The University Record, October 2, 1995

Special Collections Library adds curator of Judaica

The strength of Judaic studies at the U-M, 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 made possible by the lead gift of alumnus David Hermelin and other supporters of U-M’s Judaic Studies in honor of Hermelin’s father, Irving M. Hermelin.

The curator will be responsible for a rich and varied collection totaling more than 37,500 titles in Hebrew and Yiddish alone. Western language holdings include another 25,000 volumes.

One of the nation’s leading programs in Judaica, the 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.

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.