Sermoneta, Joseph Baruch

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SERMONETA, JOSEPH BARUCH (1924–1992), historian. After a short stay in Palestine during World War ii he pursued academic studies in humanities at the University of Rome. In 1953 Sermoneta settled in Jerusalem, where he directed the sections devoted to the history and philosophy of the Middle Ages and that of Italian literature in Ha-Enẓiklopedyah ha-Ivrit (1953–1963). He was the Encyclopaedia Judaica (first edition) departmental editor of Italian literature.

Appointed professor of Jewish Thought and of Italian–Jewish literature and languages (1962) at the Hebrew University, Sermoneta's main academic fields of interest were the close relationship between Christian scholastic philosophy and the writings of Jewish intellectuals such as R. Hillel Ben Samuel of Verona, Judah Romano, Jacob Anatoli, and Moses of Salerno between the 13th and the 15th centuries, and Italian Jewish vernacular language, including Italian-Jewish vernacular translations of the Bible and liturgical texts in the vernacular. In both fields Sermoneta's works were innovative and path-breaking. He was co-editor with Robert Bonfil of Italia, dedicated to the history, literature and thought of Italian Jews.


A. Melamed, "Sermoneta, Joseph Baruch," in: Ha-Enẓiklopedyah ha-Ivrit, vol. 3 (addenda), 739–40; vv.aa., Ricordo di Joseph Baruch Sermoneta, Studi e interventi in memoria del Prof. Joseph Baruch Sermoneta Za"l nel trigesimo della sua scomparsa (1994); H. Sermoneta, "Joseph Baruch Sermoneta, Korot Ḥayyim u-Ketavim," in: A. Ravitzky (ed.), Meromei Yerushalaim, Sefer Zikharon le Joseph Baruch Sermoneta (1998; reprinted in Italia, vol.13–15 (2001), in memory of J.B. Sermoneta).

[Samuele Rocca (2nd ed.)]