Tzafrir Barzilay

Dr. Tzafrir Barzilay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ben Gurion University


Tzafrir Barzilay is a Kreitman postdoctoral research fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He focuses on social, cultural and religious history in Europe during the 11th to 15th centuries. He is interested in the development of the common perceptions of Jews and Christians, and their change throughout the High Middle Ages and the 14th century crisis, in particular around the subject of water. In 2016, he received a PhD from Columbia University, following the completion of a dissertation on well-poisoning accusations in medieval Europe. He is the author of Poisoned Wells: Accusation, Persecution and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422 (forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press). Barzilay is currently investigating lay beliefs and practices pertaining to water in Jewish and Christian life from 1050 to 1450 in Europe, focusing on the tensions between the different meanings attributed to water by Jews and Christians in the context of its wide range of practical and ritual uses.