Michela Andreatta

Michela Andreatta

  • Associate Professor in Hebrew Language and Literature

PhD, University of Turin, Italy, 2003

425 Rush Rhees Library
(585) 275-7465
Fax: (585) 276-1230

Office Hours: By appointment

Michela Andreatta joined the Department of Religion and Classics as Lecturer in Hebrew in 2011 and was promoted Senior Lecturer in 2015. Between 2018 and 2023 she was tenure-track Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature. Between 2021 and 2023, she held the Wilmot Professorship, a title bestowed by the Deans of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. Dr. Andreatta teaches courses in modern and biblical Hebrew, besides classes in Hebrew literature and Jewish history. She completed her PhD at the Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Turin in Italy with a dissertation on Latin translations of Hebrew philosophical works in the Renaissance. A specialist of the intellectual and literary history of Italian Jewry in the early modern period, she has lived, studied, and conducted research in Israel for several years.

Dr. Andreatta has been the recipient of several post-doctoral research fellowships and grants from academic institutions in Europe, Israel, and the United States, among them University of Oxford, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, the Rothschild Foundation London, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library. In Spring 2021, she was one of the two internal fellows at the University of Rochester Humanities Center. In 2022, Dr. Andreatta was Senior Visiting Fellow at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany for the summer term. Before coming to University of Rochester, she taught at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. At University of Rochester, besides teaching on campus, Dr. Andreatta has also served as instructor for the Rochester Education Justice Initiative (REJI), the College’s program for incarcerated students in state prisons in Central and Western New York.

In 2020, Dr. Andreatta was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in support of her project for an English annotated translation of Moses Zacuto’s Hell Arrayed (Hebrew, Tofteh ‘Arukh), a seventeenth-century poem on the afterlife punishment of the wicked according to Kabbalah (NEH Fel-267562-20). A first draft of her translation was used by Los Angeles based company Theatre Dybbuk as the basis of their production Hell Prepared, which premiered in summer 2019. Her English translation was published in the series Texts in Translation by the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies (CRRS) at Victoria University in the University of Toronto in 2023.



Research Overview

Research Interests

  • Literary and intellectual history of Italian Jews from the medieval to the early modern period
  • Italian Hebrew poetry, particularly devotional and elegiac
  • Christian Hebraists of Renaissance Italy
  • Venetian Jewry

Selected Publications


  • Moses Zacuto, Hell Arrayed (Tofteh ‘Arukh): A Seventeenth-Century Hebrew Poem on the Afterlife Punishment of the Wicked. Translated and Annotated, with Introductory Essays, by Michela Andreatta (Texts in Translation Series; 18), Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, University of Toronto, 2023, 190 pp.
  • Mošeh Zacuto, “L’inferno allestito” (Toftèh ‘arùkh). Poema di un rabbino del Seicento sull’oltretomba dei malvagi. Introduzione, traduzione con testo ebraico a fronte e note a cura di Michela Andreatta (Testi a fronte. Collana diretta da Giovanni Reale). Milan: Bompiani, 2016, 221 p. [Moses Zacuto’s Tofteh Arukh (Hell Prepared): A Seventeenth-Century Poem on the Jewish Afterlife. Edition of the Original Hebrew Text with Parallel Italian Translation, Introductory Essay and Historical Notes by Michela Andreatta].
  • Gersonide, Commento al Cantico dei Cantici nella traduzione ebraico-latina di Flavio Mitridate. Edizione e commento del ms. Vat. Lat. 4273 (cc. 5r-54r) a cura di Michela Andreatta (Studi Pichiani, 14). Florence: L.S. Olschki, 2009, xiv-208 p. [Levi ben Gershom’s Commentary on Song of Songs According to the Hebrew-into-Latin Translation by Flavius Mithridates. Critical Edition of MS Vat. Lat. 4273 (ff. 5r-54r), Introductory Essays and Historical Notes by Michela Andreatta].

