SEFER CENTER GRANT TO FINANCE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN JUDAICA

The competition is open to young scientists and University teachers under the age of 45 from Russia, the Baltic States and the CIS.

Funding can be provided for the following purposes:

* Participation in major international congresses and conferences on Jewish Studies and Israeli studies (partial payment for travel/accommodation);

* Work of young scientists and University teachers in archives and libraries to collect materials necessary for research (partial payment for travel/accommodation).

Applications are accepted and reviewed by the expert Council twice a year. The first deadline for submitting applications is February 10, 2020, and the second is June 1, 2020. The decision of the expert Council is made within two weeks after the deadline. The duration of trips under the grant is from February 24, 2020 to October 30, 2020.

Here you can find theconditions and application form (in Russian). 

When publishing materials collected or presented during trips or events that received grant funding, the text of the publication must indicate that the work was carried out within the framework of the Sefer center's charitable program "Academic Jewish Studies in the post-Soviet space", implemented with the support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group. The title and a copy of the publication text should be sent to the Center by email.



Research reports,

completed as part of a grant to Fund research activities in Jewish Studies

Eshnav

Anna Luneva

During my three-week internship, I got acquainted with a large number of recent studies on the study of Judeo-Christian relations in antiquity, most of which were published in 2016-2018.20190306_143347.jpgThanks to this opportunity, I was able to take a deeper look at all the features of how early Christian anti-Semitism is understood and interpreted today, and see how much these studies differ from the work of scientists of the early twentieth century. These developments will help me in writing not only my master's thesis, but will also be very useful for continuing my research.My tutor was Alexander Gordin, who not only gave me the most complete comments on my scientific topics, but also actively helped me search for scientific materials. Thanks to him, I was able to work with the literature available in the library of the University of Jerusalem, as well as with the richest collection of the national library of Israel.

But it wasn't just the bookshelves that made me remember my internship. During these three weeks, I was able to goto Qumran20190304_135804.jpgand walk through the places where the Essene community once lived, and in 1948, the most valuable manuscripts were discovered, which gave the modern world an opportunity to look at the history of this region in the ancient period in a different way. I also find a trip to Jericho very useful, during which I was able to visit the excavations of the most ancient city in the world. These trips helped me to more vividly imagine what writing ancient authors and turning dry texts into a colorful and bound to a particular location of the narrative.


Leonid Shulyakov

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During my internship at the University of Jerusalem in the Eshnav program, I had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Professor Emanuel Tov. Meetings were held on a regular basis, and I was doing a Professor's assignment, collecting material on the topic of my research on the Septuagint of the book of Iov. We jointly analyzed individual verses of the Masoretic text and its Greek translation, wondering whether it is possible to presuppose a theologically motivated interpretation in the Septuagint.

Another goal of the internship was to work in libraries and collect hard-to-find in Russia literature. I worked at the Hebrew University Library in Jerusalem and the national library of Israel and went to the Bar-Ilan University library in Tel Aviv. Along with physical copies of books, these libraries have access to a large number of electronic resources, some books I was able to partially copy or scan. The materials I have collected allow me to continue and improve my study of the book of Iov in the Septuagint.


Yanina Karpenkina

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From 10.06.2018 to 3.07.2018, I worked in the Yad Vashem archive. The purpose of the work was to collect archival materials on the topic of my research – "Sovietization of the Jewish population of Western Belarus in 1939-1941". During the work, I looked through a number of collections of documents, one of the most useful for me was the collection M. 41, which contains documents from some Belarusian archives, in particular, from the National archives of the Republic of Belarus, the State archives of the Grodno and Brest regions, the Grodno archive of public organizations, as well as archive of Pinsk. In addition, it was useful for me to work with collections containing unique ego documents (memoirs, letters, and oral testimonies) that are stored and available exclusively in the Yad Vashem archive.

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Among them, for example, are numerous memoirs of Jews who fled from Western Poland, which tell about the daily life of refugees in Western Belarus; as well as letters and postcards of West Belarusian Jews sent to their relatives in Eretz Israel and other countries. I plan to use all this in my future work.

