The Library of JTS is filled with treasures representing Jewish life and creativity from ancient times to the present, and we want to share these treasures with the community at large. We invite you to visit our ongoing series of public exhibitions or view highlights here on our website.
A Concurrent Exhibition of The Library of JTS and Columbia University
Join us for an unprecedented exhibition offering a window into the rich history and culture of the little-known Jewish communities of Corfu. Columbia University and JTS, two of the world’s largest repositories of rare materials from Corfu, are displaying a selection of illustrated prayer books, historical documents, celebratory poems, and elaborately decorated ketubbot that tell the story of the island’s vibrant, distinct, and sometimes contentious Jewish communities. Situated on a major trade route, these communities thrived under Venetian and then Greek rule from the Middle Ages until 1944, when the Jews of Corfu were almost entirely annihilated by the Nazis. Space is limited.
To Build a New Home: Celebrating the Jewish Wedding
“To Build a New Home: Celebrating the Jewish Wedding” featured a collection of rare materials illustrating the creative, often surprising, evolution of Jewish marriage practices over centuries.
The many treasures on view included lavishly decorated ketubbot, marriage contracts, from 17th and 18th century Italy; a 13th-century French religious compendium outlining marriage rituals and including a bawdy wedding poem; a fragment from a 12th-century prenuptial agreement; and from the modern era, a ketubbah making it possible for Jewish women to initiate a religious divorce.
“To Build a New Home” showed the remarkable development of Jewish marriage from Talmudic times to the present—and the rich streams of tradition and innovation in Jewish life throughout history.
Watch Videos From “To Build a New Home”
Dr. David Kraemer examines a beatiful 1769 ketubbah from a Karaite community in Ukraine and discusses the Karaites’ particular Jewish beliefs and history.