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Judaic Treasures: Introduction

The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) is thrilled to have the privilege of offering the users of the Jewish Student Online Research Center (JSOURCE) access to the Judaic and Hebraic treasures of the Library of Congress. The Library has generously given us permission to copy and upload these materials, some or all of which the Library will subsequently make available on its own web site.

Much of the material found in this online exhibit is taken from the Library's publication, From the Ends of the Earth: Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress. Most of the text in this exhibit is by the book's author, Abraham J. Karp, a rabbi, historian and recognized expert on the American Jewish experience. Karp served as Professor of History and Religion and the Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Rochester, and Professor of American Jewish History and Bibliography at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America before his death in 2003.  

According to Grunberger, the Hebraic Section of the Library originated in 1912 with the gift of nearly 10,000 books and pamphlets by Jacob Henry Schiff from the private collection of Ephraim Deinard, a well-known bibliographer and bookseller. Subsequently, the Library expanded its holdings to include all materials of research value in Hebrew and related languages (including Aramaic, Syriac, Coptic, Amharic, Yiddish and Ladino). The section's holdings are especially strong in the areas of the Bible and rabbinic, liturgy, Hebrew language and literature, responsa and Jewish history. The Library also has acquired a significant collection of materials from Israel.

In the coming months, and probably years, we will strive to make available as many of the Library's treasures as possible. This will be a monumental undertaking, but one that we believe will be invaluable to anyone interested in the history and culture of the Jewish people.

Mitchell Bard,
Executive Director