The collections of the Yad Vashem library are among the richest in the history of East Polish Jewry during the Second world war. I have copied a considerable number of works related to my subject that are not available at all in Moscow libraries.

During my internship, I also attended consultations with the tutor Arkady Seltzer, which was especially useful for determining the theses and methodology of my research.


Maria Yurovitskaya

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During the internship, I planned to collect literature to prepare a commentary on chapters 1-5 of the book of Isaiah in the Septuagint translation. I worked at the national library of Israel and the Hebrew University Library in Jerusalem. Libraries have access to a large number of electronic resources. For me, the greatest value was the opportunity to work with the Qumran scrolls edition, which allows you to easily find the necessary photos of fragments; the new book " Textual History of the Bible»; and also with the Accordance program. I found quite a lot of books in the national library of Israel that are difficult to find in other libraries. I managed not only to read them, but also to partially copy or scan them. The books I have collected allow me to improve significantly my study of the book of Isaiah in the Septuagint. In addition to writing the text, I am conducting a seminar on this book, so the materials collected during the internship will be used by me for preparing lectures and seminars.



Ekaterina Belkina

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During my internship, I reviewed in detail the "Afghan archive" -a collection of handwritten materials in Hebrew-Persian, Arabic, Aramaic, Persian and Hebrew from the Afghan geniza, acquired by the national library of Israel in the summer of 2016. It includes personal correspondence, business and commercial documents, fragments of the Bible codes and explanation of the targums and the Aramaic piyyutim in different languages.

In addition, numerous published materials on the manuscripts were reviewed: articles by O. Chaim on the Philology of the classical Persian language (based on the studied archive), Shaked and A. Netser (on the history and culture of the Jews of Persia),

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monographs by V. Bash Morin (catalogues and studies of Jewish-Persian manuscripts in various libraries around the world), D. Yerushalmi (scientific publication of Imrani texts on manuscripts at the Ben-Zvi Institute), dissertations by Yu.Rabinovich and D. Yasharpour (in Persian and Judeo-Persian medieval poetry) and many more.

Most of the material collected during Eshnav will be used in the framework of writing a master's thesis. An article on the paleography and codicology of manuscripts and the culture of this community (which will be submitted for publication in Tirosh 17) will be written separately based on the materials of the Afghan archive.


Inna Sorokina

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The purpose of the internship was to collect materials for the development of a course on the cultural heritage of the Jews in the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as well as for a monograph on contacts and conflicts in small towns of Belarus during the Russian Empire (late XVIII early XX centuries).

Work was carried out to identify and study sources and literature on these issues in the libraries of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa,

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The national library of Israel, in the Central archive of the history of the Jewish people and the Yad Vashem archive.

Very important for the implementation of two projects (teaching and research) were consultations with Israeli scientists and teachers: first of all, with my mentor, Professor Shaul Stampfer. Part of the internship was participation in the 17th International Congress on Jewish Studies (August 6-10).


Anna Kamenetskaya

Thanks to the internship, I got access to the resources of the National library of Israel and the library of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Especially important for me was the opportunity to work with the archive of Israeli periodicals

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publications of the National library of Israel. In addition, in the library's rich collection, I found extremely useful articles and monographs for my research.

However, the most valuable for me were consultations with Professor Ariel Hirschfeld, one of the leading experts in the field of Israeli literature. Thanks to his advice, I have prepared a good basis for my final qualifying work on modern fiction by Israeli writer Orly Castel-Blum.

Based on the materials collected during the internship, a report will be prepared for the Twenty-fifth annual international conference on Jewish Studies.


