Jennifer Grayson - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Jennifer Grayson, Ph.D.

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Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of History


Rabbinical Program, Cincinnati; School of Graduate Studies, Cincinnati
Academic Field: 
Research Interests: 
Cairo Geniza; Medieval Jewish History; Jewish-Muslim Relations; Pre-Modern Islam

Jennifer Grayson, Ph.D., serves as Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of History at HUC-JIR and at Xavier University in Cincinnati. She researches Arabic-speaking Jewish communities in the medieval Islamic world.

Dr. Grayson's current book project traces changes in the relationship between Jewish government officials, the Babylonian geonim, and the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad between the tenth and twelfth centuries. More broadly, she is interested in the social and political history of the pre-modern Mediterranean; pre-modern and modern Jewish history; and, especially in her capacity as a joint-hire with Xavier University, inter-religious dialogue.

Dr. Grayson holds a Ph.D. in History from The Johns Hopkins University (2017); an M.Phil. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge (2013), where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar; and an A.B. in History and Late Antique Cultures from Brown University (2011).

Selected Publications and Edited Works

Origin of Hebrew according to Rabbinic and Medieval Sources. Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Ed. Geoffrey Khan (Leiden: Brill, 2013). 

Current and Future Courses
Medieval Jewish History
Race, Religion, and Exclusion in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean
Jews of Islamic Lands in the Modern Period
Public Lecture Topics
At the Heart of Islamic Empire: The Jews of Medieval Baghdad
Medieval Jewish Interpretations of Gender