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2025-2026 Jews and Media: Old and New

In today's media-saturated world, understanding the impact of media on Jewish life and culture is more important than ever before. In recent years, scholars of Jewish Studies have expanded beyond traditional textual analysis to encompass the study of various media forms, from the historical artifacts of manuscripts and scrolls to newspapers, magazines, recordings, film, television, and digital technologies. This theme year at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies will explore the intersection of
Jewish and Media Studies and the relationships between Jews, Jewishness, Judaism, and the media, both old and new.


We seek to understand the roles Jews have played in the production, distribution, and consumption of media throughout history, and to study the representation of Jews in various media, both traditional and digital. By including a wide range of media, we aim to examine the dynamic relationship between Jews and media, their impact on Jewish/non-Jewish relations, and their role in shaping concepts of Jewishness globally. We are interested in the evolving boundaries of religious traditions, ideas of belonging, migration, nationalism, capitalism, race, gender, and the transformation of Israel and the diaspora.


The “Jews and Media” fellowship year will explore questions such as: What can Jewish Studies learn from Media Studies and vice versa? How certain forms of media were adapted by Jews and how do they contribute to the construction of Jewishness? What are the legal, ethical, and theoretical Jewish approaches to media? How have different forms of media shaped the Jewish public sphere and foster connections or divisions among Jews and non-Jews, as well as among Jews of different backgrounds? How have Jews been represented in different forms of media, and how have these representations influenced public perceptions? What is the role of the media in discussions of antisemitism and the real or perceived influential position of Jews in media production?


We invite scholars and experts from an array of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to join us in this multidisciplinary exploration. We encourage applicants to consider questions of diversity, inclusion, and the voices that are amplified or marginalized in different media contexts.