The HBI scholar-in-residence program offers distinguished scholars, writers and communal professionals the opportunity to produce significant work in the area of Jewish studies and gender issues while being freed from their regular institutional responsibilities. HBI scholars-in-residence receive a monthly stipend (for up to 5 months), office space at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, and the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with HBI staff and faculty at Brandeis and surrounding institutions. Scholars-in-residence contribute to the life of the HBI by immersing in the institute’s weekly activities, participating in HBI conferences and programs, and delivering a public lecture.
Asaf Yedidya is head of the History department at Efrata College in Jerusalem. He is the author of several books including Criticized Criticism: Orthodox Alternatives to Wissenschaft des Judentums 1873-1956 (in Hebrew), Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2013, and 'To Cultivate a Hebrew Culture': The Life and Thought of Zeev Jawitz, Jerusalem: The Bialik Institute, 2016 (in Hebrew). He is the editor of Ashkenazi Batei Midrash: Memoirs of Graduates of German and Austrian Rabbinical Seminaries, (in Hebrew), Jerusalem: Carmel Press & Schechter Institute, 2010, and Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer and the Awakening to Zion, Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 2015.
Prior to coming to HBI, Yedidya held positions as a Kennedy Leigh Fellow at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford University, U.K. a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. His discipline is intellectual history with primary research interests in Jewish nationalism and Jewish orthodoxy in the 19th century.
At HBI, Yedidya is researching, “The Place of the Jewish Woman in Zeev Jawitz' Writings.” The religious Zionist thinker Zeev Jawitz (1847-1924) was active in all spheres of Jewish culture: history, language, literature and pedagogy while striving for harmonization with the Orthodox outlook.. This project deals with the place of the Jewish woman in Jawitz' thought in comparison to some of the other contemporary Orthodox thinkers. Jawitz was the first religious Zionist leader and thinker to deal seriously with the place of the Jewish woman in modern society.