Dr. Yael Wilfand
|2011||Ph.D.||Duke University||Judaic Studies, Department of Religion|
|2003||M.A. (Magna Cum Laude)||The Hebrew University of Jerusalem||Jewish History|
|1998||B.A. (Magna Cum Laude)||The Hebrew University of Jerusalem||Jewish History|
“Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel”
“The Attitudes of Rabbis towards Poverty and the Poor” [Hebrew]
|2019 to present||Lecturer, The School for Basic Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan University|
|2019 to present||Lecturer, History Department, Kibbutzim College|
Research Associate, The Melton Centre for Jewish Education,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Research Associate in Rabbinic Literature for the European Research Council project “Judaism and Rome,” Centre Paul-Albert Février, CNRS – Aix-Marseille University
|2014 to present||
Lecturer, Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies,The Open University of Israel
Fellowships and Awards
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Melton Centre for Jewish Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (funded by the University of Göttingen)
|2018-2019||Fellowship Grant, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture|
World Union of Jewish Studies grant toward the publication of The Wheel that Overtakes Everyone: Poverty and Charity in the Eyes of Sages in the Land of Israel
|2012-2014||Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem|
Postdoctoral Fellowship, “Jewish Culture in the Ancient World” Programfounded by the Humanities Fund of Yad Hanadiv and the Israel Council of Higher Education, University of Haifa
|2010||Summer Research Fellowship, Duke University|
Nathan J. Perilman Fellowship in Judaic Studies, Duke University (full tuition and stipend)
The Rivlin Award for an Outstanding Graduate Student in Judaic Studies
|2001||Luxembourg Foundation Graduate Scholarship|
|2000||The Stern Prize for an Outstanding Graduate Student in Jewish History|
|1999||The Mark and Loba Yobelyar Foundation Prize|
List of publications
Yael Wilfand, Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel. Social World of Biblical Antiquity, Second Series, 9; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014.
)Review: Joshua Schwartz, Review of Biblical Literature, 2015).
Yael Wilfand Ben-Shalom, The Wheel that Overtakes Everyone: Poverty and Charity in the Eyes of Sages in the Land of Israel. Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2017. [Revised and expanded Hebrew version of English monograph]
CHAPTERS IN COLLECTIONS
Yael Wilfand, “‘No one can avoid this measure’: Explaining Poverty among Individuals according to the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds.” Pages 215-240 in Between Babylonia and the Land of Israel: Studies in Honor of Isaiah M. Gafni. Edited by Geoffrey Herman, Meir Ben Shahar, and Aharon Oppenheimer. Jerusalem: The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2016. [Hebrew]
Yael Wilfand, “Alexander the Great in the Jerusalem Talmud and Genesis Rabbah: A Critique of Roman Power, Greed and Cruelty.” Pages 337-360 in Reconsidering Roman Power: Roman, Greek, Jewish and Christian Perceptions and Reactions. Edited by Katell Berthelot. Rome: Ecole Française de Rome, 2020.
Yael Wilfand, “Was There Really ‘an Arrogance of Wealth’? Re-evaluating a Scholarly Description of Second-Century Rabbis.” Pages 17-36 in Rabbinic Study Circles. Edited by Marc Hirshman and David Satran with the assistance of Anita Shtrubel; Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen, 2020.
Yael Wilfand, “‘A Proselyte whose Sons Converted with Him’: Roman Laws on New Citizens’ Authority over Their Children and Tannaitic Rulings on Converts to Judaism and Their Offspring” (accepted for publication in Legal Engagement: The Reception of Roman Law and Tribunals by Jews and Other Inhabitants of the Empire; eds. Katell Berthelot, Natalie Dohrmann, and Capucine Nemo-Pekelman; Ecole Française de Rome).
Yael Wilfand, “Did the Rabbis Reject the Roman Public Latrine?” BABESCH Annual Papers on Mediterranean Archaeology 84 (2009): 183-196.
Yael Wilfand, “Aramaic Tombstones from Zoar and Jewish Conceptions of the Afterlife.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 40 (2009): 510-539.
Yael Wilfand, “From the School of Shammai to Rabbi Yehuda the Patriarch's Student: The Evolution of the Poor Man's Tithe.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 22 (2015): 36-61.
Yael Wilfand, “Serpent or Furled Sail: An Analysis of the Ships in the Madaba Map.” Eastern Christian Art in its Late Antique and Islamic Contexts 10 (2014-2016): 113-124.
Yael Wilfand, “Supporting non-Jewish Poor: ‘Goyim’ (Gentiles), ‘Others,’ and 'Those Who Do Not Belong to the Covenant.’” Sidra: Journal for the Study of Rabbinic Literature 30 (2016): 35-46. [Hebrew]
Yael Wilfand, “The Roman Context for the Rabbinic Ban on Teaching Greek to Sons.” Journal of Ancient Judaism 8 (2017): 365-387.
Yael Wilfand, “Did Roman Treatment of Freedwomen Influence Rabbinic halakhah on the Status of Female Converts in Marriage?” The Journal of Legal History 40 (2019): 182-202.
Yael Wilfand, “‘How Great Is Peace’: Tannaitic Thinking on Shalom and the Pax Romana.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 50 (2019): 223-251.
Yael Wilfand, “‘A Proselyte whose Sons Converted with Him’: Roman Laws on New Citizens’ Authority over Their Children and Tannaitic Rulings on Converts to Judaism and Their Offspring.” Zion 84 (2019): 445–461. [Hebrew]
Marie Roux (PI) and Yael Wilfand (PI), “‘The flower of the whole world’: A Jerusalem Talmud’s Homily on Converts in the Light of Greaco-Roman Floral Motives.” Revue des Études Juives 179 (2020): 315-331.
Yael Wilfand, “Roman Concepts of Citizenship, and Rabbinic Approaches to the Lineage of Converts and the Integration of their Descendants into Israel.” Journal of Ancient Judaism 11 (2020): 45–75 .
Review of Art, History and the Historiography of Judaism in Roman Antiquity by Steven Fine. Review of Biblical Literature (2014).
Review of At the Intersection of Texts and Material Finds: Stepped Pools, Stone Vessels, and Ritual Purity among the Jews of Roman Galilee by Stuart S. Miller. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies (JEMAHS) 6 (2018): 163-166.
Review of “Captivity Is Harder Than All”: Captives, Captivity and the Discourse of Captivity in the Rabbinic Literature by Sagit Mor (forthcoming in Zion).
Encyclopedia Entries and Short Commentaries
Translated and authored short commentaries on select rabbinic sources on poverty and wealth. Items A29, A30, A31, A33, A34 in Judaism and the Economy: A Source Book. Edited by Michael L. Satlow. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.
Translations of 163 rabbinic sources and accompanying commentaries that explain each source in the context of Roman imperial ideology. Published on the website of the European Research Council project “Judaism and Rome”
The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007–.
“Manna: Rabbinic Judaism,” 17:776-778 (2019; 717 words).
“Mixed Multitude: Rabbinic Judaism,” vol. 18 (forthcoming in 2020; 467 words).
“Mordecai: Rabbinic Judaism,” vol. 19 (forthcoming in 2021; 665 words).
“Nadab and Abihu: Rabbinic Judaism,” vol. 19 (forthcoming in 2021; 378 words).
“Nahum of Gizmo: Rabbinic Judaism,” vol. 19 (forthcoming in 2021; 376 words).
Yael Wilfand, “Charity and Philanthropy.” Pages 293-310 in On the Economy and on the Sustenance: Judaism, Society and Economics. Edited by Itamar Brenner and Aharon Ariel Levi. Jerusalem: Reuven Mas, 2008. [Hebrew]
Yael Wilfand, “Models of Rabbinic Charity,” Ancient Jew Review (14 September 2016).
