“[On] Friday, November 8, the National Archives will unveil a new exhibition, “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives’ ongoing work in support of U.S. Government efforts to preserve these materials.” (via National Archives)
“The tattered Torah scroll fragments, Bibles and other religious texts found in a flooded Baghdad basement 10 years ago testify to a once-thriving Jewish population thats all but disappeared from Iraq.Recovered from the Iraqi intelligence headquarters and shipped to the United States for years of painstaking conservation was a literary trove of more than 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that are being digitized and put online. A sample of that treasure is being displayed for the first time this fall at the National Archives in Washington.” (via Associated Press)
“The Russian Culture Ministry on Monday filed a lawsuit against the US Library of Congress over seven books belonging to the so-called Schneerson Library, a group of Jewish texts that are the subject of a long-running ownership battle between Russia and the United States. “These books were kept in the Russian State Library and, through an inter-library exchange system, were given temporarily to the US Library of Congress,” a Culture Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday. “But time’s up. … We have waited for all the normal deadlines and now we’re going through the courts.” (via RIA Novosti)
“The Leo Baeck Institute, a New York research library and archive devoted to documenting the history of German-speaking Jewry, has completed the digitization of its entire archive, which will provide free online access to primary-source materials encompassing five centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe. The expanded archive, which will be available on Oct. 16, purports to be the first of its kind to be made available on the Internet in its entirety. The project, named DigiBaeck, offers digital access to a collection that includes 3.5 million pages of material ranging from the personal papers and photographs of Albert Einstein and Moses Mendelssohn to letters, diaries, recipes and other ephemera chronicling the lives of everyday people.”
via New York Times
AP – “A trove of Jewish books and other materials, rescued from a sewage-filled Baghdad basement during the 2003 invasion, is now caught up in a tug-of-war between the U.S. and Iraq. Ranging from a medieval religious book to children’s Hebrew primers, from photos to Torah cases, the collection is testimony to a once vibrant Jewish community in Baghdad. Their present-day context is the relationship, fraught with distrust, between postwar Iraq and its Jewish diaspora. Discovered in a basement used by Saddam Hussein’s secret police, the collection was sent to the U.S. for safekeeping and restoration, and sat at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Maryland until last year, when Iraqi officials started a campaign to get it back.”
AP – “Recently rediscovered books plundered by the Nazis more than six decades ago were returned to Berlin’s Jewish community on Wednesday in a ceremony at the city’s landmark synagogue.
The Berlin Central and Regional Library formally handed over 10 books and three journal volumes discovered among more than 200,000 volumes being examined by researchers as part of a project to establish their origin, with a focus on restitution.”
AP – “The Iraqi government is negotiating with U.S. authorities the return of millions of documents seized by U.S. troops and sent to Washington after the 2003 invasion. The director of the Iraq National Library and Archives, Saad Eskander, says the most valuable of these documents is the Iraqi Jewish Archive of books, manuscripts and records.”
AP – “A museum tracing the history of Britain’s 300,000-strong Jewish community is reopening after a 10 million pound ($15 million) expansion. The Jewish Museum calls itself the only such gallery in London dedicated to a minority group. It includes a large collection of Jewish ceremonial art as well as interactive displays tracing the history of Jews in Britain from the 11th century until the present day.
Jerusalem Post – “Haredi women are turning to the Internet to build their businesses, which is raising questions about the “kosher” use of social-media tools. “Today you can’t run a business without the usage of a computer and the Internet world,” Rebbetzin Holly Pavlov, founder and director of She’arim College of Jewish Studies for Women in Jerusalem, said Wednesday. “Social media is part of marketing and branding, but it opens an array of dangers.”