The Dr. Moshe Carmilly Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History was founded in 1991 within the Department of Medieval, Premodern and Art History of the Faculty of History and Philosophy, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. It was at the time the only academic center in Romania and in this part of Europe that was devoted to Jewish Studies exclusively. Ever since its inception, the institute aimed to revive Jewish Studies in Romania after the collapse of communism by offering courses in Modern Hebrew, History of the Jews in Romania and in the Diaspora, Jewish Philosophy and Modern Jewish Thought, Hebrew and Yiddish Literature and Culture.

Ever since its inception, the institute offered both an academic research program as well as a teaching program in the field of Jewish Studies. Between 1991-1999 the teaching program included optional courses in modern Hebrew, Jewish history, literature, philosophy, art, culture and civilization taught by professors from Babeş-Bolyai University and by guest lecturers from Israel, Austria, Germany, and France.

In 1998, an M.A. and a Ph.D. program in Jewish Studies were opened at the Faculty of History and Philosophy and in 1999 a B.A. program in Hebrew minor was initiated at the Faculty of Letters. In 2002, a similar B.A. program was opened at the Faculty of History and Philosophy that ensured a double specialization in History and Jewish Studies. They were all accredited by the Romanian Ministry of Education.

Starting with 2009, the name of the specialization changed in Cultural Studies – Jewish Studies. Between 2009-2012 the Jewish Studies Program of the Faculty of History and Philosophy and the Dr. Moshe Carmilly Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History were moved to the Faculty of European Studies. In October 2012, the Dr. Moshe Carmilly Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History was reset within the Faculty of History and Philosophy and in October 2013, the previous M.A. Program in Cultural Studies – Jewish Studies was reopened at the Faculty of History and Philosophy. During the years in which the institute and the Jewish Studies Program belonged to the Faculty of History and Philosophy, many courses were attended by students from other faculties (Philosophy, Economics, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Music, Arts and Architecture) who were interested in learning Hebrew and in completing their knowledge of subjects related to Judaism and Jewish culture.

The aims of the research program of the institute are to discover, inventorize, microfilm and explore archival documents, books and periodicals about the Jews in Romania, written in Hebrew, Yiddish, Romanian, German, Hungarian, and Latin. To the present date some tens of thousands of such documents were consulted and sorted at the local branches of the National Archives from Satu-Mare, Oradea, Arad, Târgu Mureş, Cluj-Napoca, Miercurea Ciuc, Iaşi, Suceava, Botoşani, Bacâu, and other places. Also, studies of more than 200 Jewish cemeteries from Transylvania and Moldova have been carried out.

FACULTY
  • Associate Professor Maria Radosav – Director
  • Visiting Professor Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Visiting Lecturer Lucian Herşcovici, Jerusalem
  • Lecturer Augusta Costiuc Radosav

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

The institute develops cooperation with universities from Israel, the United States, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and other countries. Guest lecturers in Hebrew from Israel have been part of the academic program in Jewish Studies between 1995-2005, financed by the Embassy of Israel in Romania in the first years and afterwards entirely by the Babeş-Bolyai University. Other professors and guest lecturers in Jewish Studies taught in Cluj-Napoca, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Montpellier, the University of Sorbonne, the University of Vienna, and from other prestigious academic centers. The agreements reached with universities in these countries focus on faculty and student exchange, joint programs, exchange of information, publications, organization of conferences, workshops.