Conference: 2017 Conference Proceedings

New York, New York

Proceedings

The 2017 award winning authors and illustrators will present their books. This award is given each year in three categories: younger readers (grades PreK -3), older readers (Grades 4 – 8) and teen readers (grades 9 – 12) for books that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. Winner, honor, and notable books are given in each category.

The committee will discuss trends in Jewish children’s books as seen from the award submissions, share favorite titles, and give a behind-the-scenes look at how the award winners are selected.

“Resources in Yiddish Studies” is the title of a research guide that has appeared in several installments in In geveb, an online scholarly forum for Yiddish Studies. This presentation will include an overview of the research guide itself and will attempt to situate it within the larger context of web-based scholarship in Jewish Studies. “Resources in Yiddish Studies” is a hybrid creation, combining traditional bibliographical features with links to digitized and born-digital content.

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The protest movements “Rhodes Must Fall” initiated at the University of Cape Town in March 2015 and its outgrowth “Fees Must Fall” caused widespread unrest at universities throughout South Africa. With the resultant introduction of austerity measures, the Jewish Studies Library, whose hours of opening had already been reduced in 2006 and the librarian’s post downgraded in 2013, was now threatened with closure and the transfer of the books into the Main Library. Unfortunately, these developments coincided with the resignation of the Jewish Studies Librarian who will not be replaced.

"Codex Conquest: The Game of Book History" is an Open Educational Resource card game intended to teach the history of the book. Created by Amy Chen, Special Collections Instruction Librarian at the University of Iowa, the game is easily and intentionally adaptable to other fields. This paper will discuss the original game and its adaptation to "Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition."

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Susan Dubin and Myra Berkovits have developed a series of teacher workshops on Holocaust education that they have been presenting to public school teachers in the Clark County (NV) School District for the past several years. Each workshop is sixteen hours and is recognized by the state of Nevada as a Professional Development class for one unit of credit. They now have ten courses certified and are continuing to write more. Each class is given in the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center and relies heavily on library materials and search methods.

Anne will discuss the history of the labor union movement in the garment industry and her latest novel, 44 Hours or Strike! She is an experienced speaker and has a lively presentation about her research and writing. She shows visual material via PowerPoint, and engages the audience through singing songs (English and Yiddish) and sharing stories. Anne also brings real objects from the era to give concrete examples of how people lived and worked.

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Following up on a 2009 article in Judaica Librarianship, “Genealogy in the Jewish Library: An Update”, this session will inform librarians about ways to make their libraries welcoming to Jewish genealogists in their communities. Ms. Dwoskin’s article was comprehensive in 2009, describing resources such as JewishGen, Routes to Roots, the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, the Family History Library and the International Tracing Service, and PERSI, the comprehensive index to genealogical serials. It emphasized the importance of local genealogical societies and their newsletters.

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This is an interactive workshop demonstrating the relevance of Jewish folk stories for children, teens, and adults and showing how to interweave tales into programs and curriculum. Folktales are short, enduring, and advise the alienated. Strategies for coping and survival, for using cleverness and laughter to understand the world, show up in our heritage of tales from the past. Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to tell stories and creative ways to share and engage others in sharing them.

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The Schocken-Bücherei was one of the signature publications of the Schocken Verlag during the Third Reich - a high quality book series published in 92 counted volumes between 1933 and 1939 with a representative selection of literary texts by mainly Jewish and a few non-Jewish authors. The Schocken-Bücherei became a strong symbol for finding a cultural Jewish expression as well as spiritual and moral resistance in a time of peril and persecution.

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University College London was founded as an explicitly secular institution, the first of its kind in England. Unlike the other universities, religion was not a requirement for admission, there was no theology department and no place of worship. Yet within a century, UCL was home to one of the most important Judaica libraries in the UK. This talk will recount the history of UCL’s Jewish Studies collections and examine how the secular ethos of the college has affected their development.

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In 2014, the Judaica Library at the University of Florida was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant in support of building a Cooperative Digital Library of Jewish resources from Latin America and the Caribbean. The new open access database, the Jewish Diaspora Collection (JDoC) at the University of Florida, is being modelled on and in conjunction with UF’s highly successful Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), which is a partnership of 44 libraries and archives in the Caribbean and U.S.

