The Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, the only one of its kind at a public university in the United States, is committed to interdisciplinary, multilingual work spanning ancient times through the contemporary era. By combining intellectual autonomy with the ideal of a scholarly community, it offers global leadership in Jewish Studies.

This fall, the institute will host a prestigious group of scholars who will gather around the theme "Sephardic Identities: Medieval and Early Modern." Head Fellow Ryan Szpiech will lead them in their year of research.

The 2018–19 Frankel fellows and their fields of research are:

• Ilil Baum, Bar-Ilan University, "The Knowledge of Arabic among the Jews of the Crown of Aragon: Late Medieval Jewish Multilingualism as a Marker of an Elitist Culture."

• Ross Brann, Cornell University, "Andalusi and Sefardi Exceptionalism."

• Monica Aparicio Colominas, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, "Sephardic Exceptionalism in the anti-Jewish Polemics of Medieval Iberian Muslims."

• Brian Hamm, University of Central Florida, "Being 'Portuguese' at the Diasporic Margins."

• Marc Herman, Columbia University and Fordham University, "Andalusian Independence from Geonic Authority in its Mālikī and Almohad Contexts."

• Maya Irish, Rice University, "Sephardic Exceptionalism and the Castilian Jewish Elites."

• Martin Jacobs, Washington University (St. Louis), "Constantinople vs. Tenochtitlán: Imperial Expansion through a Post-Expulsion Sephardic Lens."

• Ehud Krinis, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "'Duties of the Heart' and the 'Kuzari' as Two Alternative Systematic Responses to the Hardships of the Jewish Communal life in al-Andalus."

• Devi Mays, U-M, "The Sephardi Connection: Ottoman Jews, the Opium Trade, and the Aftereffects of Empire."

• Sarah Pearce, New York University, "In the Taifa Kingdoms: The Medieval Poetics of Modern Nationalism."

• Vaselios Syros, University of Jyväskylä (Finland), "Visions of History and Sephardic Identities: Medieval and Early Modern Perspectives."

• Ryan Szpiech, U-M, "He is Still Israel? Conversion and Sephardic Identity before and after 1391."

• Moshe Yagur, University of Haifa, "Who was a 'Sepharadi'? A view from the Cairo Geniza."