Conference Proceeding: The Personal Archive of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Abraham Joshua Heschel, a scholar, writer and theologian, is widely recognized as one of the most influential Jewish spiritual leaders of the 20th century. The Heschel archive consists of 85 boxes containing manuscripts, correspondence, publications, documents and photographs spanning five decades and at least four languages. Included among the papers are notes and drafts for nearly all of Heschel's published works, as well as extensive correspondence with some of the leading religious figures of his time, such as Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, and Reinhold Niebuhr. The papers also contain extensive documentation on Heschel's lifelong commitment to social justice, including planning documents, correspondence with organizers, speeches, and even hate mail. In the presentation, Rachel introduces Heschel's life and work, his writings and his religious and social activity as it is revealed through his personal archive. She presents images of a variety of items from the archive and discusses the challenges and discoveries experienced in processing this outstanding collection as it is being prepared for scholars and researchers.

Presented by Rachel Ariel at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.