Yehudah B. Cohn

Yehudah Cohn completed a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford in 2007, and also has an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Originally from London, where he had studied Statistics & Computer Science at University College London and Business Administration at the London Business School, Dr. Cohn had a career as a commodities trader in New York prior to beginning doctoral research. The subject of his dissertation was the early development of Jewish ritual practice and its connection to Graeco-Roman magic. Utilizing archaeological and literary evidence, it dealt with the reception history of particular biblical passages as refracted through the Jewish encounter with the Hellenistic world, and the impact of this encounter on Jewish religion and rabbinic texts. The dissertation was transformed into a book, for Brown University's Judaic Studies series, and was published by the Society for Biblical Literature in 2008 under the title Tangled Up in Text: Tefillin and the Ancient World. More recently he co-authored a Handbook of Jewish Literature from Late Antiquity (135-700 CE) together with Fergus Millar and Eyal Ben-Eliyahu, published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press in 2012.

Research activities at ISAW will include the study of Jews and Judaism in the Roman and Sassanian empires, as well as the reception history of Jewish literature produced in Late Antiquity, and the uses of this literature for historical purposes.