While the Center stands today as a hub for primary source material and archival and library services, the Center also serves as a professional resource for scholars, providing avenues through which they can present research findings, receive guidance from experienced professionals, coordinate with other researchers for future projects and find sources of support to move forward with their scholarly agenda.
The Center has increased its efforts at fostering a community of scholars and ideas, while attracting diverse thinkers from a multitude of disciplinary backgrounds, all in the effort of further opening up the collections by enabling their interpretation from ever more varied perspectives. Running two Scholars Working Groups examining "The History of the Jewish Book" and "The Jews of New York," the Center serves as a support system and think tank for a body of up to 30 scholars engaging in cross-disciplinary and collaborative work that contributes to redefining emerging fields within Jewish studies.
Other notable projects include From Access to Integration that seeks to build a network of communication for professionals at archives, libraries and museums to partner on future projects and expand on one another's existing work within the digital humanities.
The 2009-10 History of Genocide Initiative that presented the conference, Genocide and Human Experience: Raphael Lemkin's Thought and Vision, featuring renowned scholars of both genocide and of the life and legacy of Raphael Lemkin. Lemkin coined the term genocide, and is considered the architect and chief motivating force behind the United Nations' Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. A multi-sensory exhibition depicting his crusade, Letters of Conscience: Raphael Lemkin and the Quest to End Genocide, was mounted to complement the initiative.
In keeping with its commitment to fostering collaborative and interdisciplinary research, the Center hosts two independent Scholars Working Groups dedicated to producing scholarship on topics of interest to Jewish studies. Each group is composed of scholars whose diverse academic backgrounds, intellectual histories and methods of analysis contribute to a collective exploration that transcends the limits of a particular academic discipline or genre.
Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group: The Jewish Book, convened by Adam Shear (University of Pittsburgh) and Marjorie Lehman (Jewish Theological Seminary). Topics have included: Jewish ritualism and "the book" as an icon; practices of book circulation and distribution; the formation of non-Hebraic popular print genres; the roles of non-Jewish artists in the illumination of medieval Hebrew manuscripts; the possible relationships between modes of Jewish textual engagement and the production of Christian, Islamic and other texts.
The Jewish Book, published at the opening of the Lillian Goldman symposium "The Jewish Book: Past, Present and Future," was made possible by the generous support of Amy P. Goldman and presented by the Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group.
View the Jewish Book Online | Download the Jewish Book (pdf)
Scholars Working Group: The Jews of New York, convened by Hasia Diner (New York University) and Tony Michels (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Topics have included: immigration, settlement and the establishment of "Jewish neighborhoods" in New York; Jewish labor and the economy of the city; Jews' political behavior and its impact on local, national and international politics; popular culture and literary/intellectual life in New York; the significance of location to the formation of Jewish communities; how Jewish community formation in New York compares to the development of Jewish communities in other cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Charleston, Warsaw, Buenos Aires and London; the importance and characterization of New York in Jewish communal narratives as compared to narratives produced and circulated by other groups, such as Puerto Ricans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans and Chinese-Americans.