Tag Archives: JTS

New Resource: Early New York Synagogue Archives

Early New York Synagogue Archives

Synagogue records, as records of a particular community in a particular place, can contain tremendous gems for scholarship in Jewish history.  Thanks to a wonderful collaboration between the The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the American Jewish Historical Society, the records of five of the most important synagogues in New York City are being made available freely online via the Early New York Synagogue Archives portal.  The portal contains records from the Sherith Israel, B'nai Jeshrun, Ansche Chesed, Kane Street, and Eldridge Street Synagogues and date from the 1730s through the 20th century.

CCNMTL And JTS Announce New Partnership

[See original press release here]

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) announced a three-year pilot project to have CCNMTL support JTS faculty in the purposeful use of technology and new media in teaching and learning.

As part of the agreement, CCNMTL will open a satellite office on the JTS campus staffed by a JTS-funded full-time educational technologist. The recruitment for this position has begun and focuses on candidates that have familiarity with Jewish Studies and Judaism. CCNMTL will promote educational technologies at JTS by raising awareness and fostering a culture of use. The range of services provided will be similar to those currently offered to faculty at Columbia University.

Alan Cooper, the Elaine Ravich professor of Jewish Studies and provost of The Jewish Theological Seminary, indicated that the partnership offers enormous potential for the institution. “One of our highest priorities at JTS for the next five years is to develop, gather, and transmit essential Jewish learning to a broader range of constituencies than ever before. The marvelous resources of the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning will enable us to accomplish that goal through the innovative and exciting use of new media and new technologies.”

An initial discovery period will allow the two organizations to learn from each other and to effectively promote the technical and pedagogical possibilities of the partnership. The prospects include bridging other Columbia resources and staff to create new synergies between the two organizations.

“We are excited by the opportunity the satellite office at JTS offers us to work with faculty who are committed to teaching and who can provide new perspectives and contexts for using technology and new media in an innovative and pedagogically effective manner,” added Frank Moretti, CCNMTL’s executive director.

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) was founded at Columbia University in 1999 to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of technology and new media. In partnership with faculty, the Center supports efforts ranging from basic course website management to advanced project development. CCNMTL also extends the scope and reach of its work with strategic initiatives that engage educators, researchers, librarians, partner institutions, and the community in the reinvention of education for the digital age. For more information, please visit http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu.

About JTS
The Jewish Theological Seminary, one of the world’s leading centers of Jewish learning, integrates rigorous academic scholarship and teaching with a commitment to strengthening Jewish tradition, Jewish lives, and Jewish communities.

JTS articulates and transmits a vision of Judaism that is learned and passionate, pluralist and authentic, traditional and egalitarian; one that is thoroughly grounded in Jewish texts, history, and practices, and fully engaged with the societies and cultures of the present.

The leaders trained by JTS—rabbis, cantors, scholars, educators, communal professionals, and lay activists imbued with this vision and prepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century—serve Conservative Judaism, the vital religious center for North American Jewry, and our society as a whole. For more information, please visit www.jtsa.edu.

Mordecai Kaplan Diaries Digitized and Online

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to make available the digitized diaries of Mordecai Kaplan. These diaries, written between 1913 and 1972, are a window into the thoughts of this towering figure over the course of most of the twentieth century. Kaplan’s diary reflects, often in intimate detail, on his work, the people he met, the political situation of his day, theology, and Judaism. These personal records are crucial to many areas of study of twentieth-century Judaism, particularly in America.

For example, in his early entries he often speaks about people who came to see him at JTS. Among them were new immigrants, who spoke poor English, often coming with family members who spoke better English, expressing their desire to study at JTS after working in the sweatshops of New York City’s Lower East Side. He also discusses his meetings with Jewish leaders concerning the future of "Judaism with an open mind." His reflections during the Holocaust, on Zionism and the birth of the state of Israel, and on the development and challenges of the Reconstructionist Movement, are all major primary source material that is now open to students, scholars, and the general public.

To access the diaries, go here.

Reminder: JTS is just down the block at 122nd and Broadway, and contains the largest collection of Hebrew and Jewish-related manuscripts in the country!   CU affiliates (faculty, students, and staff) are able to check out books from JTS’s general collections.  (Note that there is a one-time $20 charge to obtain a JTS library card.)

Access hours to JTS’s special collections are below:

Access to the Special Collections is by appointment. We ask that you make an appointment one week in advance to enable us to prepare the materials for you. Please call (212) 678-8077 or email for an appointment to visit during these hours:

Monday–Thursday, Noon–5:00 p.m