The University Record, May 6, 1997

Endowed position a first for Library

The first endowed position at the University Library---the Irving M. Hermelin Judaica Curatorship---has been established with a lead gift of $325,000 from David and Doreen Hermelin and Henrietta Hermelin Weinberg in honor of their father, Irving M. Hermelin, a lover of books and of Jewish history and culture.

The new curatorship will provide a full-time Judaica expert responsible for building collections and providing research assistance to faculty and students.

"Jewish scholarship has always been text-centered," says Zvi Gitelman, director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. "From ancient times, libraries have been the repositories of the accumulated wisdom and culture of Jewish civilization. The Hermelin endowment ensures that the University of Michigan will take its place in the history of major Judaica resources."

The University's Judaica program is considered one of the finest in the country. "The addition of the curator position will mean that the very important responsibilities of collection development, reference, outreach and funding development will now receive the attention they demand," says Jonathan Rodgers, head of the Library's Near East Division. "The combined result of these enhanced or added activities will allow Michigan's Judaica collection and the community of students and scholars it serves to attain a level of excellence and reputation enjoyed by few other institutions."

Gifts from friends of the Hermelins and supporters of the Frankel Center and University Library combined to complete the $1 million endowment.