Relationship of Mishnaic Hebrew to

  Northern Biblical Hebrew 1

  Jonathan Milgram

  Mishnah Baba Batra 8:5 – The Transformation of the Firstborn Son from

  Family Leader to Family Member 19

  Noa Yuval-Hacham

  Mishnah Avodah Zarah 4:5 – The Faces of Effacement: Between Textual and

  Artistic Evidence 29

  Joshua Weistuch and Ben Zion Rosenfeld

  Tosefta Ma‘aser Sheni 1:4 – The Rabbis and Roman Civic Coinage in Late

  Antique Palestine 53

  Yonatan Adler

  Tosefta Shabbat 1:14 – “Come and See the Extent to Which Purity Had Spread”

  An Archaeological Perspective on the Historical Background to a Late

  Tannaitic Passage 63

  Uzi Leibner

  An Illustrated Midrash of Mekilta de R. Ishmael, Vayehi Beshalah, 1 –

  Rabbis and the Jewish Community Revisited 83

  Lawrence H. Schiffman

  Jerusalem Talmud Megillah 1 (71b–72a) – “Of the Making of Books”:

  Rabbinic Scribal Arts in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls 97

  Alexei Sivertsev

  Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 2,6 (20c) – The Demise of King Solomon and

  Roman Imperial Propaganda in Late Antiquity 111

  Burton L. Visotzky

  Genesis Rabbah 1:1 – Mosaic Torah as the Blueprint of the Universe –

  Insights from the Roman World 127

  R. Steven Notley

  Genesis Rabbah 98:17 – “And Why Is It Called Gennosar?” Recent

  Discoveries at Magdala and Jewish Life on the Plain of Gennosar in the Early

  Roman Period. 141

  Galit Hasan-Rokem

  Leviticus Rabbah 16:1 – “Odysseus and the Sirens” in the Beit Leontis

  Mosaic from Beit She’an 159

  Steven Fine

  Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 51b – Coloring the Temple: Polychromy and the

  Jerusalem Temple in Late Antiquity 191

  Sacha Stern

  Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16a – Jews and Pagan Cults in Third-

  Century Sepphoris 205

  Steven D. Fraade

  The Rehov Inscriptions and Rabbinic Literature: Matters of

  Language 225

  Stuart S. Miller

  “This Is the Beit Midrash of Rabbi Eliezer ha-Qappar” (Dabbura Inscription)

  Were Epigraphical Rabbis Real Sages, or Nothing More Than Donors and

  Honored Deceased? 239

  Laura S. Lieber

  The Piyyutim le-Hatan of Qallir and Amittai: Jewish Marriage Customs in

  Early Byzantium 275


  Eric Meyers

  The Use of Archaeology in Understanding Rabbinic Materials:

  An Archaeological Perspective 303

  Daniel Sperber

  The Use of Archaeology in Understanding Rabbinic Materials: A Talmudic

  Perspective 321







The Center for Israel Studies, established in 2007, is an expression of the longstanding relationship between Yeshiva University and the land and State of Israel. The center nurtures excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship and the teaching of Israel throughout history and across disciplines, with a keen focus upon the modern state.










  Time and Space Poster

Folktales of Israel Videos Now Online!

Enjoy footage from our Fall 2011 conference Folktales of Israel: A Festival Honoring Professor Peninnah Schram, now available online:


Happy Yom Ha'Atzmaut from the CIS!

The CIS wishes the entire YU Community a happy Yom Ha'Atzmaut! In this video, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig, Professor of Jewish History at YU, remembers Yom Ha'Atzmaut 1948, when he was a student at Yeshiva College. Enjoy!



Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The CIS was deeply involved in Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that ran from March 14 to July 8, 2012. Click here for information on the CIS events and the conference that we sponsored together with the Met in conjunction with the exhibition:

  Ashkelon Menorah close up