About The Orion Center

The Orion Center was established in 1995 with the support of the Orion Foundation, as part of the Mandel Institute for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Our web site provides many resources for the study of the Scrolls, as well as information about the Center’s activities and programs.


 The Center aims to stimulate and foster research on the Scrolls, particularly the great task of integrating the new information gained from the Scrolls into the existing body of knowledge about Jewish history and religion in the Second Temple period. Such integration affects areas like biblical studies, Jewish literature and thought of the Second Temple Period, earliest Christianity and the New Testament, the study of early rabbinic Judaism, and more. The 
Orion Center Online Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls, developed and maintained by Center staff and updated weekly, provides an important research tool for the general scholarly community.


 Many aspects of the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls can be pursued best at the Hebrew University and in Jerusalem. Such topics include the relationship of the Scrolls to biblical textual studies, to rabbinic literature and thought, and to the development of Jewish liturgy; the study of the Scrolls as physical artifacts (most recently in the area of DNA analysis); the study of their archeological context and their relationship to other Judean Desert finds.


 The Center’s programs help to focus and to publicize the Scrolls research presently being carried out at the Hebrew University, and to ensure a balanced and structured program of research and instruction. More specifically, the Orion Center organizes a yearly international symposium on aspects of Scrolls study, as well as monthly presentations of research by local or visiting scholars and graduate students. Symposium proceedings are published by Brill Academic publishers in the Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah (STDJ) series; research presentations are made accessible to the wider public through the Orion Center website.
 In addition, the Center offers grants for graduate and post-doctoral study of the scrolls and related literature at Hebrew University.


 The Orion Center consists of an administrative office, publications office, and the Scholars’ Room/Library. The main administrative office is located in Room 3102, the Rabin World Center of Jewish Studies, at the Hebrew University (Mount Scopus). The Scholars’ Room is Room 3101 in the same building. The Center provides a congenial meeting place where local and visiting scholars and students can discuss ideas, or just socialize over a cup of coffee, as well as pursue their own research.


 The Scholars’ Room houses our expanding library, which includes the DJD volumes, a number of the publications in Brill’s STDJ series, and a large collection of offprint articles. Our library now features the photographic plates used for the DJD series, donated to the Center by the Series editor, Emanuel Tov. Prof. Tov has also donated his archive of news articles about the Scrolls, which Center interns keep up to date.
 In addition to a computer with Internet access and featuring several important research tools, the Scholars’ Room also has workstations so that scholars may bring in their personal computers to work on site.


 One of the aims of the Center is to provide a scholarly home for researchers from abroad, in the fields of Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Jewish literature, when they are working in Jerusalem. We endeavor to make their visits fruitful and facilitate their work at the University. Visiting scholars have ample access to the Scholars’ Room facilities and to scanning and printing equipment available at the Center.
 In addition, visiting scholars participate in the teaching mission of the Center by presenting aspects of their work in the Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar series, or in one of the several other lecture series organized by the Center.

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