Salo Baron and Columbia’s Judaica Collections

This essay was initially published in the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies‘ Spring 2021 newsletter. It is copied here with permission. Salo Baron’s impact on Jewish Studies in America is widely known.  Less well known, however, is the impact he made in building the Judaica collection at Columbia University. Soon after Baron’s arrival at […]

Read More…

The Luzzatto family at Columbia

There were many notable Italian Jewish families throughout history. One of the more famous ones was the Luzzatto family, which included many important scholars and rabbis.  According to family lore, the Luzzattos originated in the city of Lausitz in Germany before they migrated to Italy in the mid-15th century. Members of the family settled first […]

Read More…

Manuscript in Printed Books

This essay was written for the Insitute for Israel and Jewish Studies’ Spring 2020 Magazine.  The full magazine can be downloaded on the IIJS website. In presenting the rare Judaica to students and other visitors to the libraries, I have learned that sometimes basic terms can be confused.  For instance, many people think that a […]

Read More…

When is a Purim not on Purim?

When is a Purim not on Purim?  When it’s a local Purim!  The Book of Esther was seen as the “diaspora” book in the Hebrew Bible. There is no mention of God’s name throughout the text, and commentaries discuss the concept of a “hidden” miracle – that is, events orchestrated by God, but within the […]

Read More…