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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 755430
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Arts And Letters
Department: Jewish Studies Program 10004495
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Education/Training, Fixed Term Faculty, Full Time (90-100%), Union

Working/Functional Title

Visiting Scholar - Professor

Position Summary

We seek applications for the Aida Weintraub Finifter Visiting Scholar for either Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 to teach two courses in the History department that would count toward the Jewish Studies minor at MSU. The courses would have to have minimum 50% content on varied aspects of the Romaniote Jewish and Romaniote/Judaeo-Greek experience in Greece, the origins of Romaniote Jews in Greece, and/or their migration to and life in the United States. Although that is the focus, the migration and experience of other Romaniote Jews in Israel and in other countries can also be explored, as well as Jews in Greek speaking lands. Courses could be taught that have 100% content in these areas focusing on Romaniote Jews, or, after the focus on Romaniote Jews has been met, can also examine the Mizrahi/Sephardic history and experiences in the United States, in Israel, and/or in other parts of the world, Jews in the Mediterranean, and Hellinistic-Jewish history more broadly. Time periods could cover pre-modern, medieval, and the past century.

The salary for the visiting scholar for the semester would be $35,000, with transportation costs to and from the candidate’s home to East Lansing, and with $3,000 for research expenses (participating in conferences, research assistance, and other research expenses). The candidate would also be expected to give a public lecture on their research related to Romaniote Jews. This endowment is administered by the Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel at MSU, and the candidate would be affiliated with both the Serling Institute and History department, and be a part of both intellectual communities.

The candidate is required to have a Ph.D. in history and/or Jewish Studies or related field, and have a research and/or teaching focus on Romaniote Jews. Please send a CV, a cover letter describing the candidate’s interest in this competitive endowed visiting position and their research and/or teaching in these areas. Please include two proposed syllabi for the proposed courses to be taught and one recommendation. The Selection committee will be chaired by the Director of the Serling Institute and be composed of two members of the history department who are also core or affiliated members of the Serling Institute.

According to the language of the endowment “Romaniote Jews are those who originally came to the Mediterranean areas of Europe from ancient Israel beginning even before its conquest by Alexander the Great. They have no history in Spain. Some scholars speculate that Romaniotes originally came to Greece as merchant traders, having become familiar with Greek culture as a result of its spread through ancient Israel during the Hellenistic period that followed Alexander’s conquest. Another theory is that they were taken as slaves, either intentionally to Greece, or during the Roman empire, intended for Rome but landing in Greece by chance after a mishap on one or more of the transport ships. It is also not clear whether the designation “Romaniote” derives from a Hellenized Latin word for Greece or has some connection to their having lived under the Roman empire as well. Romaniote Jewish communities were also found in Italy, France, and other parts of the Mediterranean. Over ninety percent of Jews in Greece were murdered during the Holocaust, but small numbers of Romaniote Jews continue to live in Greece (and France and possibly elsewhere in Europe) to the present day, as well as in various cities of the United States. There is a sizeable community of Romaniote Jews in the New York area, who continue to maintain the Kehila Kedosha Janina synagogue, a New Your City historical landmark thought to be the only Romaniote synagogue in the United States. Contemporary organizations of Romaniote Jews include the Sisterhood of Janina (a volunteer organization dedicated to charitable activities) and the United Brotherhood-Good Hope Society of Janina, INC (a burial society. Romaniote Jews founded the Sephardic Home for the Aged in Brooklyn, New York, currently a residential nursing home, many of whose patients are descendants of the founders.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

Ph.D. in history and/or Jewish Studies or related field

Desired Qualifications

Ph.D. in history and/or Jewish Studies or related field, and have a research and/or teaching focus on Romaniote Jews.

Required Application Materials

a) a cover letter
b) current curriculum vitae
c) past syllabi and/or syllabi one could imagine teaching for the prospective courses to be taught
d) a summary of the candidate’s experience with diversity in the classroom and/or in past or
planned research endeavors, experience mentoring diverse students or community outreach
initiatives, and an explanation of how the candidate will advance our goals of inclusive
e) the names and email addresses of 3 potential referees.

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin February 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources website Posting Number 755430 (To be assigned by HR when approved and will need to be included in all advertisements). For more information, contact Dr. Yael Aronoff, Chair of the Search Committee at

Review of Applications Begins On


Department Statement

The College of Arts & Letters recognizes that only an academic and organizational culture, which actively seeks out and strengthens diverse voices and perspectives among its members results in true excellence. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The College of Arts & Letters is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that intellectual leadership is achieved through open access and pro-active inclusion.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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