Shalva Weil

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Shalva Weil is a Senior Researcher at The Seymour Fox School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. In 2017, she was GIAN Distinguished Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi. She has researched Indian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and the Ten Lost Tribes and specializes in femicide, qualitative methods, violence, ethnicity, education, religion, and migration.


Shalva Weil was born in London and studied sociology (B.A. Hons.) at the London School of Economics (L.S.E). She received an M.A. at the Centre for Multi-Racial Studies, Sussex University, on a double identity conflict among Bene Israel Indian Jews in Britain, supervised by the psychologist Marie Jahoda. She then obtained a D. Phil. in Social Anthropology at Sussex, under the supervision of Prof. A.L. Epstein. Her doctoral thesis on "The Persistence of Ethnicity and Ethnic Identity among the Bene Israel Indian Jews in Israel" (1977) was based on three years' fieldwork among the Bene Israel in the town of Lod.

Academic Work[edit]

Indian Jewry[edit]

Weil has published over 100 articles on India Jews, including on the Bene Israel, Cochin Jews, Baghdadi Jews, the Shinlung (“Bnei Menashe”) and Europeans in India. She is editor of India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art, and Life-Cycle (Marg 2002; 3rd edition 2009),[1] co-editor (with Nathan Katz, Ranabir Chakravarti and Braj M. Sinha) of Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: A Perspective from the Margin (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007);[2] and co-editor (with David Shulman) of Karmic Passages: Israeli Scholarship on India (Delhi: Oxford University Press 2008). In 2019, she edited The Baghdadi Jews in India: Maintaining Communities, Negotiating Identities and Creating Super-Diversity (Routledge, 2019),[3] and The Jews of Goa (Primus, 2019).[4]

Weil is founding Chairperson of the Israel-India Cultural Association, and is a board member of the new Israel-India Friendship Association. In 1991, she curated an exhibition at Beth Hatefutsoth: the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora on the Ten Lost Tribes. In 2002, she organized an international conference at Oxford University on Indo-Judaic studies, a field in which she is a forerunner. She is on the editorial board of Indian and international journals, including the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies.[5] In 2006, she co-curated an exhibition on the Jews of Chendamangalam in the newly restored village synagogue in Kerala,[6] and was involved in the restoration of the Parur Cochin Jews synagogue.[7]

In March 2013, she lectured and co-organized a conference in Eilat, Israel and Aqaba, Jordan on ancient trade in the Red Sea. In May 2013, she was invited to lecture at Stanford University on the Kirtan among Indian Jews,[8] followed by lectures in the Department of South Asian Studies at Santa Barbara University,[9] and at the Magnes Museum at Berkeley University in California on the reconstruction of synagogues in Kerala.[10] In 2017, she was invited to be a keynote speaker at IGNCA[11] at a symposium on India's Jews. In 2018, she attended the meetingi in Mumbai with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Indian Jewish community. In 2019 she lectured on the Jews Goa, at the ICAS conference at Leiden University in the Netherlands.[12]

Ethiopian Jewry[edit]

Weil's studies on Ethiopian Jews have been commissioned by government ministries: on religion, one-parent families, education, leadership, and femicide. In 2005, she was elected President of SOSTEJE (Society for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry) at the Addis Ababa University, and in this capacity organized international conferences on the Beta Israel: in Florence, Italy and in Gondar, Ethiopia, as well as writing regular newsletters on the study of Ethiopian Jewry until her resignation in 2012. She has written many scientific articles on Ethiopian Jews, as well as several books, including a volume (together with Emanuela Trevisan Semi) Beta Israel: the Jews of Ethiopia and Beyond (Venice: Cafoscarina, 2011).[13] For 12 years, she directed an outreach program to promote excellence in education among Ethiopian Jews in Israel.[14] she has written about the complexities of conversion among the Felesmura,[15] and conducting original research into Dr. Faitlovitch's Ethiopian Jews students educated in Europe (1905-1935).


