Last call: PhD stipends through the RIAB Center

Last call: PhD Stipends from the Minerva Center for Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB)

The Minerva Center for Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB; is offering several stipends for PhD candidates in fields related to the center’s topics. The stipends are meant for students with an excellent academic record who are interested in conducting PhD studies at Bar-Ilan University, under the supervision of one of the center’s members who are on the BIU faculty (

The stipends are based on the BIU “President’s Stipends” (, which include: ca. $1000 per month for 4 years, travel to one international conference to present a paper related to the student’s PhD research, and full exemption from tuition.

PhD candidates associated with the center receive additions to the standard stipend, such as travel to academic conferences organized by the center (in Israel and Germany), and in some cases, additional monthly funding from a specific research project (such as the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project;

Deadline for final submissions is May 30th, 2017.

If you are interested in submitting through the RIAB Center, please contact Prof. Aren M. Maeir ( in the next few days.

Workshop on “Social aspects of multi-linguistic settings in the Ancient Near East”, Thursday, June 15th, at Bar-Ilan University

On Thursday, June 15th, 2017, the RIAB Minerva Center will conduct a workshop on “Social aspects of multi-linguistic settings in the Ancient Near East”. The workshop, organized by Dr. Yuval Levavi (who is a post-doc at BIU and a member of the RIAB center), will be held at the Weisfeld Lecture Hall, Feldman Building (301), Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Levavi (

Here is the program:

09:00 Kathleen Abraham (KUL) Approaches to Multilingualism in the Ancient Near East
09:30 Yigal Bloch (Haifa) Alphabetic Scribes (sepīru) as Mediators between Fifferent Languages and Writing Systems in Babylonia in the 6th-5th Centuries BCE
10:00 Peter Zilberg (HUJI) People from the Indus valley in the Achaemenid Empire


10:30                     Coffee break
10:45 Noga Ayali-Darshan (BIU) The Significance of Linguistic Elements in the Process of the Myth’s Adaptation: Some Examples from Ancient Near Eastern Literature
11:15 Noam Miazrhi (TAU) Between Technique and Theology: A comparative reading of depictions of manufacturing cult images in Targum Jonathan for Deutero-Isaiah and Jeremiah 10
11:45 Ohad Abudraham (BIU) Jewish Incantations in Early-Mandaic Epigraphic Texts: Linguistic Aspects
12:30                     Lunch break
13:45 Uri Gabbay (HUJI) A Dead or Living Language? The status of Sumerian within the priestly and intellectual milieus in the first millennium BCE
14:15 Yuval Levavi (BIU) Why then in Akkadian? On the use of Akkadian in daily life of foreigners in Babylonia

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: