About the Speakers
Rami Arav, Prof. at the Department of Religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, received his BA and MA from Tel Aviv University and Ph.D. from New York University. Prof. Arav has taught and researched at New York University, Hebrew Union College NY, The Golan Research Institute, Haifa University, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has been the director of the Gan Hashlosha Museum (Israel) and the Chief Curator of the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. He directed archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, Beth Sha'an, Cave of Letters, and since 1987 he directs the Bethsaida Excavation Project. Prof. Arav is the author of eight books and numerous articles.
Eran Arie is the curator of Iron Age and Persian Period in The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and he teaches at The Martin (Szusz) Department of the Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University. He excavated in Tel Megiddo, and published many of the Iron Age finds from the tell. He specializes in the social and historical values of pottery from the Iron Age in Northern Israel, and his current research deals with the relations between the Phoenicians and the kingdom of Israel during the 9th-8th centuries BCE.
Gideon Avni is the Head of the Archaeology Division in the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and a Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His academic interests focus on various aspects of Classical, Late Antique, Early Islamic and Medieval archaeology, cultural and religious transformations, the diffusion of technologies and movement of people in the Near East and beyond. His recent books are The Byzantine – Islamic Transition in Palestine, an Archaeological Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2014), and A New Old City – Jerusalem in the Late Roman Period (Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement 105). Rhode Island.
Yuval Baruch completed his higher education, including Ph.D. at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and spent his entire professional life as an archaeologist working for the Israel Antiquities Authority, where he currently serve as the Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist and member of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He has published many archaeological and historical articles and managed many large-scale excavations including development, preservation and conservation projects: Kh Susia, several area around the walls of the Temple Mount, The Umayyad Building South of the Temple Mount, excavations near Herod Gate and more.
Omry Barzilai is currently head of the archaeological research department for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). He completed his PhD at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and conducted his post-doctorate training at the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute of Science. He served as the Head of the Prehistory Branch at IAA, before being selected to act as the Head of the Archaeological Research Department, which oversees all scientific and academic aspects of the IAA’s archaeological work. Since 2010, he has co-directed the Dan David Expedition to Manot Cave. He also participates in a project called "timing of cultural change" that aims to date the transition from the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic periods in the central Negev.
Elisabetta Boaretto is the Director of the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science and she is the incumbent of the Dangoor Professorial Chair of Archaeological Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her research is focused on the past cultural changes, with an emphasis on synchronizing events between different sites and the environment. She applies different analytical tools to study the archaeological record in the excavation and in the laboratory. She is the head of the Dangoor Research Accelerator Mass Spectrometer for Radiocarbon Dating at the Weizmann Institute.
Robert R. Cargill (PhD UCLA, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) is Associate Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa and Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review. He teaches biblical studies, Second Temple Judaism, archaeology, and ancient languages including Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Syriac. His recent books include Melchizedek, King of Sodom: How Scribes Invented the Biblical Priest-King (Oxford University Press, 2019) and The Cities That Built the Bible (HarperOne, 2016).
Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University (GWU), in Washington DC. He has degrees in Classical Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology, and Ancient History, from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is an active field archaeologist, with more than 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, and the United States.
Avraham Faust is Prof. of archaeology at the department of General History, Bar-Ilan University. He has over 200 publications, mostly on the archaeology of the Land of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages (biblical archaeology), especially from social and anthropological perspectives, including Israel’s Ethnogenesis: Settlement, Interaction, Expansion and Resistance (2006), The Archaeology of Israelite Society (2012), Judah in the Neo-Babylonain Period (2012), and The Neo-Assyrian Empire in the Southwest (forthcoming, 2021). He currently directs the excavations at Tel 'Eton (Israel) and the survey in its surroundings.
Liane Feldman is an assistant professor in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Her research focuses on the literary representation of sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Jewish literature.
Steven Fine is the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, director of the YU Center for Israel Studies and the YU Israelite Samaritans Project. A cultural historian of ancient Judaism, Fine’s most recent book is: The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel (Harvard University Press, 2016). His Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology (Cambridge, 2005, second ed. 2010) received the 2009 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies.Fine is a founding editor of IMAGES: A Journal for the Study of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, now in its thirteenth year. His next book, The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome and Back is in press. Fine’s exhibition, The Samaritans: A Biblical People will open at YU Museum in Fall, 2021.
