SICSA is proud to announce the recipients of the Robert Wistrich Awards in the Field of Antisemitism and Racism for 2021:
Mr. Eliyau Klein
Ms. Osnat Emily Rance
Ms. Hannah Teddy Schachter
Dr. Tuvia Singer
Eliyau Klein lives in Mitzpe Yeriho. He works as a high school history teacher. Nowadays He is a doctoral student in the department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. He wrote his M.A thesis at the Hebrew university under the guidance of Prof. Daniel Blatman on the topic of survival in the Wlodawa (Poland) countryside during the Holocaust. Located in the eastern Lublin district, Wlodawa county is largely a geographical and cultural microcosm of the non-urban existence throughout pre-WWII Poland. In the county there were towns, villages and thick forests. The county consisted of a diverse ethnic population that included a Polish majority, a large Ukrainian minority and a small Jewish minority. This created an encounter between cultures which was enriching but also charged with religious differences and different interests. During the German occupation in World War II, the local Jews of the county were joined by Jews who fled or were expelled from all over Poland and even beyond. In the county there were ghettos, labor camps and one extermination camp: Sobibor.
In his study, Klein examined the fate of the Jews of the Wlodawa county who tried to survive in the countryside. In the context of the attitude of the local population towards the persecuted Jews, I have analyzed all kinds of behaviors with a focus on those that haven't led to the rescue of the Jews on the one hand, but also haven't led to their death, directly or indirectly, on the other hand. This spectrum presents a broad and accurate picture of the rural population's attitude towards the Jews. It also makes it possible to understand in depth the nature of the relations between the Jews and their neighbors in occupied Poland during the war and to place in a broad historical context the motives for the various behaviors, including fear, greed and anti-Semitism in its various forms.
Osnat Emily Rance completed her B.A. degree at the Department of Hebrew Literature and the Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University, cum laude. She completed her M.A. degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the Department of Jewish History. Her thesis dealt with the maintenance of the Babylonian sages' wives, while their husbands were absent in order to study Torah. In 2017 he has submitted an M.A. thesis in the subject, supervised by Professor Shlomo Aronson, following an extensive research in four archives in both Germany and the U.S.
Her research aims to reveal the position of the Jews in the social fabric of late antiquity, and especially their image, as emerge from contemporary ecclesiastical historiography. Similar to the paradigm set by Joan Wallach Scott, these issues may arise from an examination of the relationship between the following three factors: the historical event, it's representation and it's interpretation among the population. Thus, this research focuses on the tension between real and imagined reality, while discussing the outcomes of both.
Hannah Teddy Schachter is a PhD candidate in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the ERC research group Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe led by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten. Originally from Texas, USA, she studied at Clark University, the European Institute of Jewish Studies in Sweden, and the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg Germany, before coming to Jerusalem. She is interested in how Jews engaged with monarchies and courtly culture in the European Middle Ages, with royal women a particular focal point.
Her doctoral project uses art, literature, and administrative sources to explore the relationship between Jews and queens in 13th-century northern France, specifically Blanche of Castile (1223-1252). It explores how Jews related to queens in the European Middle Ages, based on the case of Blanche de Castille, Queen of France, during the 13th century. Generally, queens have been colored as passive motherly figures of government toward all residents of their medieval kingdoms. But the case of Queen Blanche of Castile gives an alternate view of this narrative. She, like many other queens of her time, was involved in the economic and religious lives of Jews living under her rule: She not only passed anti-Jewish policies to suppress Jewish economic activity, but also chaired the trial against the Talmud in 1240 and sought Jewish conversion to Christianity. This project will contribute much to the history of antisemitism by exploring aspects of gender, sexuality and power. It will consider the historical role of royal women in anti-Jewish policies and Jewish expulsions from European lands, as well as how gender shaped interreligious contacts between Jews and Christian monarchies, both in France and at large.
Tovia Singer was born in 1975 and grew in the old city of Jerusalem. In between the years 1989 - 2001 studied at various Yeshivot: Yeshivat Netivot Yosef in Mitzpe Jericho, Yeshivat Siach Yitzchak, Yeshivat Har-Etzion. Since 2001 engaged in research, writing and teaching Jewish history, focusing on Jewish-Christian relations in the German speaking territories at the modern period (Yad Vashem, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Freie Universität Berlin a.o). Since 2015, living with his family in Germany where he wrote his doctoral dissertation (2014-2020) under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Dr. Aya Elyada at the Departments of history and folklore, the Hebrew University. At present is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institut für Kulturanthropologie/ Europäische Ethnologie, Georg August Universität, Göttingen. Currently is conducting an anthropological and historical research on the use of Tarot, astrology and folk-tales as a therapeutic mental game.
His PhD dissertation is a comparative study of the figures and images of so-called 'wandering' minorities – Jews and Sinti and Rom ('gypsies') – in German folk-narratives at the canonization processes of folklore and mythology in 19th century Germany. The study reveals significant differences between the Grimm brothers' national ideology and the regional-royalist ideology of Ludwig Bechstein, whose folk-tales collections were best-sellers throughout most of the 19th century. The study exposes also the tensions between these middle-class identity ideologies and cosmological local beliefs that do not respond to the binary dichotomies of self-other, anti-philo, and religious-secular. Many folklore sources reflect medieval and early modern beliefs and traditions. Popularizing those traditions in the 19th century for various ideological, pedagogical and commercial purposes makes them a link between the periods. As such, the study sheds new light on the ongoing debate on break and continuity in the history of anti-Semitism. Alongside, the sources analyzed in this study emphasize the importance of economic relations and social conditions for an accurate historical understanding of anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsism, alongside and beyond religious, national or racist ideologies.