Participation in major international congresses and conferences on Jewish and Israeli studies


Maria Yurovitskaya

From August 6 to 11, 2018, thanks to the support of the Sefer Center, I participated in the international conference "73rd General Meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS)" in Athens. This conference is the largest platform for meeting and collaboration of researchers from all over the world studying the New Testament, the Septuagint, the biblical Apocrypha, early Judaism, biblical textual studies, etc. I presented a report at a separate section of young researchers from Eastern Europe. In this lexicographic report, I have traced the history of two terms in Greek literature of the classical and Hellenistic-Roman periods, showing the features of the use of these words in the Septuagint and possible reasons for the difference in semantics of these words in the Septuagint compared to other ancient Greek texts. During the conference, I also participated in the seminar "Early Jewish Theologies and the New Testament" (led by Jens Herzer and Gerbern Oegema), which discussed the comparison of early Jewish and new Testament ethics.

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Svetlana Amosova

The Sefer center was one of the organizers of the workshop "Representations of Jewish-Slavic relations in museums and internet databases", which was held at the Polin Museum. As part of this workshop, I presented the SFERA database, described the technical features of this database, and paid special attention to search engines in the interview section. In addition, the Yiddish interview database “AHEYM” and the website Virtual shtetl were presented in this section. The most interesting part of the workshop for me was the reports on how the topic of interethnic relations is presented differently in various Jewish museums in different countries and cities in Eastern Europe (in Riga, Vilnius, Prague, Warsaw, Moscow).

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Ilya Lensky

The seminar "Representations of Jewish-Slavic relations in museums and internet databases", organized jointly by the POLIN Museum of the history of Polish Jewry and the Sefer center, provided me with a unique opportunity to meet and communicate with colleagues from leading Museum and scientific institutions and discuss my ideas with them. My first report was devoted to the section "Jewish-Latvian cultural contacts" of the permanent exhibition of our Museum. In the report, I tried to show the development of the exhibition, the specifics of the topic selection, the analysis of the potential target audience, and potential ways of development. The second report was devoted to the representation of Jews in Latvian local history museums, and was based on a field study in May-June 2018 and in-depth interviews with the creators and curators of exhibitions. The results of the research and discussion on the report will serve as the basis for a further article to be submitted to one of the publications of the Sefer Center. In General, participation in the seminar was very useful for me, especially given the rather limited opportunities in Latvia for presenting the results of my work and for communicating with international colleagues and experts.

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Maria Kaspina

This was a very fruitful workshop, which discussed the interaction of Jews and Slavs in Museum exhibitions and in digital databases. Representatives of museums and archives from Lithuania, Latvia, Saint Petersburg, the Czech Republic and the USA took part in the discussions. Discussions on the topic of the workshop did not stop not only at meetings, but also on the sidelines. The curatorial tour of the Polin Museum was extremely interesting, where the declared topic of the seminar is presented very widely. In my report, I highlighted the main exhibition of the Museum of Jewish history in Russia, where several aspects of Jewish-Slavic relations can be identified. I also spoke about the experience of using digital technologies in the Museum on temporary and permanent exhibitions, and considered examples of our past exhibitions

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Marina Shcherbakova

At the research workshop "Representations of Jewish-Slavic relations in museums and internet databases", organized by the Sefer Center and the research Department of the POLIN Museum, I presented the report "Continuity and change in the Judaica curatorship in the Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish museums in Tbilisi". I compared the main approaches to building an exhibition in the Soviet and modern Museum of the Jews of Georgia. I also took part in a round table on the topic "Exhibition as a special meta-narrative about ethnic relations", which discussed the problems of representation of Slavic-Jewish relations and possible approaches to this topic. In my opinion, the conversation about Slavic-Jewish relations occurs in all Eastern European Jewish museums due to the historical exhibits and documents presented. However, this representation is particularly important as an opportunity to get away from cultural stereotypes and a universal view of historical experience. The workshop was extremely productive, and participation in this event was useful for my current scientific study.

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Maria Endel

According to the terms of the grant, I’ve participated in the International conference " Rationalism and mysticism in Jewish philosophy. Sources and contexts", St. Petersburg state University, May 29-31, 2018 and worked in the RNB manuscript Fund with Masonic sources.