Daniel Fleming is Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. His major studies include work on ancient Near Eastern political systems and public ritual, as well as two volumes laying out new perspectives on the relationship of biblical writing to the history of Israel: The Legacy of Israel in Judah's Bible: History, Politics, and the Reinscribing of Tradition (2012); and Yahweh before Israel: Glimpses of History in a Divine Name (2021).
Norma Franklin is a research fellow at the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, an associate fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, and co-director of the Jezreel Expedition. She is particularly interested in the history and archaeology of ancient Israel in the ninth and eighth centuries BCE, from the Omride dynasty to the period of Assyrian domination, especially the three Iron Age sites of Samaria, Megiddo, and Jezreel.
Yosef Garfinkel is Yigael Yadin Professor for the Archeology of Israel, and the heads of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 2007 he is engaged with the early phases of the Kingdom of Judah, in the 10th and 9th Centuries BCE. He excavated at Khirbet Qeiyafa, where, for the first time in the archaeology of Israel, a fortified city from the time of King David had been uncovered.
Ayelet Gilboa is an archaeologist teaching at the Department of Archaeology of the University of Haifa. She served as Chair of the Department between and as Head of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology. She co-directs the Tel Dor Excavations and Publication Project in Israel and directs the Shikmona Publication project. Her main interests are cross-Mediterranean interconnections; Phoenicians; Sea Peoples; Iron Age ceramics; Iron Age chronology; methodology of archaeological site reports; and the symbolic properties of material culture. She published extensively on these issues and won several prestigious grants.
Ilana Goldberg is an anthropologist, academic translator, and instructor at NYU Tel Aviv, where she manages the site's internship program. She holds a B.A. in Bible and Assyriology from the Hebrew University, an M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from NYU, and a Ph.D in Anthropology from Bar Ilan University.
Nurith Goshen is the curator for the archaeology of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. She is working on her Ph.D. in the program for Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on building techniques and styles during the Bronze Age, in particular, the monumental architecture of the Aegean and Levant and Bronze Age painted plaster.
Benjamin Hary is a Professor at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and is the Director of NYU Tel Aviv. Up until 2014 Hary was the Winship Professor of Hebrew, Arabic, and Linguistics and the Director of the Program in Linguistics at Emory University. Hary is the author and editor (and co-editor) of Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic (1992); Judaism and Islam (2000); Corpus Linguistics and Modern Hebrew (2003); Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects in Judeo-Arabic Culture in 2006; Translating Religion (2009); Daily Life in Israel (2012); and Languages in Jewish Communities, Past and Present (2018). He also published over 50 articles on Judeo-Arabic, Arabic and Hebrew linguistics.
A native of Los Angeles, David llan is the director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. He has excavated at Tel Arad, Tel Megiddo and Tel Dan. He teaches at the Hebrew Union College and has taught at Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University and at Johns Hopkins University. He specializes in mortuary archaeology, religion and ritual in the Chalcolithic period, ground stone artifacts, and the Middle Bronze Age and the early Iron Age of the southern Levant. Since 2005, he has directed the excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel. He is the editor of the journal NGSBA Archaeology. David has just completed a sabbatical year at the Center for the Study of Origins of the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Alex P. Jassen is Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Ethel and Irvin Edelman Associate Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is the author of Mediating the Divine: Prophecy and Revelation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism (Brill, 2007), winner of the 2009 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, and Scripture and Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and co-editor of Scripture, Violence, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity (Brill, 2010) and the Journal of Ancient Judaism.
Ann E. Killebrew is an Associate Professor at the Pennsylvania State University. For the past thirty-five years, she has participated in or directed numerous archaeological projects in Israel, Egypt and Turkey. She is currently the co-director of the Tel Akko (Israel) “Total Archaeology” Project (www.telakko.com). Her research focuses on the Bronze and Iron Ages in the eastern Mediterranean, ancient ceramic studies, Roman and Byzantine Palestine, 3D documentation in archaeology, and heritage studies/community archaeology.
Thomas Evan Levy is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and is the inaugural holder of the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California, San Diego. Tom is the PI of the new UC San Diego Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology Koret Foundation Israel Project, in collaboration with the University of Haifa.
Aren Maeir a professor of archaeology at Bar-Ilan University (and head of the Institute of Archaeology), and has directed the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project for the last 25 years. His research interests include Bronze and Iron Age Archaeology of the ancient Near East, the application of scientific perspectives in archaeology, the archaeology of identity, and Melanesia. He serves as co-director of the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times, is co-editor of the Israel Exploration Journal, and has published ca. 300 books, articles and other publications.
