Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

University of Pennsylvania

The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is devoted to post-doctoral research on Jewish civilization in all its historical and cultural manifestations, and is a model for institutions of its kind. The Katz Center's distinguished scholars and superb library holdings, along with Penn's outstanding faculty in Judaic studies, have established the University of Pennsylvania as one of the world's major centers for the study of Jewish civilization.

Located in its award-winning building on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, the Katz Center provides a unique forum for interaction and dialogue among scholars in the international community in all aspects of Jewish learning from antiquity to the present. Annually, twenty fellows are chosen from leading universities in Israel, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, from a large pool of applicants. Comparative and interdisciplinary in its approach, the Katz Center seeks to enhance intellectual conversation across a broad spectrum of disciplines, periods and methodological perspectives.

Center fellows conduct their own research within the general rubric of a chosen research topic. They come together in formal weekly seminars, informal reading groups, for a mid-year conference, and for a culminating annual public colloquium. Each year fellows also shape a published volume and library web exhibit that reflect and preserve the results of their year-long collective scholarly encounter.

Past research topics include: 

  • Modern Jewry and the Arts 
  • Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Life Under Caliphs and Sultans 
  • Comparative Biblical Exegesis
  • Modern Jewish Literatures
  • Israeli Culture and Society
  • Jewish Religion and Culture in the American Diaspora, 1920–1970
  • Jews and Imperial Cultures in Late Antiquity
  • Jewish History and Culture in Eastern Europe
  • Jews, Commerce, and Culture 
  • Secularism and Its Discontents
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Institution type
Foreign Institutions Universities and university institutes