Mosaics of the Abraham & Isaac story show how Jews in late antiquity used art to connect with religion and community

Countering misperceptions, grad fellow Abby Massarano explains that Jews in the 6th century CE embraced visual art, and shows what we can learn about these communities from their depictions of the key story of Abraham's Binding of Isaac.

“The yoke of the Gentiles is not upon them”: Benjamin of Tudela’s geography of Jews in medieval Iraq and Kurdistan

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela's travel writing shows that Jews in medieval Iraq and Kurdistan lived in (relative) peace and freedom, countering narratives of universal misery and oppression, grad fellow Jeffrey Haines writes.

Learning from the history of Ottoman Jews & 19th-century cholera outbreaks during COVID-19

Grad fellow Canan Bolel explains the unfortunate parallels between responses to 19th-century cholera outbreaks in Ottoman Izmir (present-day Turkey) — especially for Jewish communities— and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From ancient Jewish practitioners to Google searches, coping with our fear of “ugly” babies

Like people today, people in the ancient world were obsessed with having ideal children. And ancient theories of vision combined with fears around imperfect babies to create some funky beliefs about sex and conception, writes grad fellow Jennifer Hunter. But were they really weirder than our worries today?