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Receiving library accreditation marks a library as having achieved a high professional standard in librarianship, resources, programs and e-resources. How does a library achieve accreditation? What are the standards of requirement? Is there guidance during the process? How can the librarian make the library more relevant in the eyes of the parent organization? Is it possible to take a fresh look at the library’s policies and procedures to meet the changing needs of the 21st century? What is required to meet the standards of Basic Accreditation?

The Jewish-Hungarian Emmerich Kálmán (1882-1953) was a celebrated composer of Silver Age operetta. This light, entertaining genre of Viennese musical theater, a precursor of the Broadway musical, was immensely popular at the beginning of the 20th century (1905–1935), as was Kálmán himself. Yet his personal life was not as carefree as his music - he was able to escape Nazi persecutions again and again, but after more than a decade of displacement and itinerancy, the composer’s efforts to revive his career in the United States were defeated.

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Fifty five of the Touro College LCW library guides content compiled by the speaker include more than just standard web directories, recommended databases and bibliographies. Power points, mikorot packets of Hebrew Rabbinic primary sources, outlines-charts-exercises, book reviews, graphs, and substantive introductions pepper and spice up the library guides and make them unique resources.

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Iquitos, a town located 1,200 miles from Lima - the capital city of Peru - is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. Located in the heart of the Amazonas, Iquitos used to be the home of a Jewish group that travelled from Morrocos to Peru, in search of "a promised better land". This is the fascinating story of these "self-exiles" who migrated to this hidden part of the world pursuing the 19th century rubber boom, their beginnings, their Jewish life, the construction of a Jewish community and their aliya to Israel.

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Approximately eight thousand printed volumes, most of them in Hebrew, are included in the rare collections at Yeshiva University. Many of the rare books were originally part of the library of Berthold Baruch Strauss (1901-1962), a London collector. This important collection, catalogued in part in his Ohel Barukh (1959), was acquired after his death for Yeshiva. The discussion will center on his acquisition of the volumes, some of the highlights Hebrew imprints in the collection and their most recent cataloging, and will feature some examples.

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Join Lisa and Debbie in a workshop about renovating and transforming your library to meet 21st century needs. Hear about and see photos of their stories of renewal and improvement and get focused on what you can do for your institution. Lisa just opened a brand new library on the premises of American Jewish University and Debbie’s high school just moved into a brand new facility. Learn what went well for them and what advice they have to avoid problems before they happen.

This session will discuss how to start putting together a cookbook for your school, library or community center. After deciding on which cookbook press to use, what are the steps involved? Community cookbooks not only serve as fundraisers but also are a means to celebrate and memorialize a group’s members and its particular customs. Community cookbooks are now being studied by scholars for insights into Jewish and women’s lives.

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The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary has undergone extensive changes over the past year and a half. While a new library will open in 2019, the collections are currently housed off site at two main locations and with specific special collections at two additional locations. This will be a lightning talk on finding what you need from the JTS collections, onsite, offsite, online and what to expect in 2019.

The aim of the project is to provide free online access to Hebrew manuscripts from the British Library’s collection, through manuscript conservation and imaging, catalogue creation and online presentation. The British Library’s collection of Hebrew manuscripts includes items representing Jewish cultural, religious and scientific endeavor between the 10th century and the beginning of the 20th century, covering a vast geographical expanse from Europe and North Africa in the west, through the Middle East to China in the east.

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This session will include cataloging, acquisitions, and general LC news, including exhibits, initiatives, and projects. Representatives from the IJ Section will discuss a variety of acquisitions and cataloging matters, including new and recent classification numbers and subject headings, highlights of IJ Section cataloging practice, and developments in serials cataloging and processing and general LC news.

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Today, more and more librarians’ jobs seem to be merging with that of a museum curator. Jackie learned the basic curating skills at AJL’s 2012 convention in Pasadena. In this presentation, she will share the forms and spreadsheets she depends on to organize all the different aspects of her exhibits.

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Yiddish literature is being widely translated into English today. For example, the new Norton anthology Have I Got a Story for You: More Than a Century of Fiction from The Forward showcases a wide range of Yiddish literary offerings translated by some of today's leading Yiddish translators. A plethora of translated full-length volumes by Yiddish writers have also appeared recently. This session will provide case studies of three distinguished Yiddish writers - Blume Lempel, Yenta Mash, and Joseph Opatoshu - and the efforts to render their writing into English.

