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Olivier Tourny
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1The last issue of the Bulletin published by the French Research Center in Jerusalem (CRFJ) tragically opened with Florence Heymann’s article In Memoriam paying tribute to Sophie Kessler-Mesguich, who suddenly passed away on February 8, 2010 in Paris. Sophie had been appointed Director of the CRFJ on September 1, 2008; several months later, in the editorial of the 19th issue of the Bulletin, she expressed her gratefulness, her enthusiasm, and her hopes for the mission she had been entrusted with. More than an editorial, her article outlined the long-term vision she had for the CRFJ, a vision inspired by the scientific rigor, the open-mindedness, and the increased visibility of the CRFJ to which she wished to dedicate all her energies despite her illness.

2While praising the legacy of her predecessor, Sophie Kessler-Mesguich had a clear view of what the CRFJ could become, of what it should become: a hub of research in the human and social sciences, a force in the French scientific development in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian space, a place with enough resources to welcome and supervise researchers, and a center producing knowledge. That is what she aspired to; furthermore, ongoing dialogues with her team members inspired her to consider other avenues of research and think up new projects.

3This dynamic vision was implemented throughout the year, following the program she had outlined. At the same time, many events were held in Israel and in France in 2010, in Sophie’s memory. I have in mind, in particular, the 4th International Jewish Languages conference held on June 21-24, 2010, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as the symposium organized together with the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem on November 16-17, 2010, entitled “Monuments, documents: interprétation et surinterprétation.” Among the many articles in Sophie’s memory, I would like to mention the one written by our colleague Jean Baumgarten in the journal Histoire, épistémologie, langage 32.1 (2010). Our next project is the publication of Sophie’s thesis at the Éditions Droz in Geneva; it will require a particularly patient and scholarly editing work – but what an exciting task! Recently, a highly symbolic ceremony took place at the Benedictine Monastery of Abu Gosh on January 20, 2011: on that day of Tu B’Shevat (the Jewish new year of the trees and fruits), her family, her colleagues, and her friends all gathered to plant a cypress tree and mark one year since her passing.

4This Bulletin is dedicated to the Third Doctoral Seminar held at the CRFJ in 2008, on the topic of Migrations and Intercultural Relations in the South Levant and the Israeli-Palestinian Space. Seven articles have been selected among the many papers presented at that occasion. I entrust both Caroline Rozenholc and Sylvain Bauvais – who organized that seminar and co-edit this issue of the Bulletin – with the task of introducing those articles and explaining the stakes of that research seminar. I most sincerely thank them for their commitment and the quality of their work.

5As you will have gathered, this issue of the Bulletin is symbolical, as it is almost entirely dedicated to the work of our young researchers. The CRFJ has always cared much about supervising and training those young, dynamic, inventive, and passionate scholars we fondly call “the CRFJ’s babies.” I am honored to have spent a formative period of my life in this “incubator.” Since taking their first steps, many of our researchers have grown and are pursuing brilliant careers in research, whether at the CNRS, in academia, or in other organizations. I wholeheartedly wish the young authors of the articles published here the same success.

6I could not end without thanking the CRFJ team as a whole, for their work but also for their courage and solidarity, and I wish to mention in particular the talent of Marjolaine Barazani, who has been with us many years, and that of Judith Grumbach, our young new translator.

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Olivier Tourny, « Editorial », Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem [En ligne], 21 | 2010, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2011, Consulté le 06 mai 2021. URL :

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Olivier Tourny

Director of the CRFJ

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