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Tamar MenasheJay and Leslie Cohen Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies

Tamar Menashe, Jay and Leslie Cohen Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies (BA, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University). Minorities and early modern Empire; supreme courts and courts of law in history; gender and women’s history; legal theory; citizenship and migration; deep histories of human rights; religious and civil law; interfaith relations; medieval and early modern history; Jewish history and culture; German history; Iberian-German histories; Ashkenazi-Sephardi histories; material culture; Digital Humanities

Tamar Menashe is a legal historian working at the intersections of the law with gender, culture, and interfaith relations. She is the 2023-2024 Gerald Westheimer Early Career Fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute New York-Berlin. Originally from the city of Haifa, she earned her BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Menashe continued her graduate studies at the Hebrew University and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid before pursuing her Ph.D. at Columbia University. Her dissertation “The Imperial Supreme Court and Jews in Cross-Confessional Legal Cultures in Germany, 1495–1690” won the 2022 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize for the best doctoral dissertation on a topic in German history written at a North American university. She is currently revising her dissertation for a publication as a book titled People of the Law: Jewish Litigation and Minority Belonging in Early Modern Germany. Drawing on archival materials from thirty-two archives in five countries and sources in seven languages, it explores the legal realm as a site for minority resistance and belonging. She is also at work on Archives of Belonging, her second book and Digital Humanities project that reconstructs a minority legal archive Menashe discovered within a scattered imperial archive. More broadly, Menashe’s research examines minority-state relations and the legal cultures that minorities develop in the course of empire and state-building processes. 

Prior to joining the Emory faculty in 2023, Menashe was a Fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is excited to join Emory and Atlanta’s diverse intellectual and creative communities, home to some of her all-time favorite musical bands. Her new classes at Emory explore the law, legal cultures and deep histories of citizenship, gender, and human rights in local and comparative contexts. These courses rest on students’ creative engagement with medieval and early modern manuscripts and books, Digital Humanities, and civic commitment. Students are welcome to reach out if they have questions. 


  • BA, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • MA, MPhil, and PhD, Columbia University


  • Minorities and early modern Empire
  • Supreme courts and courts of law in history
  • Gender and women’s history
  • Legal theory
  • Citizenship and migration
  • Deep histories of human rights
  • Religious and civil law
  • Interfaith relations
  • Medieval and early modern history
  • Jewish history and culture
  • German history
  • Iberian-German histories
  • Ashkenazi-Sephardi histories
  • Material culture
  • Digital Humanities


  • HIST 241 Citizenship, Law & Exclusion in the Early Modern World
  • HIST 385 Women & Courts of Law
  • HIST 487 Jewish Legal Cultures in Context