The Journal of Jewish Studies was founded in 1948 by The Jewish Fellowship, the parent body of the still-flourishing Society for Jewish Study based in London, but volume I was completed only in 1949. Publishing and administrative responsibilities were taken over in 1951 with volume II, no. 2 by Jewish Chronicle Publications. Later this role was shared in varying degrees by the Society for Jewish Study, the Institute of Jewish Studies in London, and the Cultural Department of the World Jewish Congress. Finally, in 1976, the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies (now the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies) became the proprietor of the Journal.
During its first twenty years, the Journal established itself as a solid, influential international periodical. It started off and theoretically remained a quarterly until 1971. In 1972 it was officially transformed into a half-yearly publicationl.
From the start until 1966 the editor was assisted by an advisory board of leading figures, such as Leo Baeck, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, and an editorial board of (mostly) British Judaica specialists. In 1966, the advisory board was merged into the editorial board and the latter was renamed the advisory board in 1967.
A major change occurred in 1970, when David Kessler, chairman of Jewish Chronicle Publications, at that time owners of JJS, appointed Geza Vermes as editor. In January 1971 the Journal had a circulation of circa 400, comprising 250 subscribers and the 150 members of the Society for Jewish Study. During the years that have followed, the Journal has grown in stature and circulation, and its present distribution stands at approximately 1000. In 1995, Martin Goodman joined Geza Vermes at the helm. From 1995 to 1998, the Journal greatly benefited from the help received from Daniel Frank, a highly efficient Book Review editor.
In the course of the years, JJS has produced three special Festschrifts with the assistance of guest editors: Studies in Jewish Legal History in Honour of David Daube, edited in 1974 by Bernard S. Jackson; Essays in Honour of Yigael Yadin, edited in 1982 by Geza Vermes and Jacob Neusner; and Special Issue to Commemorate the Twenty-Fifth Year of Geza Vermes as Editor, jointly edited by Philip Alexander and Martin Goodman in 1995.
The Journal of Jewish Studies celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1999.
Recent HistoryGeza Vermes continues to edit the Journal.
In 2000 Tessa Rajak succeeded Martin Goodman as editor and served for four years. Her successor since 2004 is Sacha Stern. Sarah Pearce was appointed Book Reviews editor in 2001. In 2005 she handed over the office to Jonathan Campbell. He was succeeded by Charlotte Hempel in 2007.
In 2002 the Journal entered the digital age with online access to all the tables of contents, and from 2006 the whole archives of the Journal were made available online to Institutional and Individual subscribers.
|Jacob L. Teicher||1948-1956|
|Joseph J. Weiss||1959-1968|
|Bernard S. Jackson||1974 Special Issue for David Daube|
|Jacob Neusner||1982 Special Issue for Yigael Yadin|
|Philip Alexander||1995 Special Issue for Geza Vermes|
Book Review Editors
|Jonathan G. Campbell||2005-2007|