£770k boost for largest collection of Jewish history outside Israel

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£770k boost for largest collection of Jewish history outside Israel

Blavatnik Family Foundation awarded sum to the Center for Jewish History for the preservation, digitisation and archival processing of collections

Leonard Blavatnik
Leonard Blavatnik

The centre housing the largest collection of Jewish history in the world outside Israel has had a major financial boost, with the UK’s fourth wealthiest man Sir Leonard Blavatnik donating $1million (£772,000).

The Blavatnik Family Foundation awarded the sum to the Center for Jewish History for the preservation, digitisation and archival processing of collections held by the centre’s five in-house partners.

These include the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. 

Together, they comprise more than five miles of archival documents in dozens of languages and alphabetical systems, 500,000 volumes of books, seven million digital items and thousands of artworks, objects, textiles and recordings.

Scholars have accessed them for studies of early modern rabbinic courts, the legacy of blood libel and the impact of Jewish philosophy of Kabbalah in the founding of the US.

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