JTS in Partnership with the Association of Jewish Libraries Awarded Grant to Launch Innovative Certificate Program in Judaica and Hebraica Librarianship

August 24, 2023

New York, NY – The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) has been granted $249,581 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to launch a groundbreaking initiative in response to a pressing need for specialized expertise in Judaica and Hebraica collections. The newly established Certificate in Judaica and Hebraica Librarianship program, developed in partnership with the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), aims to equip library and archival professionals with the skills necessary to serve diverse communities across the United States.

As part of the grant, over 30 specialists will be trained to address the documented workforce demand for Judaica and Hebraica librarians and archivists.

The Certificate program is designed as a comprehensive 12-month curriculum, consisting of eight online modules, which will be repeated in three cycles. Each module will enroll 10-15 participants, offering flexible and accessible learning opportunities. Targeted at individuals completing their MLS or Ph.D. degrees, or those already working in Jewish archives and libraries, the program aims to elevate careers and enrich the capabilities of participants. Applications are currently being accepted.

“Certificate participants will learn from expert librarians how to develop and curate collections of Judaica and Hebraica as well as learn state-of-the-art reference, cataloging, and archival processing techniques,” said Naomi Steinberger, JTS Director of Library Services. “Graduates will be well-equipped to curate and develop collections of Judaica and Hebraica, both as stand-alone archives and as integral parts of broader collections. They will also have the necessary knowledge to work in research, academic, and special collection libraries and archives focused on the collections relating to Jewish Studies.”

Michelle Margolis, President of the Association of Jewish Libraries, said “We’re thrilled to be able to fill this critical need in the field through this wonderful partnership with JTS.” 

Partnering with the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), the Certificate program leverages the collective expertise of over 75 libraries in the United States, along with more than 400 individual members working in the U.S. and international institutions. This collaboration ensures that the program remains current and relevant and that graduates receive guidance from seasoned professionals in the field.

JTS is grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ support for the program and for the opportunity to strengthen the library and archival skills of a new generation of library professionals in the field of Jewish Studies.

Learn more about the Certificate in Judaica and Hebraica Librarianship program.

About The Jewish Theological Seminary 

JTS is a preeminent institution of Jewish higher education, training thoughtful, innovative leaders—rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholars—who strengthen our communities with a vision of Judaism that is deeply grounded in the Jewish past and thoroughly engaged with contemporary society. JTS also provides high-caliber, lifelong learning and professional development to our alumni, adult learners, and Jewish communities throughout North America. Through its Library, JTS preserves and makes accessible to students and scholars throughout the world the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western Hemisphere. 

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage.