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Rector Bijl presented the 'Best Thesis in Jewish Studies' Award at the Leiden Jewish Studies Association first annual conference

On December 6, 2023, Rector Hester Bijl welcomed participants at the Leiden Jewish Studies Association’s First Annual Conference 'Jews at Home: From Creation to Corona' and also presented two Leiden University students with the inaugural Leiden Jewish Studies Association 'Best Thesis in Jewish Studies' award.

Rector Bijl praised the Leiden Jewish Studies Association (LJSA) as a “structural home” and “visible platform” for all Jewish Studies “efforts at Leiden already in motion.” She noted that especially in “our current times, an initiative like the Leiden Jewish Studies Association is more important than ever.” Bijl was pleased “to see people coming together and sharing their research and teaching which relates to all aspects of Jewish culture across four millenia.” Bijl was impressed by the “deep and meaningful learning, dialogue and debate” which she saw at the opening event of the “Jews at Home” conference and observed that all members of the LJSA “help themselves, their students and the broader public tackle knotty and complicated questions about the Jewish experience in the past, the present and our futures.”

After her warm remarks, Rector Bijl handed out the awards for the “Best Thesis in Jewish Studies” Award to two Leiden students: Max Farasat, who wrote a thesis entitled “Constructing Judaism: Reading Jewish Belonging in Religious Architecture” as part of his B.A. in Religious Studies, and Louise van der Vlugt, who wrote a thesis entitled “‘Enhij omsingelde het en begon hette belegeren...’: Grieks militair vocabulaireen de sociaal- historische achtergrond van Lrx-iozua” as part of her B.A. in Greek and Latin Language and Culture. Bijl also recognized two other Leiden Students, Joelle Kraaijeveld and William van Keulen, for receiving “Honorable Mention” awards for their respective theses.

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