Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gold Lecture: Dr. Mitchell Cohen, “Israel, Anti-Semitism and the Left”

Dr. Mitchell Cohen to deliver fifth Gold Distinguished Lecture of 2007-2008 academic year. The Center for Jewish Studies is proud to Present Dr. Mitchell Cohen as our sixth Gold Foundation Distinguished Lecturer of the 2007-2008 academic Year. Dr. Cohen will deliver a lecture entitled “Israel, Anti-Semitism and the Left”

Monday March 10th
5:00-7:00PM • Stevenson 150

Is there a "Jewish Problem" on the left? Mitchell Cohen, co-editor of Dissent Magazine, one of the country's leading political and intellectual journals, will examine this controversial issue in his "Gold Lecture" at UCSC. Cohen, who also teaches political theory at Bernard Baruch College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York, will address the role of Israel in left-wing debate over the last decades and in contemporary intellectual debates in the United States and Europe. What is the relation between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism? What distinguishes them from each other? When do they overlap? If so, how? What are the implications? Is Israel being demonized today by parts of the left? Or is it just a question of legitimate criticism?

Mitchell Cohen is Co-Editor of Dissent Magazine and Professor of political science at Baruch College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has written widely for the European and U.S. press on social democracy, as well as on European and Mideast affairs. His books include The Wager of Lucien Goldmann, Zion and State, and as co-editor, Princeton Readings in Political Thought.

Please note that this lecture takes place during a regularly-schedule class. We encourage all to attend and hope you will feel free to join us in the classroom setting.

For Directions, please visit UCSC's Maps Page. Parking is limited and permits are required. They are available for purchase as the information kiosk at the base of campus.

For general questions or disability-access related inquiries, please contact us at 831.459.1225 or

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection

February 19, 2008

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
New York, NY
United States

Dear Friends,

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) is establishing a Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection in electronic form of previously unpublished or unavailable memoirs written by survivors of the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel is serving as Honorary Chairman for this program. Joining in this effort are Yad
Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Memorial de la Shoah/Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, the Jewish Historical Institute and the Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Project.

At this time, we are concentrating on the urgent collection of unpublished manuscripts in electronic form. Our concern is for previously unpublished or unavailable memoirs to be identified, preserved, and made available for future generations who will not be
able to meet survivors first-hand. Simply put, time is running out and this is our last chance to collect as many Holocaust survivor written testimonies as possible.

Documents in this electronic collection will be made available to appropriate organizations and individuals to assist them in their critical work of research and documentation of the Shoah. Ways in which memoirs may be made publicly accessible, after appropriate review, are under discussion.

In order to achieve a truly international appeal to authors, their families, and rights-holders to submit manuscripts, we are asking for relevant organizations in all countries to join us in this effort.

We need your help. We are requesting that you join us in this historic initiative.

We are asking you to encourage all survivors and their families to submit their manuscripts. Your role would be to disseminate information about the program in any way you feel appropriate, for example, your website, newsletter, mailings to your membership, signs, discussions at meetings and gatherings, etc. We would like to be able to list your organization as one associated with us for this appeal. We do not anticipate that this will involve significant additional work on your part, although it is possible that some authors or their families may contact you regarding the project. Any specific inquiry can be directed toward our staff. This effort will be launched with multiple press conferences on April 15, 2008.

Additional information about this initiative can be found at

It is our hope that you will join us in what we believe will be a truly worldwide last major effort in regard to memoirs dedicated to Holocaust knowledge and memory.

We look forward to your response.

JTS Launches Digital Library

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary now offers the digital library, an online resource that provides global access to some of Jewish history's most outstanding treasures. The initiative was made possible by the Rebell Family Foundation and members of The Library, whose generous support funded the purchase of the underlying software (DigiTool).

The first collection made available through the digital library was a group of two hundred and fifty rare wedding poems that were previously inaccessible. Now within reach to anyone (from anywhere in the world), these poems have already piqued the interest of scholars and historians. For laypeople and professionals alike, they also offer creative material to incorporate into wedding ceremonies. Preparation of the digitized images was made possible by the support of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).

"The Library recognizes that as important as it is to collect and preserve the literatures and treasures of the past, these materials are worth little if they remain eternally on the shelf,” said Naomi Steinberger, director of Library Services. “The digital library brings us closer to realizing our mission of making our extensive collections available around the globe.”

Also available on the site are various examples of Judaica Americana, including pamphlets and newspaper clippings printed in the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in addition to exceptional manuscripts and other rare materials from around the world. These include the full text of the Venice Haggadah (1609), one of the earliest printed illuminated Italian Hagaddot; the Esslingen Mahzor (1290) from Ashkenaz; and the Prato Haggadah (ca. 1300), an unfinished Spanish illuminated manuscript.

Next to be uploaded are nearly 2,500 bookplates, which come primarily from the Leah Mishkin Collection. Important both because of the figures they represent (Sigmund Freud, for example) and for what they reveal about the culture and values of those who produced them, the bookplates are being digitized through generous funding from the Giles Family.

Thanks to the support of The Library Advisory Board member Ruth Hendel and her husband, Stephen, The Library has also recently digitized a unique collection of pre–World War II–era field recordings from British Palestine of different ethnic groups' biblical chanting styles. These recordings will be made available to the public as a digital collection in the near future.

The digital library continues to grow. Currently, plans are underway to add The Library’s world-renowned ketubbot (wedding contracts) collection, as well as archival works beginning with the Solomon Schechter Collection.

The digital library can be accessed at

Highlights from Association of Jewish Libraries

I recently joined ha-Safran, the mailing list of the Association of Jewish Libraries. The following are some of the brief items of possible interest that have been announced over the past month or so.

Jewesses with Attitude, Jewish Women's Archives blog

International Tracing Service Archive @ US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hebrew Typography in German-speaking Regions

Librarians for Fairness

Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal - new issue
Volume 5, Number 1 (Winter 2007)

Research Grants in Jewish Genealogy

The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy is pleased to invite proposals for ground-breaking research in six preferred areas of Jewish Genealogy, to be carried out in the academic year 2008- 09. Successful applicants will be awarded grants of up to $10,000

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 31 May, 2008, for adjudication by the highest standards of academic excellence, by 31 July, 2008.

The six research areas are: Jewish history from a genealogical perspective; rabbinical genealogy; onomastics; inter-disciplinary aspects of Jewish Genealogy; Jewish Genealogy and computer sciences; sources and resources for Jewish Genealogy. (Proposals outside these areas are not altogether excluded)

"Instructions to Applicants"(to be followed carefully) and Illustrations of topics within the preferred research areas are to be found on the Institute's website (under "Projects", then "Upcoming Projects", then "Call for Projects").

International Institute for Jewish Genealogy,
c/o Jewish National and University Library
Edmond J. Safra Campus,
Givat Ram,
POB 39105,
Jerusalem, 91390, Israel