While institutional and private collections often hold similar materials, and librarians and collectors often acquire materials in similar ways, the two groups often work in complete isolation from one another. This panel brings together a university librarian who works closely with private collectors, a curator for both public and private collections, and a collector who has used his collections in the classroom, a public context, for a conversation on the intersections between public and private, and how we might work together to achieve common goals.

The Dorot Jewish Division is one of the world's great Judaica collections, freely accessible in The New York Public Library (NYPL). It serves researchers from around the block and around the world and genealogy is one of the most popular research topics. Together with colleagues in the Milstein Division of Local History, U.S. History and Genealogy, and throughout NYPL, we have a wealth of resources available for your genealogical research.

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In this presentation, Holocaust children’s literature scholar Barbara Krasner debuts and demonstrates her searchable database on Holocaustkidlit.com. This resource inventories literature published since 2002 and includes fields for genre, age group, place of publication, geographical scope of the narrative, and category (i.e., flight, resistance, occupation, death camps, rescue, and return).

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The racial conflicts and religious persecution will be identified in three plays: Porgy and Bess (revival) with music by George Gershwin (1953), West Side Story with music by Leonard Bernstein (1957), and Fiddler on the Roof with music by Jerry Block (1964). The analysis will come largely from a chapter in the book American Musical and the Formation of National Identity by Raymond Knapp. Of particular interest is that all the composers of these musicals were Jewish, along with many of the creators, choreographers, directors, lyricist, etc.

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Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of twenty books for Jewish children, including The Hardest Word, Once Upon a Shabbos, Good-night Sh’ma, Sarah Laughs, and Never Say a Mean Word Again. She is also a former synagogue librarian, religious school teacher, and Tot Shabbat leader. In this presentation, the author will share how her picture books grew out of needs she saw as a Jewish educator. Ms. Jules will also provide extension activities for her books including songs, crafts, writing prompts, and discussion questions.

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For a variety of reasons, the value of maintaining a Synagogue or Center – and yes, even School – Library has been called into question in recent years. While librarians are passionate about the need for a library in their institution, what information can they provide their Board members so that fiduciary decisions can be made responsibly? This session will explore ways to define both the tangible and intangible benefits of School, Synagogue and Center Libraries in a manner that will encourage the Board of Trustees to support this crucial piece of the institution.

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Have you ever stumbled upon Hebrew books that were tattered or photocopies of Hebrew texts and weren't sure of how to properly discard them? This presentation will go into the details of handling such material - whether it can be recycled or buried. Included in this presentation will be the rabbinic origin of this topic.

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How do we know what makes a good book? There’s that feeling - “I love that book! And so will you!” But it’s important to be able to talk specifically about what’s good, what’s bad; what works and what doesn’t, in order to understand how a good book is made - one that will stay in print past the current publishing season and might make future readers say: “I love that book! And so will you!”

This paper presents two intriguing new cases that have recently been under the investigation of Vienna University Library’s NS-provenance research project on the university’s research and teaching collections, namely those of two erstwhile Jewish professors at the University of Vienna and distinguished players in the social networks of the fin-de- siècle Jewish elite: Guido Adler (1855 – 1941), musicologist of world repute, and Berthold Hatschek (1854 – 1941), innovative and influential zoologist.

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Over 100 works of fiction with Jewish content are published each year by mainstream, Jewish, and small, independent presses. So many books, so little time! How do we sift through the good, the great, and the not-so-great? How can reading books with Jewish characters and themes help educate, enlighten, and inspire us? What are Jewish book groups reading? What are the new trends in the Jewish publishing world? What are the major Jewish literary awards?

At the AJL conference in 2016, Amalia Levi presented about ongoing archival work undertaken with the records of the Bridgetown Synagogue Restoration Project in Barbados. The project was completed in November 2016.

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Since 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has borne witness to the most pivotal events of 20th century Jewish history. The JDC Archives include eyewitness accounts, reports, logs, passenger lists, emigration cards, and more, including 100,000 photographs, which document the organization’s global activities. The presentation will provide an overview for librarians of resources in the JDC Archives that are useful for Jewish genealogists and those researching their family history.

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How is a Jewish book created? We will examine how a book goes from an idea in a writer’s head to a finished product on a library shelf. What are the steps in the process, particularly the less familiar ones? How does each person who touches the manuscript shape the final book? What additional steps does a Jewish book go through, such as fact checking or PJ Library considerations? The goal of this session is to include multiple facets of publishing that are not usually discussed but influence the book such as art direction, copyediting, and marketing.