At a conference held at the faculty of Philosophy of St. Petersburg state University on May 31, I made a report "on the impact of the book" the Reality of the Jews by Oscar Goldberg (1885-1952) on philosophy and literature of the XX century". This report is a continuation of the research, the first results of which were presented at the Sefer Center's Winter conference in 2018. The report demonstrated the similarity and undeniable influence of Goldberg's ideas on the philosophy and worldview of Erich Unger, Walter Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Jacob Taubes, Hans Jonas, Paul Celan, Lev Shestov, Hans Adler, and others. The article written on the basis of the report should be published in the journal Judaica Petropolitana in 2018.

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Within the framework of the grant, the work in the Masonic funds Of the Department of Manuscripts of the RNB was continued. The Fund 550 OSRC was studied, as well as a number of funds of named collections. One of the most interesting, among the books and manuscripts found, was the book of the German scientist Wilhelm Kriegsman "Kabbalah or True and Just Kabbalah, pictures and tables explained" (OR RNB O III-146). (Kriegesmann, W. oder die wahre unrichtige Cabalah... Frankfurt, Leipzig, 1774.). Translations of this book are also available in the Moscow Masonic archives (OR RGB F. 14 # 1613, OR RGB OR RGB F. 147 # 193). Wilhelm Kriegsman German scientist of the 18th century, popularizer of the "science of Kabbalah", whose writings largely determined the syncretic image of Kabbalah that developed in the European and Russian Masonic environment. On the basis of the studied books and manuscripts, a report and article on Kabbalistic texts in the Masonic collections of the RNB is being prepared.

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In 2017, the Sefer Center allocated 10 grants to participate in the 17th international Congress on Judaism, which was held in Jerusalem on August 6 -10.

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Svetlana Amosova

My report at the 17th World Congress on Jewish Studies in Jerusalem "New and old memorial practices among Jews in Russia" was included in the section devoted to the identity and culture of Jews in the USSR.

The Congress is a huge platform for communication with various researchers in the field of Jewish Studies, the opportunity to listen to reports in different languages and different directions. It was important for me to listen and watch presentations of various databases on Jewish Studies(index of Jewish art, catalog of epitaphs of the Munich Museum, database on traditional Jewish clothing, etc.). I was particularly interested in several sections on folklore organized by Israeli researchers, the reports were interesting from a methodological point of view. Participation in the Congress allowed to expand horizons, make new professional acquaintances, and get acquainted with new publications in the field of Jewish Studies.

Ilya Uchitel

This year I was lucky enough to participate in the 17th world Congress on Jewish Studies in Jerusalem with a joint report "Corpora Development for non-Standard Yiddish" ("development of buildings for non-standard Yiddish") co-authored with E. Luchina (Hebrew University Of Jerusalem).

The Congress is a huge conference with reports devoted to the study of the Jewish people from the point of view of the Humanities their history, economic situation, culture, and language. Our report was part of a section devoted to corpus methods of Yiddish and Hebrew studies. In the report, we discussed how using existing Yiddish corpus, you can study non-standard versions of Yiddish.

I also had a great opportunity to get acquainted with the directions and latest discoveries of the best scientists from other, most diverse fields of research of the Jewish people.

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Lydia Chakovskaya

My presentation-the Artistic Milieu of the Mosaics of the Beth Alpha Synagogue-was dedicated to an outstanding monument - the sixth-century Galilean mosaics of the Bet Alpha synagogue in Galilee. The report provoked discussion and an interested comment from Professor Ziva Amishay-Masis, who recalled in connection with the report, an article by Avigdor Posek, written in the 1960s and dedicated to the problem of post-romantic spirituality in art.

The section dedicated to the artistic world of the synagogue was held on the last day of the 17th Congress on Jewish Studies in Jerusalem on Thursday, August 10. The section was called Synagogues: Art in a Ritual Space chaired by Rudolf Klein. It completed a separate program of the Center for Jewish art at the University of Jerusalem as part of the Congress program.