In 2009, Weil wrote a report for the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption on wife-murder among Ethiopian immigrants, which was censored.[16] From 2013-7 Weil Chaired a COST (Cooperation on Science and Technology)[17] action on "Femicide Across Europe" with 80 representatives from 30 countries on the management committee.[18][19][20][21] The Action set up four working groups in Europe on definitions,[22] on reporting,[23] on culture,[24] and on prevention.[25] The final COST conference took place in Malta.[26] Weil has called to make femicide a visible sociological fact,[27] while recognizing that its study is a social challenge.[28][29] Femicide is difficult to research among migrants and utilizing qualitative methods.[30] It affects girls, not just women, particularly in countries like India.[31] Weil's recent publications include the connections between femicide and Covid-19, both of which she considers pandemics,[32] and the issue of female geronticide,[33] or the killing of elderly women. Weil is on the Advisory Board of the European Observatory on Femincide (EOF)[34] and several other observatories. She chairs the Israel Observatory on Femicide (IOF).

Ten Lost Tribes[edit]

Weil has published extensively on the Ten Lost Tribes historically[35] and in contemporary times. In particular, she has written on the Beta Israel, the Bene Israel, and the Pashtuns, as well as on Judaising groups all over Africa, China and elsewhere. In 1991, she curated an exhibition at Beth Hatefutsoth: the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora on the Ten Lost Tribes entitled "Beyond the Sambatyon: the Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes".[36] She is on the international board of ISSAJ [International Society for the Study of African Jewry],[37] and presented a paper at their latest conference in Nairobi on the Jews of Africa.

Other work[edit]

Weil utilizes diverse methodological tools such as the mapping tool, diaries, interviews, focus groups, and life histories.[38] She documented violence in schools in a joint Israeli-Palestinian project, and conducted a qualitative study on pedagogic change in schools among Israeli principals, commissioned by Avnei Rosha, an Institute in Jerusalem.

In 2010, she interviewed Prof. S.N. Eisenstadt, in the last interview before he died.[39] As editor of European Sociologist,[40] she interviewed Prof. Zygmunt Bauman.[41] She coordinated the European Sociological Association (ESA) Qualitative Methods Research Network (2005-2007),[42] taught methods at the ESA's Summer School in Finland in 2010, and collaborated with colleagues to co-chair a European Science Foundation (ESF) workshop on the legitimacy of qualitative methods. From 2007-11, she served as a member of the ESA Executive Committee, and today serves as a board member of the ESA Research Networks on gender and qualitative methods.



  • 1984 From Cochin to Israel, Jerusalem: Kumu Berina. (Hebrew)
  • 1997 Ethiopian Jews in the Limelight, Jerusalem: Research Institute for Innovation in Education, Hebrew University.
  • 1999 Roots and Routes: Ethnicity and Migration in Global Perspective, Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University.
  • 2004 Bibliography of Ethiopian Jewry, Addis Abeba: SOSTEJE (Society for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry).
  • 2007 Katz N., Chakravarti, R., Sinha, B. M. and Weil, S. Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: A Perspective from the Margin, New York and Basingstoke, England: Palgrave-Macmillan Press.
  • 2008 Shulman, D. and Weil, S. Karmic Passages: Israeli Scholarship on India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • 2009 (Third reprint) India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art and Life-Cycle, Mumbai: Marg Publications [first published in 2002; second reprint 2004].
  • 2011 Trevisan Semi, E. and Weil, S. Beta Israel: the Jews of Ethiopia and Beyond, Venice: Cafoscarina.
  • 2018 Weil, S., Corradi, C. and Naudi, M. Femicide across Europe: theory, research and prevention, Bristol: Policy Press.
  • 2019 The Sojourn of the Baghdadi Jews in India: Maintaining Communities, Negotiating Identities and Creating Super-Diversity, London: Routledge.
  • 2020 The Jews of Goa, New Delhi: Primus.