This session is meant to teach and guide school librarians to strategically plan their book fairs in order to make the most of the event. The purpose is to engage students in reading, to get new books for the library, to obtain resources different than books - for example, tablets and software, - make the library more noticeable around the institution, and fun training in library user education and fun techniques of specialist search (books and internet).

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Makerspaces and Library Commons, sometimes called “Information Commons” is a new change sweeping libraries. It can be described as a full-service learning, research and project space. Noreen will discuss and show pictures of libraries that adopt some of these ideas and others that completely remake their library settings to fit into this new philosophy.

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The aim of this presentation is to explicate the Mission of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library which is to bring back the Jewish literary and cultural heritage to the Lithuanian society and to demonstrate the contribution of Jewish nation into the world culture and in particular the contribution made by Litvaks. Cultural events which consisted of meeting authors and their book presentations, round-table discussions, film screenings, lectures, concerts and commemorations were organized.

The National Library of Israel has historically collected all Israeli publications under the Legal Deposit Law. A recently approved revision of this law broadened it to also include digital materials. With this revision, Israel joined the handful of countries that have committed to collect the wide variety of digital publications, including e-books, music, databases and various digital-born publications.

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In the first part of the presentation, Sylviane will outline the history, developments and changes of RAMBI in its 50 years of existence. RAMBI is a multilingual bibliography of academic articles in all fields of Judaica, the history of Eretz Israel, including the archaeology of the whole area, and the history of the State of Israel, its economy, society, the conflict and more. It is not computer generated. Instead, it is compiled by a professional staff that reads the articles and assigns subjects on the basis of topics and not words used.

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Until early this year, there were no books about Israeli history for children. What changed? A middle grade novel about the Six Day War was published in April, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the war. Why was a children’s book finally written about Israel’s history? The answer: because a Jewish educator spoke up. Librarians have a unique understanding of which topics lack representation. Want to inspire change? Come find out how you can.

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In the context of the Counter-Reformation, during the 16th-18th centuries, the Catholic Church closely supervised written and printed literature. The books of a controversial nature were expurgated and when the expurgation of a book was completed, the censor wrote a short approval note. Proof of the activity of the various censors can be found in a large number of manuscripts and printed works which have survived until the present day.

In 2008, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto purchased from Arnold Druck the largest collection of Kibbutz Haggadot in the world. In June 2016, the author of this paper has begun to digitize the collection in order to secure its preservation and to enhance its discoverability.

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Good quality picture books are an effective way of teaching children acceptance and respect for diversity and individual differences. The selections presented will include books that are appropriate for preschool through elementary grades. Jewish values will be explored in the literature with an emphasis on respect for each other. An annotated bibliography will be distributed and an online version will be available.

This paper tells the story of the reception of rabbinic literature in South Korea, where a series of books titled Talmud (T'almudŭ) appears on best-seller lists and suggested reading lists for elementary school students, fills university library stacks, and has become the topic of national and diplomatic conversations.

The first scholarly article on the Jewish community of Staten Island, NY was based largely on an oral history collection maintained by the Archives and Special Collections in the Library of the College of Staten Island (CSI), CUNY. The recent publication was written by a CSI Librarian who worked closely with the archivist on this research project that was many years in the making. The librarian will discuss her collaboration with the archivist, which included securing funding to digitize the original cassette tapes.

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What are the current issues in the field of Jewish children’s literature? A panel of experts, including a publisher, a reviewer and a librarian, will discuss large questions and developments in this area. In keeping with the theme of the conference, this session will discuss the next generation of Jewish children’s books. The intention is to greatly expand on the brief discussion about trends in Jewish children’s books held during the Sydney Taylor book sessions. Also, we would like to more deeply discuss issues that have been brought up in the past few years online and at AJL conferences.

The Mitzvah project commenced during the summer of 2015 at the initiative of Ms. Lynn Waghalter, a librarian from Beldon Library, San Antonio, TX. After attending a session concerning the efforts of rebuilding the Vilnius Jewish Public Library at the 50th Annual AJL Conference in Silver Spring, MD in June 2015, Lynn decided to help them with their goal. The Mitzvah project came into being. Another AJL member, Olga Potap, a librarian from Boston University, contacted Žilvinas Beliauskas, Head of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library inviting him to start this collaborative project.