Dmitry Mariasis

During the 17th International Congress on Jewish Studies, held on August 6-10, 2017 in Jerusalem (Israel), I made a presentation "the Israeli Culture of Innovation: Origins, Current State, General Characteristics" in the section devoted to the problems of including Jewish content in modern Israeli education. The report was met with interest. The discussion was mainly in the context of what should happen in the educational system in order to develop the appropriate type of culture for the next generations.

In total, more than one and a half thousand lectures were delivered at the Congress, which were delivered by experts from almost forty countries. The Congress is held by the World Union of Jewish Studies once every four years and is the largest and most prestigious event in this field of knowledge.

Maria Kaspina

In the framework of the 17th Congress on Judaism, on August 9, 2017, I made a report on " Folk Practices Concerning Various Religious Taboos Among the Soviet Jews Of Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, And Russia (Research Findings, 2004-2017)".

The report analyzed the materials of ethnographic expeditions collected with the participation of the Sefer Center over the past 13 years. Special attention was paid to the construction of new traditions recorded among Soviet assimilated Jews living in the Smolensk and Bryansk regions. Examples of motivations justifying violation of the basic prohibitions of Judaism were considered: eating pork and bread in the Passover. The presentation accompanying the report included photos and fragments of audio and video recordings from recent expeditions.

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Work of young scientists and University teachers in archives and libraries

Michael Vogman

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From October 11 to 20, 2019, I traveled to Oxford and Cambridge, one of the world's most important centers for Judaism and Jewish studies, where I worked with the library collections of libraries, primarily the Bodleian library of Oxford on the one hand, and The Leopold Muller Memorial Library at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

It was an absolutely amazing journey, because I have probably never seen so many books on Jewish Studies in one place. Most of the literature is on the open access shelves, so the scale of the collection can be visually observed. On the other hand, a significant portion of journal articles and dissertations are available online in the Bodleian libraries (and can even be downloaded). Thus, I was able not only to read the necessary literature (for example, on the shelves at hand are all the best academic editions of both the book of Anniversaries and the Bible books), but also to download a stock for further reading. The library operates on weekdays until 22 PM, which gives additional opportunities for work, and it is located in the historical center of the medieval University city, so that even the view from the window inspires academic feats.

Working with the library collections of Oxford and Cambridge allowed me to make significant progress in my research of textual and hermeneutic strategies and elements of proto-Midrash In the book of Anniversaries and related works, as well as to collect a significant amount of materials for continuing my work in Russia.

David Kurkovsky

From April 24 to May 4, I conducted research in the city of Vilnius. My task was simple: I wanted to get acquainted with the materials located in the national library of Lithuania, namely the various issues of the newspaper "letstenays" ("Last news"), which are not available in open electronic access (unlike other materials in this territory). These materials are necessary for the scientific work that I am writing as part of an academic internship at the University of Warsaw.

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In addition to my daily work at the Jewish research center at the national library of Lithuania, I have also managed to meet and maintain previous contacts with local Yiddish scholars and scholars from different countries who deal with the Jewish heritage of this region.

During the first week of my stay in Vilnius, I even managed to visit the reading circle of the outstanding Yiddish scholar Dovid Katz, after which I was able to consult a linguist about my research interests.

Thanks to the support of the Sefer Center, I will always have the contacts and materials I received in Vilnius. I am already starting to develop journalistic sources, and they will be included in the final work, which I will have to present in Warsaw in a month and a half.



Konstantin Karpekin

In March-April 2019 I worked in the archives on the topic "Mikvahs in Belarusian provinces in the late 19th early 20th century"

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The work was carried out in the National historical archives of Belarus (Minsk), since there are documents of the institutions and organizations operating in the territory of Minsk, Vitebsk and Mogilev provinces in the studied chronological period.

The funds of the Minsk provincial Board of the Ministry of internal Affairs, the construction Department of the Vitebsk provincial Board, and the construction Department of the Mogilev provincial Board were reviewed.

The cases of construction, repair, and inspection of Jewish public baths with Mikvahs were very informative. They contain documents such as petitions, acts of inspection by architects and police officers, resolutions of provincial boards, drawings of buildings with images of their appearance, layout of premises and location.


