During my Post-Doctoral Research as a Lady Davis Fellow in Jerusalem, from June 2001 - August, I wrote a book, "Homicide in the Bible and in Antiquity" - a complete revision of my dissertation. The intellectual and academic environment in Israel advanced my research by magnitudes forward. I enjoyed the opportunity to consult with the leading scholars in my field and to be invited to present my work at the university and in popular lectures throughout the country. No place other than Israel and Jerusalem could have been so conducive to conducting my research. I also enjoyed the opportunity to prepare for teaching my seminar course for advanced undergraduates and graduate students on "Jerusalem in Comparative Perspective" by personally exploring Jerusalem with a guidebook in hand.
As a Lady Davis Post-Doctoral Researcher my research project was at the Neurology Department of Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem.
I am married and live with our three young children in a neighborhood located about two kilometers away from the Palestinian Authority. Everyday life carries on under a different set of constraints yet there is so much that is quite normal - my research in Hadassah does not cease for even a minute, experiments are conducted, lectures are given, articles are written, and scientific conferences take place as usual.
Socially, Israelis are warm and inviting and life here is interesting and full of activity.
I wholeheartedly advise visiting scholars to enjoy the challenging and cosmopolitan atmosphere here in Jerusalem.
Asian & African Studies
The Karaite community whose intellectual history I study lived in Jerusalem in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and thus it was with a feeling of coming home - both in an academic sense as well as in a personal sense, as my immediate family lives in Israel - that I arrived in Israel after two years of doctoral research in the U.K. On the strictly academic level, the opportunity to work in Jerusalem was invaluable, given the manuscripts resources available in the National Library, the classes and colloquia on topics pertaining to the Jews of the Islamic world, and even the chance to meet with members of today's Karaite community living in Israel, with whom I spent a number of weekends. I gained knowledge in a variety of complementary subjects, and emerged from the year a much more well-rounded researcher.
But it was on the personal level that I gained the greatest pleasure from my year in Israel. To wake up every morning and hear the news in Hebrew. To form a new group of friends from all walks of life. To live in the center of town and experience the culture of the corner grocery store and the clothesline, both extinct where I'd come from. To meet once a week with a Druze friend to exchange Arabic and English conversation. To join a biking group that set out at the crack of dawn every Friday morning to challenge the hilly western outskirts of the city. To participate in a Syriac reading group, and to go on Sundays with an Austrian friend to morning prayers in the St. Mark's church in the Old City. To finally begin to feel like an Israeli, American accent and all (the best way to do this is to make friends with as many Egged bus drivers as possible).
The sheer variety of experience was overwhelming and created an unforgettable year. I am glad to have been with Israel in these times.