Kiron, Arthur

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Review of Charles Berlin, Harvard Judaica: A History and Description of the Judaica Collection in the Harvard College Library
    (2006-12-01) Kiron, Arthur
    The history of Harvard University’s sui generis Judaica Division and its collections are summarized with principled clarity and remarkable reserve in this new publication of the Harvard College Library. The author, Charles Berlin, the Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica in the Harvard College Library and Head of its Judaica Division, is uniquely qualified to tell this story. Indeed, he is the author not only of this volume, but also of much of the recent history it recounts between its elegant, gold-embossed, yet understated hardbound covers. Given the extraordinary scope of Berlin’s achievements, this reviewer must pause to acknowledge his 42 years of contributions, which are recorded here
  • Publication
    Review of Zeev Gries, The Book in the Jewish World 1700-1900
    (2008-12-01) Kiron, Arthur
    An important milestone in the study of the Jewish book was marked in 2002 with the publication of Ze'ev Gries's ha-Sefer ke-sokhen tarbut, be-shanim 1700-1900 ("The Book as an Agent of Culture, 1700-1900"). In this "slim volume," as he subsequently and modestly would refer to it, Gries introduced his readers to what he calls in Hebrew "toldot ha-sefer ha-Yehudi" (the "History of the Jewish book"). The book, based on his twenty-five previous years of research in the field, offered new insights and raised new questions. Thanks to this 2007 English-language edition, Gries's scholarship happily can reach a broader audience. Moreover, as Gries explains in his preface to the English edition, "the present volume draws heavily on (the Hebrew edition) but is not a direct translation." At the same time, Gries acknowledges and thanks Jeffrey Green for translating the original "Hebrew text as the basis of the present book." Originally published in Hebrew by ha-J9buts ha-me'ul).ad at the suggestion of its founding editor, Meir Ayali, the English edition is published appropriately by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, a cultural broker that brings to the English reading public important works of classical Jewish literature and modern scholarship that were originally written in Hebrew. However, for those interested in a comprehensive survey of the topic, as the title seems to promise, this book falls short of that expectation in several important ways.
  • Publication
    Curating Judaica in a Digital Age
    (2014-01-01) Kiron, Arthur
    The changes the Library at the Katz Center has undergone over the last twenty years offer a vivid case study for exploring the impact of new technologies on the practices of Judaica librarianship and Judaic scholarship.
  • Publication
    Alfred Moldovan, 1921–2013
    (2014-06-01) Kiron, Arthur
    Obituary of Alfred Moldovan (1921–2013).
  • Publication
    Daniel J. Rettberg, 1952–2013
    (2014-06-01) Kiron, Arthur
    Obituary of Daniel J. Rettberg (1952–2013).
  • Publication
    Review of Yosef Goldman, Hebrew Printing in America, 1735– 1926: A History and Annotated Bibliography
    (2007-12-01) Kiron, Arthur
    Yosef Goldman’s superb revitalization of our knowledge of Hebrew printing in America from colonial times through the period of mass migration effectively challenges the widespread prejudice that the United States, and American Jewish history with it, has amounted to a treyfene medine, a wasteland unsuitable for Jewish life. Indeed, this beautifully executed two-volume work is not only a hefty counter-weight to that negative opinion; it also raises the bar of expectations for future bibliographies of Judaica of all kinds. The conception and design of this work effectively centralize in one convenient place, for easy reference and research, all the currently available information about printing in Hebrew letters in one region of the world, and the circulation of these imprints around the globe from 1735 to 1926.
  • Publication
    Review of Charles Berlin, Harvard Judaica in the 21st Century
    (2016-01-01) Kiron, Arthur
    In 2004, Dr. Charles Berlin, Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica and Head of the Judaica Division of the Harvard Library, published a blue, cloth-bound volume entitled Harvard Judaica (Berlin 2004) to mark the fortieth anniversary of the start of the programmatic development of the Harvard University Library’s Judaica collections (1962–2002).1 This new, school-colored crimson, also hardback volume, Harvard Judaica in the 21st Century, published a decade later, may be read both as a sequel and also as a prequel. Where the fortieth anniversary volume was understated and reflective; the latter is celebratory and future oriented even as both look back on past achievements. If the 2004 volume is mostly about the history of a collection and its development, the 2014 jubilee volume is a tribute to the people who made it great. It also is self-consciously presented in the introduction as an “ethical will” by its founder to future stewards of the collection. This bequest is not only material, but also spiritual. It is an effort to share a lifetime of wisdom and practical experience and a hope for the future.
  • Publication
    An Atlantic Jewish Republic of Letters?
    (2006-06-01) Kiron, Arthur
    Atlantic port Jews began publishing English-language periodicals, pamphlets, and books during the 1840s as a means to advance an enlightened, observant form of Judaism, identified in large part with Sephardic rather than Ashkenazic religious culture and history. Three of their Jewish periodicals, the Voice of Jacob, edited by Jacob Franklin, Morris Raphall and David Aron de Sola and published in London, the Occident and American Jewish Advocate, edited by Isaac Leeser and published in Philadelphia, and the First Fruits of the West, edited by Moses N. Nathan and Lewis Ashenheim, and published in Kingston, Jamaica, provide historical evidence of the persistence of Atlantic port Jewish networks of commerce, communication, kinship and community well into the Victorian era. Publishing in a non-Jewish vernacular, and printing almost entirely in a non-Hebrew alphabet, this new “Atlantic Jewish republic of letters” did not however represent a secularizing trend. Rhetorically, ancient Jewish wisdom was invoked as the foundation, not the antithesis, of progress. The primary forces against which these editors, authors, and translators were reacting were religious, not secular in nature, namely Christian proselytizing and Jewish religious reform. Their self-conscious, programmatic activities led to the establishment of new kinds of enlightened religious educational institutions. Taken together, these phenomena constituted an Atlantic haskalah.
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