Anastasia Dobychina

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From 1.04 to 6.04. 2019, thanks to a scholarship from the Sefer Center, I had the opportunity to work in Sofia, Bulgaria, on the study " the Jewish population in the confessional relations of the Bulgarian lands under Ottoman rule in the late XIV early XVI centuries." In the course of my work, I was able to acquire important articles on the subject, as well as get acquainted with the latest English-language and Bulgarian-language works on the subject in the national library of the Holy Cyril and Methodius and the University library at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. I was greatly helped by the staff of the library of The Jewish cultural house named after E. Shekerdzhi, thanks to whom I was able to work with rare publications on issues of interest to me.

In addition to working in libraries, I was able to consult with specialists

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of the Department of Bulgarian history of the faculty of history of St. Kliment ohridsky Sofia University, first of all, , Professor V. Guzelev, Professor M. Kaimakamova and associate Professor doctor of historical Sciences G. Nikolov. In my spare time, I visited the Sofia synagogue the largest synagogue in South-Eastern Europe.

I would like to thank the Sefer Center for this opportunity. I plan to present the results of my work at the 26th annual international conference on Jewish Studies.

Maria Endel

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Grant was allocated to work on the topic "Kabbalistic texts in the literature of Russian Freemasonry in the late XVIII-early XIX centuries." In this regard, the Fund 550 (OSRK) of the RNB, which contains, among other things, hundreds of handwritten books and collections compiled by Russian Freemasons in the XVIII - n. XIX century. Several manuscripts related to Jewish mysticism were found among the manuscript books. The most important of the found manuscripts is a translation of the German book
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by the philosopher Johann Georg Wachter's Explanation of Kabbalah (Rome, 1706)). In Russian, the manuscript is entitled: "the Key to the mysterious Jewish Kabbalah or the essence of the hidden Jewish philosophy, extracted from a brief and clear presentation of the reviewer of it, John Wachter, the theologian, in Prussia philosophy Professor in three parts with and paintings free translation. Saint Petersburg, 1820".

The book is translated by S. Novikov and divided into three parts. The first part describes the Kabbalistic teaching proper, the second-the teaching of Spinoza and its connection with Kabbalah, and the third discusses the possibility and necessity of teaching Kabbalah in schools and universities.

Previously, it was not known about the translation into Russian of this work, which is important not only for the history of philosophy, but also for the history of the study and perception of Kabbalah by Europeans

Yanina Karpekina

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From August 7, 2017 to August 18, 2017, I worked at the Zonal state archive in Baranovichi in order to collect materials for a PhD thesis on the topic: "The Jewish population of Western Belarus in 1939-1941-problems of Sovietization".
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A number of funds were worked out, which contain a lot of materials on the personnel of the local administration and other institutions, autobiographies and certificates of employees, documents describing specific cases of regional, district and city-scale reforms (for example, the closure of Jewish schools and synagogues, municipalization and nationalization, renaming streets, removing books from libraries, etc.). in General, the materials that I found in the Zonal state archive in Baranovichi were very useful in my work on the dissertation research

Natalia Kireeva

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As part of the grant, I planned a trip to Jerusalem to work at the national library of Israel and the library for the Humanities of the Hebrew University in order to prepare a scientific publication on the topic "4Q 184: possible historical allusions and basic approaches to the interpretation of the hymn".

The work was carried out on August 6-24, 2017. As a result of the work in these two libraries, the material was collected and prepared

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a draft of the article edited and annotated translation of the hymn 4Q 184. An array of rabbinic sources related to Queen Salome Alexandra was studied in detail. Data sources have expanded the methodology of the study. During this period, 14 articles were processed, devoted in whole or in part to 4 Q184, 13 articles and three monographs on the image of Salome Alexandra, as well as 4 monographs on the peculiarities of the language of the Qumran scrolls. The text of the translation of hymn 4Q 184 was discussed with Zoya Kopelman (PhD), and the draft article with Robert Harris (PhD, JTS).