YU Librarians and Faculty Make Strong Showing at Annual Conference

Dean Pearl Berger

Jul 6, 2004 — Yeshiva University librarians and faculty made a strong showing at the 2004 Association of Jewish Libraries convention June 20-23 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

The 39th annual convention, “The Jewish American Experience: 350 Years,” paid tribute to the anniversary of Jewish immigration to the United States. A reception at the Center for Jewish History in downtown Manhattan kicked-off the event.

Five YU faculty members participated in an author’s luncheon of some 40 authors: Dr. Norman Lamm, YU chancellor; Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History; Dr. David Berger, visiting professor of Jewish history; and Benjamin Blech, assistant professor of Talmud.

Dr. Gurock was the luncheon’s guest speaker. His talk, “Finding the Courage to Study American Jewish History: Professional and Personal Reflections,” addressed the importance of writing about Jewish American history.

“Talented practitioners in the field of American Jewish history can raise the study of everyday human activities to the highest level of scholarly significance,” Dr. Gurock said. “Therefore, it is important for historians to study such seemingly commonplace dynamics as how Jews eat, dress, en even recreate in an American environment.”

The convention also featured various workshops and seminars on such topics as book repair, cataloging, developments in library systems, and digital restoration of damaged manuscripts.

Five YU librarians presented papers: Leah Adler, Zalman Alpert, Shulamith Berger, Moshe Shapiro, and Pearl Berger, dean of libraries. Peninnah Schram, associate professor of speech and drama, led the workshop “Read Me a Story/Tell Me a Story: So What’s the Difference?”

“It was an excellent conference with a broad array of sessions of very high quality,” said Dean Berger, who also completed her two-year term as president of the Association.

The Association of Jewish Libraries is an international organization of librarians who work with Jewish studies collections in such organizations as synagogues, universities, community centers, and other research institutions. Its goal is to promote Jewish literacy through the enhancement of libraries and through leadership for the profession of Judaica librarianship.

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