News Release

Frisch to conduct research on healing the traumatized body in second temple Judaism

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Frisch To Conduct Research On Healing The Traumatized Body In Second Temple Judaism                                                                                                                                 

Alexandria Frisch, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, is set to receive funding for the project: "Healing the Traumatized Body in Second Temple Judaism."

Frisch will argue that, for early Jews, the body could stand in for the larger body politic and, as such, could mediate what was happening to the community. In particular, unable to alter the trauma inflicted by external, imperial forces, which had dominated Judean and Diaspora Jewish communities for centuries, they mobilized an internal power—their own bodies. 

Using trauma studies as a heuristic tool, she will reveal how bodily beliefs and rituals such as purification, exorcism, and physiognomic divination became a way to cope with the turmoil affecting their society and recover from the suffering they experienced.

Frisch’s project contributes to a broader, scholarly conversation about the effects of collective trauma on oppressed peoples and the ways in which trauma shapes communal memories, narratives, and practices. 

Frisch will receive $30,000 from the University of Pennsylvania for this project. Funding will begin in Sept. 2024 and will end in late Dec. 2024.



George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2023, the university launched Mason Now: Power the Possible, a one-billion-dollar comprehensive campaign to support student success, research, innovation, community, and stewardship. Learn more at


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