Jodi Magness (www.JodiMagness.org) is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 2011 she has directed excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee (www.huqoq.org).
Nimrod Marom is head of the Laboratory of Mediterranean Archaeozoology (MAR) and a member of the Department of Maritime Civilizations & the Recananti Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa. His academic interests include animal-human interactions in antiquity, such as community structure changes and hunting. He is PI of the DEADSEA_ECO Project funded by the European Research Council.
Daniel M. Master is Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College and co-director of excavations at the site of Tel Shimron. He co-directed the work of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon from 2007-2016 and currently oversees the publication of the Ashkelon final report series.
Amihai Mazar, Professor Emeritus in archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Main interests: the Bronze and Iron Ages of the Levant. Main projects: Excavations and publications of Tell Qasile, Tel Batsah, Tel Beth Shean, Tel Rehov, and several smaller sites.
Carol Meyers, the Mary Grace Wilson Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Duke University, specializes in biblical studies, archaeology, and gender in the biblical world. She has co-directed several of Duke’s archaeological projects in Galilee and has published hundreds of books, articles, and reviews. She has served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature and is currently a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research and Vice-President of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.
Eric M. Meyers is the Bernice and Morton Lerner Emeritus Professor in Jewish Studies at Duke University. He founded the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke in 1972. His specialties include biblical studies and archaeology. He has directed or co-directed digs in Israel and Italy for over forty years and has authored hundreds of articles, reviews, reports and 15 books. His most recent excavations at Sepphoris were fully published in 2018 by Penn State University Press under the Eisenbraun imprint.
R. Steven Notley is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins on the New York City campus of Nyack College (2001-present) and director of the graduate programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins. He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University, where he studied with David Flusser. Notley was the founding chair of the New Testament Studies program at the Jerusalem University College. He has been leading groups of students and laypeople to Israel and the eastern Mediterranean region for 30 years. He is the author of many books and articles. Since 2016 he has served as the Academic Director of the El Araj Excavation Project in its search for first-century Bethsaida-Julias, the lost city of the Apostles.
Tallay Ornan is a Faculty member in the departments of Archaeology and Art History at the Hebrew University. Previously she was the Curator of the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, and a curator of the department of ancient Western Asiatic antiquities at the Israel Museum. Tallay Ornan specializes in the art of the Levant, Syria and Mesopotamia focusing on divine and royal iconography.
Joseph Patrich is an emeritus professor of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, ISRAEL. He led large scale excavations at Caesarea Maritima during the 1990s and published several books and numerous articles on the archaeology and history of the city.
Yitzhak Paz is a senior researcher at the Israel Antiquities Authority, with expertise in proto-historic and Biblical periods of the southern Levant. He directed IAA excavations at ‘En Esur, and other sites dated between the 5th-3rd millennia BC. And he co-directs an excavation with a Japanese expedition at Tel Rekhesh. He is also a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.
Orit Peleg-Barkat is an associate professor at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University. As a Classical archaeologist, Dr. Peleg-Barkat specializes in Hellenistic and Roman art and architecture of the southern Levant, and especially in Hasmonaean and Herodian architecture. In recent years, she has run two archaeological excavations – one at the Byzantine period village of En Gedi and the other at Horvat Midras in the Judean Foothills, where the excavations focus on a Roman temple and a pyramidal Jewish funerary monument. She is the author of numerous articles and collected books, as well as of a monograph that came out in 2017, "Herodian Architectural Decoration and King Herod's Royal Portico".
Edan Raviv has been the Assistant Director for Academics at NYU Tel Aviv since the Fall 2016 semester. Edan holds a PhD in political science from Tel Aviv University, a master's in politics from New York University and a bachelor's degree in global and international studies from UC Santa Barbara. His academic interests include comparative political systems, political ideology, radicalism, political entrepreneurship and social innovation. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches two courses at NYU Tel Aviv: Comparative Radical Politics; and Religion State and Politics in Comparative Perspective.
Ronny Reich is emeritus professor of classical archaeology at the University of Haifa. His last excavation in Jerusalem was in the City of David (1995-2010). Prof. Reich has authored more than 200 articles. His latest books: Stone Scale-Weights of the Late Second-Temple Period (2015); Excavating the City of David, Where Jerusalem's History Began, 2011; Miqwa'ot (Jewish Ritual Baths) in the Second Temple, Mishnaic and Talmudic Periods, 2013, (Hebrew).
