Research Fellowships – Power in the Bible

The Research Fellow will work together with Judy Klitsner on the organizing and production of her book on power in the Bible. The book will apply the literary techniques demonstrated in Judy’s earlier book, Subversive Sequels in the Bible. It will engage in close, unapologetic readings of difficult biblical texts, and will compare and contrast biblical stories that share much in language and in theme (in Judy’s words, intertextual readings expose the “vibrant conversation” that takes place between biblical passages). The book will be a further volume in the growing Pardes faculty library that has successfully showcased the Torah of our thriving Beit Midrash.

Description of Faculty Research:
The book will contain six chapters of approximately 30 pages each. Each chapter will focus on a biblical story—or a comparison of two stories—that present a particular angle on the use and misuse of power, including the psychological processes that allow for abuses of power. The book will be text based, with all Hebrew translated into English. It will be aimed at the intelligent layperson, and will assume a wide range of text skills, from minimal to very strong. The book will be written in language that is accessible for a general readership.

Some, but not all, of the content of the proposed book exists in shiur form (source materials and lecture notes). The project will include transforming current materials into expository book form, as well as creating new material on the subject of power in the Bible.

Fellowship Requirements:

The Research Fellow will help to organize and distill the scope and focus of the project. The fellow will conduct weekly sessions with Judy, acting as a supportive, yet critical havruta partner, helping the author crystallize ideas and helping her decide on the ideal boundaries of each textual exploration. At times, the fellow will be asked to research specific text-related details that will be included in the book. In addition, the fellow will occasionally listen to classes taught by Judy, in which ideas for the book are presented. After listening actively, the fellow will pose probing questions and offer constructive suggestions. At times, the fellow will be asked to transcribe the recorded classes.

Work Schedule:

  • Weekly “havruta” session with Judy (as described above). Proposed times: Sundays and Tuesdays, 2-5.
  • The remaining hours weekly to be spent researching, listening to classes and transcribing as needed.

Skills of Research Fellow

  • Superb attention to detail
  • Writing and/or editing experience
  • Strong organization capabilities
  • Ability to see the larger picture of a book project
  • Capacity to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work with text in Hebrew
  • Interest in literary readings of the Bible; sensitivity to, and appreciation of, literary nuance
  • Collaborative working style

All fellows will receive a guaranteed living expense grant ranging from $300-$500/month (exact amount determined by financial need) AND receive highly subsidized Year Program tuition: $3,000 discount for those not eligible for Masa Israel Journey funding, and $2,000 discount for those eligible for Masa funding.

A letter of recommendation from a supervisor who can speak to the candidate’s relevant experience and potential growth and contributions through the fellowship is required. This may be one of the two letters of recommendation required for the YP application, or an additional recommendation. The letter must be submitted along with the Fellowship Application and the Pardes Year Program application.