Friday, December 30, 2005

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Here's some international news from 2005 relating to ancient Judaism, Judaism in academics, and one or two other matters. Most of the stories were noted in PaleoJudaica. A lot more happened, of course, some of it more interesting than the stories here, but they are taken from an article in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.

JERUSALEM -- A group of Jewish scholars attempts to recreate the ancient Sanhedrin tribunal in Jerusalem. According to the Jerusalem Post, the 71 Orthodox scholars who convened believe they can reconstitute the Second Temple-era Sanhedrin and that one of their members, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, could qualify as a Jewish monarch because he can trace his lineage to King David.


NEW YORK -- The Artscroll publishing house completes its 73-volume translation of the Talmud, a $23 million project that took more than 15 years.

MARCH 2005

NEW YORK -- Tens of thousands of Jews gather in Madison Square Garden and other locations throughout the world to mark the end of the Daf Yomi, a seven-year cycle of Talmud study.

APRIL 2005

ROME -- Pope John Paul II, who made positive Jewish-Catholic relations a pillar of his papacy, dies at age 84. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is selected to succeed him.

LONDON -- Britain’s Association of University Teachers votes to boycott two Israeli universities over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The boycott, which sparks outrage in the Jewish world, is overturned in May.

JUNE 2005

NEW YORK -- Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, the longtime chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative movement’s flagship institution, announces his retirement.

JULY 2005

MOSCOW -- The Reform movement announces a plan to translate the Plaut Modern Torah Commentary into Russian, which would be the first modern translation of the Torah into Russian.

JERUSALEM -- The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, the Jerusalem affiliate of the Conservative movement’s flagship institution, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, receives official recognition as an Israeli academic institution.


ROME -- Jewish catacombs under the ancient city of Rome thought to be copies of Christian sites are found to predate them by at least a century, suggesting that Christian burial practices may have been modeled on Jewish ones.


JERUSALEM -- Hebrew University Prof. Robert Aumann was named co-winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in economics.

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