The research institutes of JTS include the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research—which serves as headquarters for JTS programs in Israel—and the Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research, both of which make meaningful and substantial contributions in their respective fields.
The Schocken Institute
The Schocken Institute for Jewish Research of The Jewish Theological Seminary is dedicated to academic excellence and research in all branches of Jewish studies. It is housed in Jerusalem at the Schocken Library, a historic landmark and architectural masterpiece.
In addition to its role as a research library, the institute serves as headquarters for JTS Israel programs, including classes, conferences, and public programs.
In 1961, JTS became the custodian of the Schocken Library and its unique collection of rare and beautiful manuscripts once owned by publishing magnate Salman Schocken; in 1977, JTS became its owner. The collection includes 60,000 volumes, among them several thousand first and early editions and incunabula (books printed before 1501).
Scope of Collections
Today, the Schocken Library specializes in rabbinic literature, Jewish liturgy, and medieval Hebrew poetry. Among the library’s holdings are thousands of photo reproductions of genizah fragments of Jewish poetry and an extensive collection of books and manuscripts on Jewish mysticism and Hasidism, early Yiddish books, halakhic literature, and Karaite literature. The personal library of Dr. Saul Lieberman, known as the Stroock/Lieberman Collection, is also housed in the Schocken Library.
The library’s collections, indispensable resources for research, are open to the public and to scholars. Lectures and seminars arranged by the Schocken Institute are often accompanied by exhibitions of material from the collections.
Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research
Created through the generosity of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation, the Institute honors the memory of Professor Saul Lieberman (1898–1983), a renowned professor at JTS, and strives to attain the high standards of scholarship and teaching that he set for his students.
The mission of the Institute is to create and improve databases that enable sophisticated digital access to the vast wealth of Talmudic scholarship, and advance Talmudic research with the highest standards of the digital age to support this goal. Learn about the databases developed by the Lieberman Institute below.
The Sol and Evelyn Henkind Talmud Text Data Bank
During the last 27 years the Lieberman Institute has produced a digitized textual version of all primary witnesses to the Babylonian Talmud, including the first printed editions and full and fragmentary manuscripts and transcriptions of hundreds of genizah fragments. In addition to the transcribed text, the database contains hundreds of manuscript images, including all JTS genizah Talmud fragments and European binding fragments.
This resource opens a new era of Talmud study, by facilitating access to the precision and variegated traditions of the received text before the invention of printing. The computerized data bank provides the means to analyze the Talmud’s literary and stylistic features through the breadth and depth of the entire Talmud.
In addition to the Text Data Bank the Lieberman Institute is now offering full synopses of all textual witnesses prepared for entire chapters of the Babylonian Talmud.
The Index of Bibliographic References to Talmudic Literature
The only research tool of its kind, the Lieberman Institute Index is an extensive online database of scholarly treatments relating to every passage of Talmudic literature—including the Mishnah, Tosefta, and both Talmuds. The index is revolutionizing Talmudic research by offering quick and easy access to thousands of discussions and interpretations of Talmudic passages found in both modern academic research and medieval Talmudic scholarship that would have previously taken hours to compile.
The Lieberman Institute online databases are accessible via The JTS Library Makor search system and at over 30 universities worldwide. Subscriptions can be acquired directly from the Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Lieberman Institute website.
The Lieberman Institute is directed and was founded by Professor Shamma Friedman.