2010–11 Matthew Family Fellow Dr. Asaf Yedidya
Asaf Yedidya is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Yad Vashem (Israel). He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University. For his Matthew Family Fellowship, Dr. Yedidya is conducting research for his project, “The Nazis’ Attacks on the Talmud and the Jewish Apologetic Reaction in Germany and Austria in the 1930s.”
Dr. Yedidya is the editor of numerous publications in Hebrew, including, Ashkenazi Batei Midrash: Memoirs of Graduates of German and Austrian Rabbinical Seminaries (Jerusalem: Carmel Press & Schechter Institute, 2010) and Zikaron Basefer: The Holocaust in Prefaces to the Rabbinical Literature (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 2008). He is the author of, Years Wherein We Have Seen Evil: The Final Solution” (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2008) – in Hebrew and English, and of the forthcoming book, Criticized Criticism: Orthodox Alternatives to ‘Wissenschaft des Judentums’ 1873-1956” to be published by the Bialik Institute, Jerusalem. Dr. Yedidya has also published articles in several leading scholarly journals in Hebrew and English, including, Modern Judaism, European Journal of Jewish Studies, Cathedra, and Zion. A native speaker of Hebrew, Dr. Yedidya also has language skills in English, German, and Yiddish.
During his tenure at the Center, Dr. Yedidya is researching the Nazis’ attacks on the Talmud and other rabbinic texts and Jewish apologetic reactions to those attacks in Germany and Austria, comparing each to similar phenomena and reactions in earlier periods. He also intends to examine the reactions of the orthodox and the “Centralverein.” To complete his research, Dr. Yedidya is utilizing the Museum’s extensive archives, in particular records about Nazi distortions of the Talmud and Records of the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens, Berlin.