Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Yarnton Manor, built in 1611, now the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (OCHJS) is an independent institution which is part of the University of Oxford. Its research fellows teach on a variety of Bachelors and Masters degrees in Oriental Studies, and it publishes the Journal of Jewish Studies.


History and Case Statement

The Centre was founded in 1972 by Dr. David Patterson to help restore Jewish Studies in Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust.[1] Currently it is located at Yarnton Manor, in Yarnton village, Oxfordshire, four miles north of Oxford. It is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England, under English law.[2] Today, it is the leading academic Jewish studies centre in Europe. Its Fellows and Lecturers provide courses in Hebrew and Jewish studies for undergraduates and postgraduates up to the doctoral level in many faculties within the University of Oxford. The Centre also promotes Jewish studies based on the Bodleian Library’s Hebrew and Jewish collections by supporting research, by development projects, and by shared staffing with the Centre’s Leopold Muller Memorial Library.

Leopold Muller Memorial Library

Muller Library collections

The Centre's library is named the Leopold Muller Memorial Library. It is housed in two converted stone barns at Yarnton Manor. It comprises one of the best collections of books and periodicals in Jewish Studies in Europe and serves as a resource for scholars, students and visiting fellows of the Centre. The core of the Library consists of several rare collections and archives; among those one finds a large collection of materials donated by Rabbi Louis Jacobs[3], Loewe Pamphlets Collection[4] from Herbert Loewe and his elder son, the library of Jacob H. Coppenhagen[5] (1913-1997), Kressel Archive[6], Foyle-Montefiore Collection[7] (which incorporates the library of Leopold Zunz), Lipson-Shandel and Moses Montefiore Archives[8] of rare documentation regarding life and activities of Sir Moses Montefiore, one of the largest collections of Yizkor Books in Europe - it counts over 800 memorial volumes for communities destroyed in the Holocaust[9], and the Archive of Rabbi Hugo Gryn[10]. Among the Library's most recent enterprises is the Digital Haskalah Library project [11].

Notable Students and Fellows

  • Chimen Abramsky, Fellow and Visiting Lecturer, Professor of Jewish Studies at University College London
  • Aharon Appelfeld, Visiting Hebrew Writer, Israeli novelist
  • Leonie Archer, Fellow, author
  • Malachi Beit-Arié, Honorary Fellow, Professor emeritus of Codicology and Palaeography at the Hebrew University of Jerualem, member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Christian M. M. Brady, Jewish Studies scholar
  • David Daube, Honorary Fellow, Professor of Civil Law
  • Robert Eisenman, archaeologist, Biblical scholar
  • Hanan Eshel, Fellow, Professor of Archaeology
  • Shamma Friedman, Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Gordon Hugenberger, Fellow, author, American pastor
  • Peter Machinist, Fellow, Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Harvard University
  • Reuven Snir, Fellow, Israeli academic, Arabic professor
  • Emanuel Tov, Fellow, Hebrew Bible academic
  • Edward Ullendorf, Visiting Scholar, Professor of History and scholar of Semitic languages, School of Oriental and African Studies, London
  • Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu, former foreign minister of Romania
  • Pieter Willem van der Horst, Professor of Religion and author
  • A. B. Yehoshua, Fellow, Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright
  • Steven J. Zipperstein, Fellow, Professor in Jewish Culture and History, Stanford University


Leopold Muller Memorial Library

External links

Yarnton Manor, view from the gardens

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