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Jewish Studies Research Guide

Woodruff Library

The largest portion of the Jewish Studies-related items are housed in the Woodruff Library. These items support the Emory community’s diverse scholarly and learned leisure activities and, via the Interlibrary Loan Service, serve readers across the United States. These resources are available in various formats (books, eBooks, periodicals, e-journals, microforms, maps, databases, musical sheets and recordings, DVDs, and streaming videos) and in over twenty languages, including the main western and (so-called) Jewish languages (Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian). It is especially rich in modern Hebrew literature, rabbinical scholarship, modern research in Judaism and its textual sources, and works on current Israeli society and culture. The collection opens a window on the past and present of the whole Jewish Diaspora and Israel and advances academic learning and research at various levels.

Books are arranged according to Library of Congress classification order. DVDs and other media are requested via the catalog. 

Featured Item

Yitshak Aizik Benjacob's (1801–63) Otzar Hasepharim (Theasurus Librorum Hebraicorum), a subject-based bibliography containing over 17,000 Hebrew titles that appeared until 1863, is an important item held in Woodruff Library. Modern Jewish Studies, as any modern academic field, is inconceivable without expertly compiled and edited bibliographies, such as Benjacob's work that his son Jacob Benjacob (1858–1926) posthumously published in 1880 in Vilnius (then part of the Russian Empire). At the beginning of the book, he inserted a letter that the father of modern Jewish Studies in Germany, Leopold Zunz (1794–1886) wrote in praise for this work. Zunz's lasting influence on modern Jewish scholarship cannot be overstated: he worked to institutionalize modern Jewish learning (Wissenschaft des Judentums, as he and his German-speaking colleagues, among them the famous poet Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), called it—in English "the science of Judaism"). To this effect, he launched a periodical, formed a school, and established a library in addition to authoring scholarly publications that contributed to the rich  foundations of the field as we know it today. Zunz's words follow the cover pages: the cover page in Hebrew, German, Russian, which by themselves emphasize that this work not only aimed to be but was a core item for every learned Jewish reader of maskilic (post-enlightenment modernist) learning and reading interests. Zunz's words reiterate this claim. He wrote that Benjacob's work will be essential for any scholar dedicated to Jewish literature.