Library’s Special Collections Library adds Curator of Judaica

September 8, 1995

ANN ARBOR—The strength of Judaic studies at the University of Michigan, in addition to the faculty of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, depends on the Judaica Collection of the University Library. That strength will become even more formidable with the addition of the endowed curatorial position which will be made possible by the lead gift of U-M alumnus David Hermelin and other supporters of U-M’s Judaic Studies in honor of Hermelin’s father, Irving M. Hermelin.

One of the nation’s leading programs in Judaica, U-M’s Center for Judaic Studies offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Jewish civilization and thought—a program that explores the rich culture and historical experience of the Jewish people, their unique traditions, interaction with other cultures, and impact on world civilizations.

While the program in Judaic studies draws on the academic excellence and expertise of faculty in many disciplines, it also depends on the Judaica Collection of the University Library. Those holdings today are rich and varied, totaling more than 37,500 titles in Hebrew and Yiddish alone. Western language holdings include another 25,000 volumes.

The entire library collection is particularly strong in modern Hebrew literature, the history of Israel, and Biblical studies. Hebrew and Biblical studies have been taught at U-M since the late 19th century. Whether it’s a faculty member researching pre-Holocaust Jewish villages in Poland, or a graduate student writing a paper on religious intolerance and anti-Semitism on the Internet, the expertise of the library staff for Judaica and the new endowed position of curator make a critical difference for faculty, the more than 900 students enrolled annually in Judaic studies, and community researchers.