Yael Wilfand, “‘Even a Horse, Even a Slave’?: The Provision of Personal Needs versus the Application of Uniform Standards in Rabbinic Almsgiving.” Pages 369-399 in Pursuing Justice: Society and Economy in Jewish Sources. Edited by Hanoch Dagan and Benjamin Porat. Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute, 2016. [Hebrew]
Panels and Workshops Organized
15 December 2020 (held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
|“Jewish Converts and Conversion in Antiquity.” The AJS 52nd Annual Conference;|
|2020-2021||Co-organizer of “Research Workshop: The Rabbis and Roman Law.”' Monthly sessions throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.(Being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic)|
|August 7, 2017||“Wars (pulmusim) between Israel and Rome in the Eyes of the Sages.” Panel at The 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem|
|15 December 2020. (held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic)||The AJS 52nd Annual Conference;||“The Roman Freedman and the Ḥalal: The Legal Models that Shaped Rabbinic Law on the Status of Converts in Marriage.|
|October 11, 2020. (held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic)||The 16th Annual Conference of the Israeli Law and History Association, Jerusalem||The Ban on Appointing a Childless Elder to the Sanhedrin and Augustus’ Marriage Laws.” [Hebrew]|
|July 17, 2019||The Charity in Classical Jewish Law Workshop, at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem||“Inclusion or Exclusion: A Reconsideration of Tannaitic Perspectives on the Poor through the Prisms of Ritual Purity, Tithing, and Spousal Obligations.”|
|June 12, 2019||Generations: Evolution and Transmission of the Rabbinic Text, an international conference by the Department of Talmud, Bar-Ilan University||“Flowers, Roman Rhetoric, and the Integration of Converts into Israel in a Homily from the Jerusalem Talmud.” [Hebrew]|
|May 5, 2019||The Feminine Voice in Judaism, the annual conference of The School of Basic Jewish Studies and The Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism. Bar-Ilan University||“How are Female and Male Converts treated differently in Teachings by Rabbis from the Land of Israel?” [Hebrew]|
|March 3, 2019||Avirat Eretz Israel Mahkimah: Land and Spirituality in Rabbinic Literature – A day in memory of Professor Yaakov Elman z”l, Yeshiva University, New York||“‘How Great Is Peace’: Rabbinic Thinking on Shalom and the Pax Romana.”|
|October 8, 2018||The 14th Annual Conference of the Israeli Law and History Association, Jerusalem||“‘A Proselyte whose Sons Converted with Him’: Roman Laws on New Citizens’ Authority over Their Children and Tannaitic Rulings on Converts to Judaism and Their Offspring.” [Hebrew]|
|July 17, 2018||The XIth Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Krakow||“Converts, Their Lineage, and Their Integration into Israel: Does the Jerusalem Talmud Show Less Concern for Jewish Ancestry than Tannaitic Texts?.”|
|June 20, 2018||The Perception and Reception of Roman Law and Tribunals by Jews and Other Inhabitants of the Empire, Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme d’Aix-en-Provence Salle Paul-Albert Février||“‘A Proselyte whose Sons Converted with Him’: Roman Laws on New Citizens’ Authority over Their Children and Tannaitic Rulings on Converts to Judaism and Their Offspring.”|
|April 23, 2018||An evening honoring the publication of Yael Wilfand’s The Wheel that Overtakes Everyone: Poverty and Charity in the Eyes of Sages in the Land of Israel, The Open University of Israel (Ra’anana)||“Poverty and Patronage? Rabbinic Charity in tension between Rome and the Bible.”[Hebrew]|
|March 13, 2018||Charity, Compassion, and Helping Others: the 41st Annual Conference of The Historical Society of Israel, The Open University of Israel (Ra’anana)||“Did the Roman World Influence Rabbinic Teachings on Charity?” [Hebrew]|
|December 1, 2017||Family law(s) under the Roman Empire in The Centre for Legal History workshop, the School of Law, University of Edinburgh||“Did Roman Treatment of Freedwomen Influence Rabbinic halakhah on the Status of Female Converts in Marriage?”|
