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    Submission Questions

    Conference Questions

    Do I need to be an AJS member to submit a proposal?

    Yes, in order to submit a proposal for an in-person session, a hybrid session, or a Conversation Series session, you must be a current AJS individual member.

    Login to MyAJS to renew your membership or to enroll as a new AJS member.

    If you are not sure whether you have already renewed for this year, please contact Melinda Man at

    If you are submitting a session proposal, please confirm that every participant is also a current member of the AJS before submitting.

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    What if I am a scholar/professional outside of Jewish Studies?

    The AJS welcomes scholars whose primary research is outside the field but whose work has a direct impact on Jewish Studies and whose participation would enhance the conference. The AJS may waive the membership requirement for a limited number of session participants who are not academics (e.g. journalists, authors, filmmakers, etc.), and whose participation is considered essential for the integrity of the session to which they were invited. Requests for a membership fee waiver must be submitted by the session organizer to the AJS by submitting this request form no later than April 25, 2023. Membership dues waiver recipients must still pay the registration fee for the conference as the AJS does not offer registration waivers.

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    Can I present remotely?

    The 2023 Conference in San Francisco will include one room set up with the technology to allow for hybrid presentations (approximately 12 panels total). Priority will be given to papers and panels that (1) include presenters who experience obstacles to presenting in person and/or (2) have a coherent rationale in their proposal for how their panel will benefit from a hybrid format. All hybrid participants must register at regular conference rates for the conference, whether they plan to attend in person or not. Please also note that at least two members of each hybrid panel will need to be in person.

    Only those whose hybrid proposals are accepted will be able to present virtually. We will not be able to accommodate format changes (from in person to hybrid or from hybrid to Conversation Series.)

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    Can I submit more than one proposal?

    Yes, you can submit to participate in a maximum of two sessions, as long as they are not both papers on panels, or both papers on lightning sessions. This means that you can submit to participate in a wide variety of ways, including (note: this is not an exhaustive list): a chair in two sessions, a chair and a respondent in one session (or a chair in one session and a respondent in another), a panel presenter and a roundtable participant, two seminar presentations, a lightning session participant and a seminar participant, a lightning session participant and a panel participant, or as a participant in two roundtables. 

    The session organizer role does not count towards this submission maximum. If you are submitting a session and you have a role in the session, please make sure to add yourself again to the submission site in the participating role during submission.

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    What makes a good abstract?

    How to Write an Abstract

    The paper abstracts, written by the individual scholars but submitted by the session organizer, should explain the presentation’s purpose, methodology, sources, argument and specific contribution to scholarship in the field. Sample session abstracts, sample individual paper abstracts, and workshops on how to write abstracts can be found on the AJS website.

    Note: Accepted abstracts will be made public on the conference program site.

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    What are the eligibility criteria for submissions?

    Submitters must acknowledge the following:

    The submission and the proposed presentations are in English.

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    How should I go about creating a panel or finding a panel I could join?


    If your session is not already complete or you are looking for a panel proposal to join, take a look at the current list of people and ideas looking for session matches, and submit your incomplete session or individual paper idea here to be added to the list.* You also should contact the division chairs in your primary and secondary division; they may be able to help connect you with other scholars in your field.

    *Please note: Sharing an idea for a session or paper through this forum DOES NOT constitute a submitted proposal for the conference program. Only complete proposals submitted through the AJS Conference Submission Site will be considered for inclusion in the conference program.

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    What is the role of a chair?

    The chair is responsible for starting the session on time, introducing the speakers, keeping them to their allotted time, and moderating the Q and A. Ensuring equal time for all presenters is essential, and chairs must be prepared to end a presentation that exceeds the allotted time. All panel, seminar, and lightning session proposals must include a chairperson; paper presenters may not chair a session in which they are presenting.

    Guidance for Session Chairs

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    What is the role of a roundtable moderator?

    The moderator will pose the questions and control the time given to each discussant to respond during a roundtable. In order to make for an informed and lively dialogue, moderators should email questions to discussants at least two weeks before the conference, and ask discussants to prepare short responses for each. All roundtable proposals must include a moderator.

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    What is a respondent?

    A respondent addresses wider-ranging reflections of the issues raised in the papers. In traditional panels, respondents will have about ten minutes for their comments.

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    What is a Division?

    Divisions reflect various subject areas under which you can submit a proposal to the AJS conference. These subject areas are led by experts called Division Chairs.The current Division Chairs are listed here.

    Division Chairs may help individuals find colleagues with whom they might form panels. And they may help create panels from individual paper submissions. However, their primary role is to review each conference submission in their respective Division. (For example, the proposals submitted to the Holocaust Studies Division are reviewed first by the current Holocaust Studies Division Chairs). If your submission also falls under another division's purview, consider indicating a "Secondary Division Option'' during submission. Doing so automatically transfers any submission that has been rejected to the secondary division's division chair(s) for review.