Lawrence H. Schiffman is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Director of the Global Institute for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies. He has served as the Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. He has authored numerous books and articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law, and Talmudic literature.
Mark S. Smith is Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary and Skirball Professor Emeritus of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. Smith is the author of seventeen books and five co-authored books, including The Early History of God (second edition, 2002), The Origins of Biblical Monotheism (pb., 2003), God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (2010), How Human is God? Seven Questions about God and Humanity in the Bible (2014); and The Genesis of Good and Evil: The Fall(out) and Original Sin in the Bible (2019). His current research includes a commentary on the book of Judges co-authored with Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, the first of this two-volume work is to appear in the Hermeneia commentary series in 2021.
Guy D. Stiebel is a senior lecturer in Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University and the Head of the archaeological expedition to the World Heritage site: Masada. He earned his PhD at UCL and held a post-doctorate position at the Hebrew University. Stiebel has published extensively on military archaeology and history, the interface between text and matter and the archaeology of Jerusalem. As the Head of the Neustadter Family archaeological expedition to Masada he returned in 2017 to the field. The new discoveries, most notably the horticulture and viniculture of King Herod, were recognized by the Third Shanghai Archaeological Forum, being awarded one of the ten World discoveries in Archaeology. Stiebel was recently nominated by Israel’s Minister of Culture as the Chair of the Israel Archaeological Council.
Yifat Thareani is currently a research archaeologist at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem, a co-director at the Tel Dan excavations in the Hula Valley and the academic director of the Caesarea Maritima Project at New York University Tel Aviv. She completed her BA, MA and PhD in Archaeology at Tel-Aviv University and executed the research and final publication of the archaeological site of Tel ʻAroer. She is a graduate post-doctoral student at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), Paris. Over the past few years Thareani worked as a co-director at the Tel Dan excavations in the Hula Valley, together with Dr. David Ilan.
Joe Uziel is an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem District, where he excavates in the City of David, Davidson Center and Western Wall Tunnels. Joe completed his PhD at Bar Ilan University on the Middle Bronze Age in the southern Coastal Plain, and now focuses his research on the history and archaeology of Jerusalem, from its earliest urban establishment some 4000 years ago, and until late antiquity. Joe has advanced methods applied in the field, using new technologies in order to learn about Jerusalem's ancient population through the application of new tools. Recent discoveries made by Joe and his teams in the field include buildings dating from the First Temple Period, the main street of Second Temple Jerusalem and a Roman theater-like structure, the first such building to be discovered in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, PhD is Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost and Associate Professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is co-editor of American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters (University of Cincinnati Press, 2019) and associate editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary (CCAR Press, 2008). She has written Figurative Language in Biblical Prose Narrative: Metaphor in the Book of Samuel (Brill, 2006) and numerous articles on biblical poetry, metaphor, and other topics, with a current research focuses on “God in the Biblical Imagination: The Mechanics and Theology of Metaphor.”
Zeev Weiss is the Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the director of the Sepphoris excavations on behalf of the Hebrew University since 1990. His interests lie in various aspects of town-planning, architectural design, mosaic art, synagogues, Jewish art, as well as the evaluation of archaeological finds in light of the socio-cultural behavior of Jewish society and its dialogue with Graeco-Roman and Christian cultures.
Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, BA, MA, PhD, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Senior Archaeologist in the Department of Research and Specializations at the Israel Antiquities Authority since 1990. She conducted rescue excavations in rural sites in Judea, mainly in the Old City of Jerusalem. The findings of the excavations are related to the urban layout of Jerusalem- the fortifications of the city, the urban layout, the role of the Temple Mount in the city’s life, and more. In Modi'in, she helped to discover the remains of a Second Temple period Jewish village with a building identified as a synagogue - one of the oldest known in the country. Recent publications include: Aelia Capitoline - Jerusalem in the Roman Period in Light of Archaeological Research (2020, Brill Publishing house).
Boaz Zissu is a Professor of Classical Archaeology. During 2014-2017 he served as Chair of the Department of the Land of Israel and Archaeology at Bar Ilan University. He received his Ph.D, from the Hebrew University in 2002. Dr. Zissu accomplished his postdoctoral studies, through a Rothschild Fellowship, in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, at University of California at Berkeley, and thereafter at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Zissu conducted archaeological excavations and surveys in Jerusalem, Ketef Jericho and the Judaean countryside. He has published six books and more than 200 articles concerning Judaea and its material culture during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods.