President’s PhD Stipends at BIU

Bar-Ilan University is offering 4 year PhD stipends (“President’s Grants”) to students who excelled in their undergraduate and graduate studies. Several of these grants are available through the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB).

If you are interested in looking into the possibility of doing your PhD at Bar-Ilan University, you are an excellent student – and you have a topic that relates to the RIAB Center (which includes archaeological aspects relating to the Tell es-Safi/Gath Project) please get in touch with the RIAB Center co-director, Prof. Maeir (, as soon as possible.

The deadline for submission is May 29th, 2017!

For general information on the grants, see here.

For registration forms, see here (but if you are interested in doing this through the RIAB Minerva Center, first contact Prof. Maeir first).

Online lectures from the 2nd Annual RIAB Center meeting (March, 2017)

The Lectures presented at the 2nd day of the 2nd Annual Conference of the RIAB Minerva Center, which took place at the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies (on the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on March 2nd, 2017), can now be watched online.

Here is a list of the lectures – and links to the online versions:

Session 1: Aramaic in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Loren Stuckenbruck – Remaining Issues in the Textual Study of 1Enoch:

Daniel Machiela – The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls as Evidence of a Second-Temple Period Literary Movement:

Hillel Mali – ולאלפא יתי דין כהונתא: The Aramaic Levi Document and the Mishnaic Sources:

Jonathan Ben-Dov – Multiple Literary Editions of the Astronomical Book of Enoch:

Session 2: Small Aramaic Narratives

James Nathan Ford – Some Contributions of the Incantation Bowls to the Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Lexicon:

Marco Frenschkowski – Jesus as an Aramaic Story Teller:

Session 3: Hebrew and Aramaic Epigraphy

Shmuel Ahituv – The Jerusalem Papyrus:

Christopher Rollston – The Jerusalem Papyrus: Another Perspective:

Esther Eshel – Aramaic Ostraca from Maresha:


Doctoral Stipends through the RIAB Minerva Center

The RIAB Minerva Center is offering 2-3 stipends for the coming years for PhD students dealing with topics relating to the center’s research topics. If you have not yet started a PhD program, are interested in doing one in affiliation with the RIAB Center, do get in touch with Prof. Aren Maeir, the center co-director, for details on this, and if relevant, how to apply for these stipends. If you are interested, please send in your enquirty by the end of April, 2017 (

Planned activities of the RIAB Center for the year and half

See below a list of the planned activities of the RIAB Center for the next year and a half:

1)  Monday, June 12th 2017 (at 14:00), a workshop on use of the biblical software “Accordance” by Dr. Leeor Gottlieb, to be held at Leipzig University.

2) Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 (11.00-13.00), a workshop on the linguistic dating of biblical texts, with Dr. Leeor Gottlieb and Prof. Louis Jonker (Univ. of Stellenbosch), to be held at Leipzig University.

3) Thursday, June 15, 2017: A workshop on “Social aspects of multi-linguistic settings in the Ancient Near East,” organized by Dr. Yuval Levavi. The workshop at BIU.

4)  Tuesday, Nov. 14th, 2017: A workshop on identity in the ancient world in Leipzig, with the participation of Aren Maeir, Omer Sergei, and Izaak Cornelius (Univ. of Stellenbosch), as well as possible additional participants.

4) Monday, May 14th, 2018, at 14.00-18.00. The pre-Annual Conference Workshop (in Leipzig) on the Aramean ostraca from Idumea, with Bezalel Porten, Andre Lemaire, Israel Eph’al, Michael Langlois, Holger Gzella, Dirk Schwiderski, and others (chair – B. Porten)

5)  Tuesday-Wednesday, May 15th-16th, 2018: Annual conference of the center (in Leipzig). General topic: Writing and Re-Writing of History through Destruction.

In addition, we are looking into additional activities (this year and possibly next), including:

1) A workshop on the excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maachah, by Nava Panitz Cohen and Naama Yahalom (to be held at BIU).

2) A joint field trip/workshop to Jordan with the Swiss/Israeli Synergia research group, tentatively planned for December, 2018

2017 Annual Conference was an Astounding Success!

As previously noted, the 2nd annual conference of the RIAB center was held on March 1-3, 2017, at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University, and included two days of lectures and a field trip on the third day (to the Shephelah, with emphasis on Tell es-Safi/Gath and Azekah).

The meeting including talks, workshops and discussions on a broad range of topics connected to the RIAB Center’s fields of interests. The conference, according to all participants, guests and visitors, was an astounding success. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the future.

Here are some pictures from the three days:

2nd Annual Meeting of the RIAB Center – March 1-3, 2017

The 2nd Annual Meeting of the RIAB Minerva Center will be held at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University on March 1-3, 2017. The meeting will be held jointly with the Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center for Jewish History.

The topic of the meeting is:

New Perspectives on Aramean and Israelite Epigraphy, Inscriptions and Related Issues

For the full program, see: riab-march-2017-meeting_schedule_2_17