  1. ^ Weil, Shalva (2002). India's Jewish Heritage - Ritual, Art, & Life-Cycle. ISBN 8185026580.
  2. ^ Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century. Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. ^ "FORTHCOMING EVENTS". Routledge.
  4. ^ "FORTHCOMING EVENTS". primus books. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  5. ^ "weil". MEI@ND.
  6. ^ "The Synagogues of Kerala". Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  7. ^ "Asian Jewish Life - Issue 8 - Pauru Synagogue, Cochin".
  8. ^ "Translated Tunes: Negotiations of Space, Genre, and Identity in Kirtan | Center for South Asia". 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  9. ^ "Shalva Weil, Senior Researcher, Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Religious Studies". 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  10. ^ "UC Berkeley Events Calendar: The Reconstruction of Jewish Synagogues in Kerala, South India". Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  11. ^ "Home".
  12. ^ "IIAS Events". Leiden University.
  13. ^ "Beta Israel: the Jews of Ethiopia and Beyond. History, Identity and Borders". cafoscarina.
  14. ^ Weil, S., 2012, “I am a teacher and beautiful: the feminization of the teaching profession in the Ethiopian community in Israel”, in Pnina Morag- Talmon and Yael Atzmon (eds) Immigrant Women in Israeli Society, Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, pp. 207-223 (in Hebrew).
  15. ^ Weil, S. 2016, “The Complexities of Conversion among the ‘Felesmura’”. In: Eloi Ficquet, Ahmed Hassen and Thomas Osmond (eds.), Movements in Ethiopia, Ethiopia in Movement: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies. Addis Ababa: French Center for Ethiopian Studies, Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University; Los Angeles: Tsehai Publishers, Vol. 1 pp.435-445.Link
  16. ^ Klein, Steven (27 January 2012). "Behind Knesset stir over Ethiopian report, a century-old meeting in London". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  17. ^ "COST (Cooperation on Science and Technology)".
  18. ^ "Femicide across Europe".
  19. ^ "Home".
  20. ^ Weil, S., 2015, “Combatting femicide in multiple ways: the COST Action IS1206 on Femicide across Europe”. In: Filip A and Platzer M (eds) Femicide: Targeting Women in Conflict 3. Vienna: ACUNS, pp.139-141. Link
  21. ^ "Policy Press: Femicide across Europe". Bristol University Press.
  22. ^ "".
  23. ^ "".
  24. ^ "".
  25. ^ "".
  26. ^ 'COST Action IS-1206 on Femicide across Europe - Final Conference', University of Malta Valletta Campus, 14–16 March 2017
  27. ^ Weil, Shalva (2016-02-02). "Making femicide visible". Current Sociology. 64 (7): 1124–1137. doi:10.1177/0011392115623602.
  28. ^ Marcuello-Servós, C, Corradi, C., Weil, S. and Boira, S., 2016, ‘Femicide: a Social Challenge’, Current Sociology 64(7):967-974. Special Issue on Femicide. DOI: 10.1177/0011392116639358 Link
  29. ^ Corradi, C., Marcuello-Servós, C, Boira, S. and Weil, S., 2016, ‘Theories of femicide and their significance for social research’, Current Sociology 64(7): 975-995. Special Issue on Femicide. DOI: 10.1177/0011392116639358 [1]
  30. ^ Weil, S., 2016, ‘Failed Femicides among Migrant Survivors’, Qualitative Sociology Review12(4):6-21. Link
  31. ^ Weil, S. and Mitra, N., 2016, ‘Femicide of Girls in India’, Femicide: Taking Action against Gender-Related Killing of Women and Girls 6. Vienna: ACUNS
  32. ^ Weil, Shalva (2020-02-06). "Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Femicide". European Sociologist. 1 (45, “Pandemic (Im)Possibilities”).
  33. ^ Weil, Shalva; Keshet, Noam K. (2020-08-30). "Female Geronticide: the Case of Israel". Journal of Gender Studies. 29 (5): 39–51. doi:10.1080/09589236.2020.1809361.
  34. ^ "Creating a European observatory on femicide". 8 March 2017.
  35. ^ Weil, S., 2016, “The Unification of the Ten Lost Tribes with the Two “Found” Tribes”. In: Parfitt, T and Fisher N (eds) Becoming Jewish: New Jews and Emerging Jewish Communities in a Globalized World, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 25-35.
  36. ^ "Beit Hatfutsot". 1991-01-01. Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  37. ^ "Issaj International Committee Members". Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  38. ^ "Editorial Team". Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  39. ^ Weil, Shalva. "Interview with Prof. S. N. Eisenstadt | Shalva Weil". Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  40. ^ "The European Sociological Association". European. 2019.
  41. ^ "Newsletter of the European Sociological Association" (PDF). July 2011. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  42. ^ "ESA - European Sociological Association - RN20 - Qualitative Methods". Retrieved 2013-09-01.