Article written by Dr. Micha Perry, the program coordinator for the MA in Jewish Studies at the International School.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah was founded in 2012, and is run by Prof. Epharaim Lev and Dr. Moshe Lavee. The center aspires to foster interdisciplinary approaches in the study of the Genizah, and to strengthen the public awareness of the precious treasure of Cairo.
With the discovery of the Cairo Genizah one hundred and twenty years ago, researchers from diverse disciplines and fields gained access to a considerable collection of rare and original documents. This storehouse of primary sources and information shed a new light on medieval Mediterranean society as a whole and particularly on Jewish history and culture from ancient to early modern times. Today, the Cairo Genizah continues to provide an inexhaustible source for interdisciplinary research involving scholars from an array of disciplines, spanning from India to Western Europe. This research includes the fields of social, economic and intellectual history; Jewish literature from ancient times through the Middle Ages in the realm of Piyut, Talmud, Midrash, and Halakha; Philosophy; Semitic languages (Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic, Aramaic); and the study of daily life, medicine, and trade.
In order to address these challenges, we have established the Haifa Centre for the Broader Application of Genizah Research. The Centre aims to encourage interdisciplinary research in the Genizah, bring the Genizah to the public’s notice, and integrate it into various educational frameworks in Israel and around the world.