Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Land of Israel/Palestine Through the Ages


A scholar of Judaic studies, Yaron Eliav is an associate professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. He is the author of God's Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Place and Memory, which won two prestigious national awards. Yaron Eliav also created a teaching project called Transforming the Ways We Teach the Ancient World.

This multi-member teaching effort is centered on a experimental class, The Land of Israel/Palestine Through the Ages. The class focuses on the archaeology, history, culture, and conflict that has shaped Israel/Palestine. The educational materials for the course were created by a team of professors, students, scientists, media and IT personnel, and museum staff.

By providing students with immersive, hands-on experiences, the materials bring the rich history of Israel/Palestine to life. Literature, video clips, and art give students extra insight into this fascinating part of the world. Transforming the Ways We Teach the Ancient World received a $750,000 grant, the largest grant ever given for a University of Michigan humanities project.

More information about the course is available at

Monday, September 26, 2016

Society of Biblical Literature Hosts International Meeting in Germany

As a writer and editor of more than 50 articles and reviews related to Judaic studies, Yaron Eliav serves as associate professor of rabbinic literature and Jewish history of late antiquity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Heavily involved in Near Eastern and Jewish studies, Yaron Eliav remains a member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). 

The SBL is the oldest and largest society devoted to investigating the Bible through several academic disciplines. Founded in 1880, the international organization gives its members a chance to develop professionally and intellectually as well as gain support from others who share the same philosophies. The SBL publishes books and journals and hosts meetings, all with the purpose of informing its members on the latest findings.

To connect with members located outside of the United States, the SBL hosts an international meeting with the 2017 meeting scheduled for August 7 through 11 in Berlin, Germany. The 2016 meeting, which took place from July 2 through 7 in Seoul, South Korea, included lectures on a variety of topics, including the Hebrew Bible, scribal conflicts, and feminist interpretations in regards to the Bible.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature

An associate professor of rabbinic literature and Jewish history of late antiquity within the University of Michigan’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, Dr. Yaron Eliav has amassed more than 15 years of experience teaching in the field of Judaic studies. Dr. Yaron Eliav is a member numerous organizations, including the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).

Formed in 1880, SBL is the oldest and largest organization of its kind. Dedicated to “critical investigation of the Bible,” SBL provides a supportive and educational community for biblical scholars. Each year in November, SBL partners with the American Academy of Religion to host the organizations’ annual meetings.

This year, the event takes place in San Antonio and offers participants a choice of more than 1,200 sessions and workshops on topics such as Exploring the Cutting Edge of Research on Children in the Ancient World and Sacred Law in Ancient Greek and Biblical Tradition. Guests can also attend the large daily exhibit of print and digital resources pertaining to biblical research and theology.

Some 10,000 guests attend each day of the annual meetings every year, making the event one of the largest gatherings in the field of religious studies.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Roman Architectural Innovations

An associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Dr. Yaron Eliav teaches a number of courses in Jewish studies. Dr. Yaron Eliav also teaches coursework on the archaeology of the Roman Mediterranean.

Over the years, archaeologic finds have revealed a rich architectural tradition in the Mediterranean regions of the Roman Empire. Roman engineers were responsible for a number of architectural innovations, including the use of volcanic Italian sand in concrete. First introduced in the 2nd century BCE, Roman concrete was incredibly strong and demonstrate the ability to set underwater. In addition to opening up new structural possibilities, Roman concrete allowed designers to push the limits of their creativity.

Another major Roman architectural innovation is the true arch, which consists of wedge-shaped blocks with a keystone holding them in place. Compared with its predecessor, the corbeled arch, the true arch provided a great deal of structural support for large buildings. True arches were able to adopt wide or narrow configurations, allowing for flexibility in design.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Introduction to the Ancient Material Culture of Rome

An expert in the field of Jewish studies, Yaron Eliav serves as an associate professor at the University of Michigan's Department of Near Eastern Studies, where he teaches on rabbinic literature and Jewish history of late antiquity. Aside from his passion for Judaic studies, Yaron Eliav also maintains an interest in the material culture of ancient civilizations such as Rome.

The study of ancient material culture involves discovering and identifying artifacts from a culture and evaluating them on the basis of their social and economic context. Looking at these artifacts as more than mere objects helps researchers delve more deeply into the individual nature of an ancient society like Rome.

As Rome developed, it drew much from Greece and Egypt. Despite building upon the culture it inherited from these more ancient societies, Rome also developed numerous technological innovations that substantially affected the structure of Roman society. Researchers can look at the artifacts left from the material culture as a sign of a thriving technologically and culturally advanced civilization.

Some of the Roman artifacts still visible today include the ruins of enormous arches and aqueducts. Rome relied heavily on the use of concrete for its structures, and the ruins testify to the endurance of the empire's methods. Other smaller artifacts range from newspapers written on stone or metal to coins used for welfare programs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Supporting Current and Future Scholars - Association of Jewish Studies

An associate professor at the University of Michigan, Yaron Eliav teaches Judaic studies of late antiquity and rabbinic literature, and advises students who are majoring in Biblical studies, Ancient Judaism, and Ancient Near Eastern studies, among other subjects. A dedicated member of his field, Yaron Eliav is a member of several organizations, including the Association of Jewish Studies (AJS).

Committed to the promotion of Jewish studies research and teaching at institutions of higher learning and to improving understanding of Jewish studies in the public at large, the AJS was established in 1969. With membership categories for professionals, graduate students, and people who are also members of the European Association for Jewish Studies, the association sponsors conferences, publications, and grants to connect, inform, and support its members. 

Chief among its grants is the AJS dissertation completion fellowship competition, which awards $20,000 finishing-year fellowships every year for five years. Designed to help graduate students complete their doctorates on time, the competition requires award winners to give a sophisticated and engaging public presentation. In addition to the monetary award, the AJS supports its students with a mid-year workshop, continuing development opportunities, and courses in public speaking.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Benefits of Membership in the Society of Biblical Literature

The associate professor for rabbinic literature and Jewish studies of late antiquity at the University of Michigan, Yaron Eliav is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

The largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, the Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 and is dedicated to the critical investigation of the Bible. Founded on ten core values, ranging from accountability and professionalism to inclusivity and scholarly integrity, the society has over 8,000 members and sponsors both an annual meeting and an international meeting. Open to professional scholars, students, and members of the public who are interested in the study of Biblical literature, the society offers a number of benefits at every membership level.

Some of these benefits include receiving the Journal of Biblical Literature, access to De Gruyter subscriptions, and discounts at different vendors. The society also offers membership with the International Cooperation Initiative. This initiative was established in 2007 to bring together international and multidisciplinary scholars for a variety of projects as well as pooling resources to benefit people who otherwise might not have access to them. Its teaching collaboration and mentoring program, for instance, connects institutions, scholars, and students through two databases around the world.