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Dominique Bourel
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1The CRFJ newsletter aims to present research carried out by its members as well as that of our Israeli colleagues in the field of humanities and social sciences. Founded in 1952 as an archeological mission and having progressively broadened its research programs, the CRFJ – a mixed research unit of the CNRS and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs – organizes and leads a bilateral cooperation in the humanities and the social sciences. French researchers and academics, appointed for several years in Israel, work in common fields between France and Israel in programs that necessitate a long-term stay in the country. Grants obtained from different ministries enable doctoral students or young researchers to complete their university research. In addition, “researchers’ months” offer some possibilities to work in Israel for a more limited period. Today, the cooperation is organized around several areas: archeology and prehistory, linguistics and anthropology, history and Jewish studies. We hope to expand to other areas; for example, in the field of Armenian studies, it should be stressed that the library of the Armenian patriarchate is the second most important following Erevan. Furthermore, it is obvious that political scientists and sociologists will find in the region a vast field of study. As some researchers leave, others can benefit from the support of the Center and make French science radiate in Israel and in the Middle East.

2Archeology and prehistory are represented by Pierre Ducos, specialist of the fauna, as Catherine Commenge has joined another research laboratory. Émile Puech pursues his very important work on Qumran; Jean Baumgarten is responsible for the programs in Jewish linguistics, particularly in Yiddish (sixteenth to twentieth century). Nelly Zilber deals with the cultural problems of health and Dominique Bourel with judeo-German cultural history (eighteenth to twentieth century). Newly arrived, Lisa Anteby will develop the area of contemporary Israel since her work focuses on the Ethiopian Jews and their integration in Israel. Two fellows who were awarded fellowships from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs will pursue from now on their research in the framework of the Center; Dominique Trimbur on the European consulates in Palestine (nineteenth century) and Veronique Mimoun on contemporary Israeli historiography. Finally, two members of the Center are completing their research: Florence Heymann on Czernowitz and Eva Telkes on the history of the Hebrew University.

3A special effort will be made concerning the bilateral dissemination of information in the humanities and the social sciences. In effect, facing the growing success of the newsletters published by the Centre, it has been decided to create, under the supervision of Eva Telkes, this bilingual bulletin devoted to spreading scientific research. Florence Heymann will be in charge of editing – jointly with a guest Israeli editor – yearly and thematic Mélanges of the CRFJ as well as a collection of works devoted to publicizing the studies of Center’s members. One will find in this first newsletter a summary of the work of the past year, the synopsis of two large conferences that took place over the summer (50th anniversary of the discoveries of Qumran and XIIth World Congress of Jewish Studies) as well as the state of research in archeology carried out by the CRFJ. Collaboration was materialized by a conference organized jointly between the CRFJ, the EPHE (IVth section) and the EBAF in which colleagues presented their knowledge on the history of the book, a highly developed discipline in France. We are planning a similar conference on historical demography. Thus, regular exchanges will develop with the EHESS, with the two sections of the EPHE as well as with the laboratories of the CNRS, such as the IHTP, IHMC and the Centre Roland Mousnier (Paris IV). Exchanges with young scholars (École Normale Supérieure and École des Chartes) will also be planned. Finally, a large project, “France, Europe and Palestine, 1799-1948” will marshal all our energy. One can find further on the provisional outline of it.

4I wish to particularly thank the Embassy of France in Israel, the Ambassador Jean Noël de Bouillane de Lacoste and the Cultural and Scientific Advisor Alexandre Defay, not only for the decisive support brought to the preparation and distribution of the newsletter but also for their constant help. This support is essential for us.

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Dominique Bourel, « Editorial »Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem, 1 | 1997, 3-4.

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Dominique Bourel, « Editorial »Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem [En ligne], 1 | 1997, mis en ligne le 27 juin 2008, consulté le 14 juillet 2024. URL :

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Dominique Bourel

Director of the Centre de recherche français de Jérusalem

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