Letter from the Librarian

It has been my pleasure and thrill to be the Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian for over a decade. In this position, I have come to know intimately one of the greatest Jewish libraries in the world. I have witnessed the flourishing of scholarship on all matters Jewish, from Bible and rabbinics to Jewish history and literature to Holocaust and Israel studies. I have discovered the real lives of medieval Jews in the margins of manuscripts or from the scraps of the Cairo Genizah. I have learned something new every day, knowing always that tomorrow will lead to still another discovery.

This great treasury of the Jewish past has now been afforded a new home—the new JTS Library. This is a place where you can access and learn from both our general and our rare collections in the most seamless and integrated fashion possible. In our various study spaces, you may sit alone or join a group, studying simultaneously contemporary scholarship, rare books or manuscripts, digital images of rare materials, and anything else that is available online. In our Dorothy Goldman Exhibition Gallery, you may enjoy the insight and inspiration of exhibitions curated by our expert staff. In our Rare Book Room (to open in January 2022), you may study some of the world’s oldest surviving Jewish books. And in our Joan Brodsky Conservation Lab, you may even witness our expert curators mending and preserving our rare materials for future generations. All of this may be done in a beautiful, dignified setting, one that reflects and reinforces the value of the book (in all its forms) for the People of the Book. 

We look forward to serving you in our new library, a library that will enhance and honor the experience of our users for many decades to come.

David Kraemer

Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian