Research Fellowships – The Tanakh Fellowship

This fellowship opportunity is for students participating full time in the Pardes Year/Semester program. The Tanakh Fellow will work together with Judy Klitsner on the organizing, researching and production of her commentary on the Bible, which will be part of a major online library. After consultations with Judy on general lines of thought for interpreting a particular biblical passage, the fellow will survey a wide array of commentary, both ancient and modern, highlighting sections that might be used in the commentary, or as necessary background. The Torah commentary will combine rigorous literary analysis with psychological and philosophical human insights that are relevant to a modern reader. The commentary will include intertextual comparisons (in Judy’s words, helping to expose the “vibrant conversation” that takes place between biblical passages).

Description of Faculty Research:
The commentary will be produced one biblical chapter at a time, at the rate of ten chapters per year. In addition to helping Judy organize and focus her efforts, the fellow will research a wide range of ancient and modern commentary on a given chapter. Results will either be included in the commentary or will serve as essential background.

Some, but not all, of the content of the proposed commentary exists in shiur form (Judy’s source materials and lecture notes). At times, the project will include transforming current materials into expository form, so that it can be included in the commentary.

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.
  • The fellow will research ancient and modern commentary on a given chapter.
  • Occasionally, the fellow will be asked to listen to classes taught by Judy, in which ideas for the commentary are presented. After listening actively, the fellow will pose probing questions and offer constructive suggestions. At times, the fellow will be asked to transcribe parts of the recorded classes.
  • Occasionally, the fellow will be asked to review Judy’s lecture notes and printed sources and to transform them into expository form.

Work Schedule:

  • Weekly “havruta” session with Judy (as described above). Proposed times: Sundays, 2:30-5 PM.
  • Independent research; working with Judy’s sources and notes, transcribing notes from class, as needed. Proposed times: Tuesdays, 2:30-5 PM.

Skills of Research Fellow

  • Strong Hebrew skills, facility in deciphering the biblical text and its commentaries
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Writing and/or editing experience
  • Strong organization capabilities
  • Ability to see the larger picture of a writing project
  • Capacity to meet deadlines
  • 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 $200-$600/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 Year program application, or an additional recommendation. The letter must be submitted along with the Fellowship Application and the 2022-23 Pardes Year Program application.