The Jews of Africa #BlackHistoryMonth

Preliminary remarks on the study of the Jews in Africa, followed by The Jews of Ethiopia (origins to 1862). Premiering today at 12 noon ET.

Note: for some reason this particular topic attracts an unusual amount of inappropriate commentary. Scholarly, collegial discussion is welcomed here; but I intend to remove hateful remarks, and commentators who flagrantly disrespect others will be blocked from the channel. If this becomes too onerous a task I will simply turn off comments on the video. Please respect the learning community who gather here to discuss Jewish history.

Recommended reading:

Tudor Parfitt, Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Harvard, 2013)

Steven Kaplan, The Beta Israel (Falasha) in Ethiopia: From Earliest Tiems to the Twentieth Century (New York University, 1992).

Esther as Crypto-Jew: Jewish History, Identity and the Missing 107 Verses from the Book of Esther

Some thoughts on the literary figure of Queen Esther on the eve of the holiday of Purim. Talk originally delivered to members of Project Makom on February 21, 2022.

Arabian Jews and the Birth of Islam (Premiering Today at 12 noon ET); The Tragic Story of Uriel DaCosta; and The Strange Odyssey of Israel Aharoni

A Jew and a Muslim enjoy a game of Chess, 13th century Andalus
Scheduled to Premiere Sunday, February 21 at 12 Noon ET

Jews in Visigothic Spain

Scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 PM ET
Scheduled for Monday at 1:00 PM ET

Jewish History Lab Report February 12, 2021

Jewish History Lab Lectures Scheduled for Next Week (Advance access for YouTube channel members at the Student Level)

49. Early Jewish Settlement in Spain (Scheduled for Sunday @ 1:00 PM ET)

50. Jews in Visigothic Spain (Scheduled for Monday @1:00 PM ET)

Researchers: The Amazing Journey of Yisrael Aharoni (hopefully releasing today, maybe early next week)

Colleagues: Live Classes:

Conversation with High School Students in Toronto Monday, February 15th, 8:30 PM ET

Becoming the People of the Byte: The Internet, the Talmud, and the Future of the Jewish People Tuesday, February 16th, 7:30 PM PT (10:30 ET)

Jews and the Birth of Islam Wednesday, February 17, 7:30 PM ET

Wednesday is open to channel members at the Colleague level: please contact me at if you need the link. Monday and Tuesday will require permission from the organizers, but write me early and I’ll see if we can put it together.

Have a wonderful Shabbos, weekend, and Rosh Hodesh Adar! HMA

Jews in Late Roman Period, The Convert who Illustrated the Maxwell House Haggadah, and the Tragic Jewish Backstory to yelling “fire” in a theater

Jewish History Lab Report for February 5, 2021.

Videos dropping next week (advance viewing for Students now available):

Researchers video:

Text version at JTA here.

Colleagues Live Class on Wednesday: Jews in Visigothic Iberia

Other Publications:

The German Convert who Illustrated the Maxwell House Haggadah

Have an excellent Shabbos! Looking forward to learning more Jewish history with you next week.


Jewish History Lab Report (January 29, 2021) Babylonian Center, Talmud, Amsterdam Haggadah

Hello fellow students of Jewish History! Here’s this week’s Jewish History Lab Report.

Dropping next week:

Researchers Video: Who Illustrated the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695?

Next Week: Under Christian Rule

A Bird-Headed Haggadah (Why?)…

What is the Meaning of Jewish History?

A brief overview of some historiographic theory as it relates to Jewish history, also considering the impact of Postmodernism.

Here’s a link to Rosman, Moshe. How Jewish is Jewish History?. United Kingdom: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009.

Another fairly recent and important work is Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim. Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory. United Kingdom: University of Washington Press, 2011.

Please take this brief, anonymous survey

Good morning fellow students of Jewish History! Do you watch the Jewish History Lab series? If so, please contribute your thoughts in this brief, anonymous survey. We’ll be starting the second semester later this month, and I value your opinion!