I graduated in Hebrew and Oriental Languages at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris in 1991, and obtained my PhD in Cambridge, St. John’s College in 1995. After a Junior Research Fellowship in Oxford, Somerville College, I was appointed senior researcher at the Hebrew Section of the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes of the CNRS in Paris. In 2002, I was elected to the chair in Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic Studies at the Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes, PSL, Paris. In 2018, I became professor in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford University and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Since 2015, I have been a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
Research and Teaching
My research activities include diplomatic study of legal documents in Hebrew characters from different parts of the medieval Jewish world, from the Eastern documents discovered in the Cairo Geniza to the contracts in Hebrew from medieval England, Jewish book culture and its contacts with non-Jewish intellectual environments and Hebrew palaeography. I am the head of the international project ‘Books within Books’ Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries, run in fourteen countries in Europe, Israel and the USA. The project locates, digitizes, studies and describes the fragments of medieval Hebrew manuscripts reused in the bindings of other books and notarial files in Europe.
At the EPHE, Paris, I am involved in post-graduate teaching and supervised 17 doctoral dissertations. I am in charge of a masters programme in Jewish studies. I am also involved in organising and teaching intensive workshops in Hebrew Palaeography in Oxford – Bodleian Library, Bologna, Berlin and Jerusalem.
I am the author of over a hundred publications which include:
Karaite Marriage Documents from the Cairo Geniza. Legal Tradition and Community Life in Mediaeval Egypt and Palestine (Brill, 1998), Les manuscrits hébreux dans l’Angleterre médiévale : étude historique et paléographique (Peeters, 2003), Dictionnaire hébreu-latin-français de la Bible hébraïque de l'Abbaye de Ramsey (XIIIe s.) ( (with A. Grondeux, Ph. Bobichon, G. Dahan, F. Dolbeau, G. Hasenohr, R. Loewe, J.-P. Rothschild, P. Stirnemann, Brepols, 2008), Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England: a Diplomatic and Palaeographical Study, Monumenta Palaeographica Medii Aeavi (Brepols, 2015), Books within Books: New Discoveries in Old Bookbindings, ‘European Genizah’ Texts and Studies (ed. With A. Lehnardt, Brill, 2014).