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    What do I put as my secondary division if I choose Hybrid or Conversation Series as the primary division?

    If your primary division was Hybrid or Conversation Series, you may choose a secondary division that is your subject matter, e.g. Rabbinics or Bible. However, please be aware that if your submission is rejected by your primary division (Hybrid or Conversation Series) and accepted by your secondary division, the secondary division chair will consider your submission as an in-person participant/in person session. If you do not wish to be considered as an in-person participant, please do NOT list a secondary division.

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    Can I choose Hybrid or Conversation Series as my secondary division?

    No. If you select a subject matter as the primary division, e.g. Modern History or Israel Studies, you may not list Hybrid or Conversation Series as your secondary division.

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    Can my institution sponsor a session?

    Yes. There is an area in the proposal submission process to indicate the session sponsor (e.g. academic institution, research center/archive, learned society, or AJS caucus or working group.) These sessions must be accepted through the regular submission process. 

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    How will my proposal be evaluated?

    Click the image for a larger version.

    What happens to my submission_ (3) (2)

    Proposals will first be sent for review to the Division Chair/s. Division Chair(s) review the submissions that are submitted in a specific subject area, as the Primary Division (for example, the proposals submitted to the Holocaust Studies Division are reviewed first by the current Holocaust Studies Division Chairs). 

    Division Chairs evaluate paper and session proposals based on criteria including contribution to the field, originality, methodology, and clarity of expression. Division Chairs are also looking for a diversity of participants both in submitted session proposals and when organizing sessions out of individual proposals.

    When evaluating an individual paper proposal, division chairs will recommend either acceptance or rejection. If recommending acceptance, they will then try to place the proposal in a session with other individual submissions. Division Chairs also evaluate session proposals and make recommendations for acceptance or rejection. 

    Division Chairs then rank the sessions they have recommended accepting. If your proposal has been rejected but you indicated a "Secondary Division Option'' during submission, your proposal will be automatically transferred to the secondary division's division chair(s) for review. (Note the exceptions, above, that relate to Conversation Series and Hybrid submissions.)

    The AJS Program Committee is a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in Jewish Studies that meets in late May/early June to review recommendations from Primary and Secondary Division Chairs and to make final decisions for the entire conference program. The Program Committee may shift submissions to any Division so please be advised that the Division(s) that you selected during submission are subject to change during the review process.

    The Program Committee also attempts to find a place for individual papers that the Division Chairs accepted but could not place into sessions.

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    Can I use A/V and media in my session?

    Submitters must request A/V as part of the submission process. The online proposal form asks you to specify your audio-visual needs and to explain how the requested equipment will be used in your presentation or session. Please provide a detailed and compelling need for its use (e.g., why the material cannot be shared by handout). Given the high cost of equipment rental, the AJS cannot guarantee that all audio-visual requests will be accommodated. Those using LCD projectors must provide their own laptops and connectors to an HDMI cable, and speakers are not included with LCD projectors. The AJS cannot accept audio-visual requests after the submission process has closed.

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    How can I be sure that AJS has received my proposal?

    Confirmation of your proposal’s receipt will be emailed to the submitter. This email will come from so please be sure to check your spam folder. If you cannot locate it there, please contact the AJS office ( before the submission deadline to confirm that your proposal was received. AJS cannot accept proposals submitted after the deadline.

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    When will I find out if my proposal has been accepted?

    The AJS office will notify you of decisions on behalf of the Program Committee by email by mid-August. These emails will come from the following email sender:, so please check your junk mail folder if you don’t see an acceptance notification in your inbox.

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    Can’t we just use Zoom in all rooms?

    Sadly no. The hybrid room must be set with additional technical equipment and staffing at enormous cost. As a result, we are limited to having one dedicated hybrid room at the 2023 conference. Those who attempt to Zoom in to in-person sessions cannot be clearly heard by the audience. We value inclusion and access: creating access for one speaker cannot come at the expense of inclusion and access for many.

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    How long will each session last?

    Sessions will be 90 minutes long.

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    What should I expect to bring with me to my presentation?

    All presenting scholars are responsible for bringing their presentation notes for themselves and providing any handout copies. For most sessions, a minimum of 15 paper handouts is suggested. Should the session space include A/V equipment (based on the submission’s A/V request), each scholar connecting to this equipment is responsible for providing their own laptop and corresponding A/V cables/adaptors to connect with a projector or other player as needed via a (provided) HDMI cable. Seminar organizers are also responsible for providing paper copies for any session attendee who has not already viewed the papers digitally. If you have any questions about this during the submission process or after a session has been accepted and scheduled into a space, please contact

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    Can an undergraduate student participate in the AJS Conference?

    We invite undergraduate students to join the Association for Jewish Studies and attend the conference. Undergraduates are not allowed to submit a proposal for presentation.

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    What if I have additional questions?

    Please email Conference Content Manager Mary Arnstein at

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