Book Chapters

  • “Hebraica Amicitia: Leon Modena and the Cultural Practices of Early Modern Intra-Jewish Friendship,” in Friendship in Jewish History, Religion, and Culture. Edited by Lawrence Fine, pp. 145-166. Penn State University Press, 2021.
  • “Gersonides Hebraicus atque Latinus: Some Remarks on Levi ben Gershom’s Works and the Book and Reading Culture of the Renaissance,” in Gersonides' Afterlife: Studies on the Reception of Levi ben Gerson's Thought in the Medieval and Early Modern Hebrew and Latin Cultures. Edited by Ofer Elior, Gad Freudenthal, and David Wirmer, pp. 416-443. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
  • “The Persuasive Path: Giulio Morosini’s Derekh Emunah as a Conversion Narrative,” in Bastards and Believers: Jewish Converts and Conversion from the Bible to the Present, pp. 156-181. Edited by Paweł Maciejko and Theodor Dunkelgrün. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.
  • “The Baroque World of Moses Zacuto’s Tofte Arukh,” in The Poet and the World: Studies in Honor of Wout van Bekkum, pp. 275-297. Edited by Elisabeth Hollender, Naoya Katsumata and Joachim Yeshaya. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter Publishers, 2019.
  • “Praising the ‘Idolater:’ A Poem for Christians by Rabbi Leon Modena,” in Connecting Histories: Jews and Their Others in the Early Modern Period, pp. 115-128. Edited by Francesca Bregoli and David Ruderman. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.
  • “The Poet in the Printing Shop: Leon Modena and the Para-Textual Production of Authority in Early Modern Venice,” in Festschrift in Honor of Devora Bregman, pp. 9-29 [English section]. Edited by Haviva Ishay. Beer-Sheva: Ben Gurion University Press, 2018.
  • “Collecting Hebrew Epitaphs in the Early Modern Age: The Christian Hebraist as an Antiquarian,” in Jewish Books and Their Readers: Aspects of the Intellectual Life of Christians and Jews in Early Modern Europe, pp. 260-286. Edited by Scott Mandelbrote and Joanna Weinberg. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2016.
  • “Tra la pagina e la pietra. Di due auto-epitaffi ebraici del rabbino veneziano Leon Modena (1571-1648),” in Storie intrecciate: cristiani, ebrei e musulmani tra scritture, oggetti e narrazioni (Mediterraneo, secc. XVI-XIX), pp. 3-15. Edited by Serena di Nepi. Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2015.
  • “Subverting Patronage in Translation: Flavius Mithridates, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Gersonides’ Commentary on Song of Songs,” in Patronage, Production and Transmission of Texts in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Cultures, 165-198. Edited by Esperanza Alfonso and Jonathan Decter. New York - Turnhout: Brepols, 2014.
  • “Raccontare per persuadere: conversione e narrazione in Via della Fede di Giulio Morosini,” in Contributi di storia religiosa in onore di Pier Cesare Ioly Zorattini, 85-118. Edited by Maddalena del Bianco and Marcello Massenzio. Florence: L.S. Olschki, 2014.
  • “Filosofia e cabbalà nel Commento al Cantico dei cantici di Levi ben Geršom tradotto in latino per Giovanni Pico della Mirandola,” in Pico e la cabbalà, 69-91. Edited by Fabrizio Lelli. Florence: L.S. Olschki, 2014.
  • “The Printing of Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Italy: Prayer Books Printed for the Shomrim la-Boker Confraternities,” in The Hebrew Book in Early Modern Italy, 156-170. Edited by Joseph Hacker and Adam Shear. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Articles in Journals and Conference Proceedings

  • “A Poet in the Ghetto: Some Remarks on Leon Modena’s Literary Production,” Expressio, 6 (2023), pp. 219-236.
  • “Piety on Stage: Popular Drama and the Public Life of Early-Modern Jewish Confraternities,” Skenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies, 6/2 (2020), pp. 31-52.
  • “The Taste of Conviviality: A Poem on Food by Leon Modena (1571-1648),” Jewish Quarterly Review, 105/4 (2015), pp. 456-481.
  • With Saverio Campanini, “Bibliographia Mithridatica II,” in Flavio Mitridate mediatore fra culture nel contesto dell’ebraismo siciliano del XV secolo, Atti del II Congresso internazionale, Caltabellotta (Agrigento), 30 giugno - 1 luglio 2008), pp. 289-317. Edited by Mauro Perani and Giacomo Corazzol. Palermo: Officina di Studi Medievali, 2012.
  • With Saverio Campanini, “Bibliographia Mithridatica,” in Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada alias Flavio Mitridate. Un ebreo converso siciliano. Atti del convegno internazionale (Caltabellotta (Agrigento), 23-24 ottobre 2004), pp. 241-257. Edited by Mauro Perani. Palermo: Officina di Studi medievali, 2008.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • “Literary Production and Consumption in Jewish Devotional Confraternities,” Routledge Resources Online: The Renaissance World. General Editor: Kristen Poole. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis – Routledge (online; 2023).
  • “Italy, Hebrew in. (ii) Middle Ages,” Encyclopaedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (EHLL), vol. 2, 369-374. General Editor: Geoffrey Khan. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2013.


Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • RELC/JWST 222: Jews in Italy: History, Society, and Culture
  • RELC/WJST 181: The “Other” in Modern Hebrew Literature
  • RELC/JWST 221: Land, Language, and Identity in Modern Hebrew Literature
  • HBRW 110: Introductory Biblical Hebrew
  • HBRW 101: Elementary Modern Hebrew, I
  • HBRW 102: Elementary Modern Hebrew, II
  • HBRW 103: Intermediate Modern Hebrew, I
  • HBRW 104: Intermediate Modern Hebrew, II
  • HBRW 204: Advanced Hebrew: Hebrew through Media and Literature
  • HBRW 390: Supervised Hebrew Teaching
  • HBRW 391: Independent Study
  • RELC 391H: Honors Thesis