|November 20, 2017||The Midrash Section of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston||“The Rabbis and the Pax Romana: Re-evaluating the Third- to Fifth-Century Shalom Midrashim.”|
|August 7, 2017||The 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem||“The Roman Context for the Rabbinic Ban on Teaching Greek to Sons.” [Hebrew]|
|May 11, 2017||Regarding Roman Power: Imperial Rule in the Eyes of Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians, Rome||“Alexander the Great in the Jerusalem Talmud: A Critique of Roman Power and Greed.”|
|November 16, 2016||Languages of the Roman Empire: Culture, Power and Cross-fertilization workshop, Zichron Ya‘akov||“The polemos of Titus or the polemos of Quietos? Reconsidering the Context of the Rabbinic Ban on Teaching Greek.”|
|November 2, 2015||Jewish Attitudes toward Wealth and Poverty conference, Brown University||“Is Being Poor a Sign of Divine Punishment? Attitudes toward Poverty in the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds.”|
|April 27, 2015||An Evening in Honor of Yael Wilfand’s Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel, The Van Leer Institute||Respondent at “How the Rabbinic Literature Relates to Poverty, the Poor, and Social Justice, and What Can Be Learned from It about Society’s Relation to the Poor and the Weak in Our Day”[Hebrew]|
|July 2013||The 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem||“What Do Rabbinic Texts Tell Us about Christian Charity?” [Hebrew]|
|June 26, 2013||Pursuing Justice: Society and Economy in Jewish Sources conference. The Israel Democracy Institute, Jerusalem||“‘A Horse to Ride Upon and a Slave to Run Before Him’: Personal Needs Versus Uniform Criteria for Charitable Giving.” [Hebrew]|
April 29, 2012
|A Symposium in Honor of Isaiah Gafni, Hebrew University, Jerusalem||“‘You Have No Person that Can Avoid this Measure’ (y. Git. 3:7, 45a): Explanations of Poverty in the Land of Israel and Babylonia.” [Hebrew]|
|March 2009||The History of Christianity Section of the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion, Southeast Regional Meeting of the AAR, Greensboro, NC||“Rabbinic and Early Church Concepts of Giving Charity in Secret.”|
|November 2008||The Christianity and Judaism Section of the ASOR Annual Meeting, Boston||“‘Even the Dead Need It (Shalom)’: The Meaning of Shalom on the Zoar Tombstones.”|
|2003||The NCJW Annual Conference, Tel-Aviv||“Women and the Giving of Tzedaka.”|
|Course (Hebrew )||04020-01||Charity, Justice and Money in Rabbinic Literature||Annual||
credits equal 2 annual course hours
|Course (Hebrew )||04042-35||Rome and the Jews of the Land of Israel: Traumatic Clash or Creative Catalyst||Annual||credits equal 2 annual course hours||On-Line|
Rabbinic literature, Social and cultural history, Poverty, Conversion to Judaism, Halakhah and Roman law, Roman Empire, The interaction of texts and material culture
Yael Wilfand (née Ben-Shalom) studies the social and cultural history of the Jews who lived in the Land of Israel during the first five centuries CE, with a particular focus on rabbinic literature. She is interested in the junctures of texts and material culture (such as epitaphs, architecture, mosaics), and the relationship between rabbinic sources and the Roman- and Byzantine worlds.
Yael earned her BA and MA in Jewish history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During her years at Hebrew University, Yael also studied and taught Talmud and other Jewish texts in a number of Beit Midrash programs. She then attended Duke University, where she received her PhD in Religion (2011). A monograph based on her dissertation Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel was later published by Sheffield Phoenix Press (2014; an extended Hebrew version The Wheel that Overtakes Everyone: Poverty and Charity in the Eyes of Sages in the Land of Israel was published by Hakibbutz Hameuchad in 2017). Her current research focuses on the status of converts in rabbinic literature from the Land of Israel.
She has been teaching Jewish history at the School of Basic Jewish Studies at Bar Ilan University since 2019.
- Last modified: 11/05/2023