JEWTACT is a collaborative research project, which focuses on the rich corpus of translations of non-Jewish texts into Jewish languages, which developed during the early modern period. Largely neglected by modern scholars, these translations played a pivotal role in fashioning Jewish culture from the sixteenth century into modern times.
Combining the efforts of a polyglot and interdisciplinary group of researchers, the project sets out to map this multifaceted corpus for the first time, offering the first comprehensive study of the entire gamut of Jewish translations in Europe from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The team will attempt to identify the various participants of the early modern Jewish translation project, and to reveal their different linguistic, cultural, religious and social backgrounds. It will investigate the complex relationship between Jewish translations into different languages, and between translations of different spaces, genres and periods. Finally, it will expose the hitherto hidden non-Jewish corpus which played a decisive role in the emergence of Jewish modernity.
The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and carried out at Ben Gurion University's Department of Jewish History.