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This paper will discuss a current project to catalog the Offenbach collection of sheet music at HUC-JIR New York Campus, as well as the Birnbaum collection in Cincinnati. In working with the physical sheet music for the Offenbach collection and the digitized images provided by colleagues in Cincinnati for the Birnbaum collection, the Repertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM), Hebrew Annotated Manuscripts Vol .1, by Israel Adler is used as a guide to the collections.

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The last two decades have seen a great change in the way libraries function and are used. New technologies, fast-developing digital possibilities, increased national and international inter-library cooperation, and the new demands placed on libraries by users have influenced the way they have developed. The modern library extends far beyond its own four walls. Furthermore, each generation has its own interests and needs, as well as different strengths and weaknesses that need to be catered to and addressed.

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For over twenty years, Akron, Ohio’s Jewish Community and the Akron-Summit County Public Library have worked collaboratively to offer middle and high school educators (from urban and suburban public, private, and parochial schools) and interested community members an annual opportunity to engage in learning and dialogue around topics of Holocaust study.

Participants will present a brief history of their company and their methods of operation, their customer base and target audience, and the types of material collected, including special collections. Particular focus of the discussion will be on the changing bibliographic environment, including the impact of digital materials and the effect of the Information Age on their daily work flows. Participants will be asked to speculate on the future of their trade.

This is a presentation on Yeshiva University Libraries’ Zoltan Erenyi Memorial Collection of Hungarian Judaica, a fairly new and growing collection that documents the lives, experiences and pursuits of the past 250 years of Hungarian Jewry. It consists of works in a variety of formats, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, and archives.

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In 2012, the Holocaust Learning Center (HLC) at the Westchester Jewish Center (WJC) became a permanent part of the Hendel Family Library and is a living memorial and educational tool to accompany the existing physical memorial to the Holocaust on WJC grounds. The HLC is not only a center of learning about the Holocaust with its many volumes of books, but also provides the interested person with specific, personal histories, artifacts, and videos to understand WJC families who were impacted by the Holocaust on a personal basis.

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Over the course of the last decade, Chaim has found that a number of synagogues have hidden archives in unexpected places. This presentation will show where documents and artifacts were found – within the synagogue buildings, in a local public library, in members’ homes and at auction. The presentation will focus on five synagogues, four in Manhattan and one in Westchester County. Chaim will describe how he found the materials, what he did with them, and suggest how researchers can be creative and go forth looking for archival materials.

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The Yeshiva University library owns several hundred books in the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) language. In this collection are works in every genre of Jewish literature, including fiction and translations of the works of famous foreign authors. Many of the books are from the 19th century. There are also manuscripts and newspapers. The presentation will discuss the nature of the Ladino language and examples of the books in the collection.

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This is a brief survey and contextualization of a small collection of thirteen items either written by or related to Arthur Carlos de Barros Basto (1887-1961), an outstanding Jew leader of 20th Century Portugal.

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This is an introduction to the scholarly approach towards modern forms of Antisemitism, with special attention to economic assaults like BDS, quasi-scientific forms like the New Eugenics, and the academic delegitimization of Jewish history in Israel. The talk will also cover Christian and Muslim Antisemitism's reactions to these new parameters. Handouts and other printed materials will be included. Discussion and comments are encouraged.

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The Hebraica and Judaica Collection in Frankfurt am Main/Germany The University Library JCS houses the largest collection of literature on Judaism and Israel in the Federal Republic of Germany. Formed by librarian Prof. Dr. Aron Freimann (1871-1948), the collection turned into the largest Hebraica and Judaica collection of the European continent before World War II. Most parts remained unharmed during the war. In recent years the historic resources have been digitized and are freely accessible in the internet.

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Yale Library’s archival collection “American Jewish Immigration Collection” contains correspondence and other documents relating to Jewish immigration, mainly from Russia, dated from 1888-1938. These documents come from various Jewish organizations, whose work of assisting Jewish immigrants was supported by the Baron de Hirsch Fund. This collection offers glimpses of the lives of the immigrants, many of whom were women, some with children, who came to the United States via Japan to join husbands who had arrived earlier.

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Call Me Ishmael has partnered with AJL and the Jewish Book Council to collect and promote stories about the power of Jewish literature. The presentation will share findings from this partnership and focus on how to use online and digital tools to create communities around books and reading.

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