CFA: Scholars Working Group at Center for Jewish History

Judah Bernstein's picture


The Center for Jewish History (CJH) invites proposals for a new Scholars Working Group to begin in January or September 2019.


Building on the success of previous working groups on “The History of the Jewish Book”; “New York City and the Jews”; “Jews and the Modern Economy”; and “Women and Gender in Jewish History,” CJH is seeking to provide new opportunities to draw from the research and ideas of a wide array of scholars from the New York metropolitan area and surrounding areas at different career stages. The Center welcomes proposals on diverse and multidisciplinary themes/subjects that seek to examine a specific topic or question through various historical, disciplinary, and contextual mediums and lenses.


The ultimate goal is to facilitate the creation of an interdisciplinary community of scholars who engage and provide opportunities for inquiry and conversation among themselves in an ongoing way.


Working Group Requirements:

  • The new working group will be expected to commit to a two-year cycle of six meetings per academic year, each taking place at the Center for Jewish History, normally on Friday mornings. Renewal for a third year is possible, depending on funding.
  • The meetings will be modeled on scholars presenting works-in-progress or a completed work of scholarship in the interest of generating conversation that relates to the overall theme of the group.
  • Working groups should also consider how to engage the broader CJH public in some form. This might take the form of sponsoring a public symposium or a public lecture series, developing a digital platform, or other forms of disseminating the group’s results, all based on the outcome of the working group’s cumulative deliberations.
  • Working groups should consider ways the group can further its stated goals following completion of the working group cycle, either through sponsoring annual panels at the AJS conference, establishing a long-term digital project, publication of working group presentations, holding week-long seminars that involve a broader array of participants, conferences, or by other means.
  • Applications must identify two group conveners, one of whom is expected to be a resident of the New York metropolitan area.
  • Conveners will determine the specific composition of the group, but it is hoped that the group will include scholars who do not have any prior formal affiliation with Jewish Studies. Both junior and senior scholars as well as advanced graduate students (ABD) should be invited to participate. Participation is by invitation only. Groups should consist of no fewer than twenty and no more than thirty-five invitees to begin.


The proposal should identify, in very clear terms:
1. The proposed theme, its significance to Jewish History, and the expected contribution of a working group toward advancing the field.
2. The plan for the two-year cycle
3. The names of the two conveners and a list of potential participants
4. Possible session topics that reflect a multidisciplinary perspective
5. The potential afterlife of the working group and possible forms of public engagement.


The Center for Jewish History will provide support for this initiative. Funding will cover the cost of each session, including refreshments, limited travel stipends for presenters from outside of the New York area, technical and administrative costs. 

Proposals are welcome from established scholars in the field of Jewish Studies. Applications should be no longer than 5 pages and should be sent to Judah Bernstein, Academic Programs Coordinator, at by October15, 2018  Decisions will be made by November 30, 2018.