University of Pennsylvania: New Online Exhibition: The Jewish Home. “The exhibition highlights examples of the most formative and intimate of contexts for Jewish life: homes, houses, and households. Drawing from texts in the Penn Libraries’ collections and from around the world, the contributors interpreted Jewish domestic culture, architecture, clothing, landscape, and material evidence through the lenses of archaeological, anthropological, historical, legal, literary, and visual research.”
Winnipeg Free Press: Jewish Heritage Centre expands online archive . “People around the world can now access the oral history collection at the centre, consisting of 200 audio clips by rabbis, businesspeople, professionals, politicians, Holocaust survivors and others. They were recorded between 1968 and 2011. Online visitors can also delve into the newspaper collection, which dates back to the early 1900s and includes Der Yiddishe Vort (Israelite Press), a Yiddish-language newspaper published in Winnipeg; the Jewish Post, an English-language weekly founded in 1925; and Western Jewish News, also founded in 1925.”
Forward: Happy Ladino Day — How To Celebrate An Endangered Language. “Also known as Judeo-Spanish, or Judezmo, Ladino is a Romance language — a variety of Spanish that includes both words and phrases from Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, Greek, French, and Italian. It originally developed in medieval Christian Spain; after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, it developed independently of Iberian Spanish. Spanish speakers can often understand Ladino, despite the centuries of distance, and some important differences.”
Penn State: Gifts to Penn Libraries enrich Judaic scholarship and digital humanities. “The most recent gifts coincide with the release of a new website, The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica, offering free access to nearly 7,000 digital copies of items from the collection for viewing and downloading. Digital copies of recent acquisitions will be made available in the coming year, and all future items will be made available as well.”
Jewish News of Northern California: New digital map offers walking tours of San Francisco’s hidden Jewish history. “The main map collects Jewish sites across the city, from landmarks like Congregation Emanu-El to lesser-known bits of history, like Cable Car Clothiers, located at the original Montgomery Street location where founder Charlie Pivnick first opened it.” There are plans to expand the maps further.
The Jerusalem Post: Italian Jewish Institutions In Search Of Historical Amateur Movies. “Between July 1 and October 2, anyone who possesses amateur movies documenting Italian Jewish life, from before and in the aftermath of the Holocaust, is invited to reach out so that the material can be digitized and catalogued. ‘It is very hard to find footage as valuable as those filmed by Di Segni, or by the Ovazza family, shot between 1930 and 1936,’ CDEC director Gadi Luzzatto Voghera told the Italian Jewish paper Pagine Ebraiche on Monday. ‘For this reason, we are interested also in films from the period after the war.'”
Jewish News: Britain’s oldest synagogue Bevis Marks gets £2.7m National Lottery windfall. “The grant will fund conservation work and go towards the costs of opening a new centre to tell the story of its congregation within the context of its neighbourhood and nearby East End of London and the broader British Jewish experience. It will also showcase the shul’s array of historical Judaica in one place for the first time, relay oral histories, feature an accessible digital archive, and a partnership with the Jewish Museum will facilitate school visits.”
Jewish News of Northern California: Columns by Earl Raab, Bay Area writer and Jewish community legend, now online. “Earl Raab was known for many things. He was a progressive before his time, a champion of a free press, an activist for Jewish causes. And the longtime San Francisco community leader was also a writer, notably as a columnist in this very publication. Now his writings are available once again, collected and organized by topic on a new website set up by the Jewish Community Relations Council, where Raab was executive director from 1951 to 1987.”
The Epoch Times: Keeping Bubbe’s Cooking Alive With the Jewish Food Society. “A Shabbat curry by way of Mumbai. Syrian Passover soup that came to Brooklyn. A 100-year-old rugelach recipe. A cholent pie. Naama Shefi is the Jewish culinary librarian who carefully records these Jewish diaspora foods in her recipe card box that is The Jewish Food Society. It’s a recently conceived organization, incorporated as a nonprofit in 2017, that aims to ‘preserve, celebrate, and revitalize Jewish food from around the world,’ its Instagram page reads, through a digital archive and real life pop-ups and events.”
The Wire: ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’: Remembering Kolkata’s Jewish Community. “The Jewish community in Kolkata is close to extinction – of the original Baghdadi Jews who migrated, only about 20 remain. Most are in their 70s and once they’re gone, the rich Jewish culture and legacy may as disappear from the city too. Jews have experienced cruel anti-Semitism in many countries, but not in India. Kolkata provided a rich and hospitable home for the community for over 200 years. [Rahel] Musleah fears that the community cannot be preserved further, but needs to be re-invigorated and revived with an infusion of people.”
Wall Street Journal, and for me it was paywalled: Institute Gives Yiddish Songs a Fresh Star Turn. “Ruth Rubin devoted most of her life to preserving a Jewish folk song tradition that seemed destined to die. Now, a New York-based organization is making sure it survives permanently by creating a publicly available digital archive.”
New-to-me, from Dartmouth: Dartmouth and Hebrew University Strengthen Jewish Music Archive. “What does Jewish culture sound like? You can find over 100,000 answers in the Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive (DJSA), an online audio library. The wide-ranging collection includes radio broadcasts at turning points in Israeli history, cantors singing in synagogues, stand-up comedians—’every kind of Jewish recording imaginable,’ says Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Lewis Glinert, who, with Alexander Hartov, a professor of engineering at Thayer School of Engineering, co-founded the archive in 2002.”
Diane Romm sent me a heads-up about a new site of hers: Jewish Digital Collections at http://www.jewishdigitalcollections.com/ . She described it in her email as “an annotated list of more than 350 sites that house digitized collections of Jewish material divided into 22 subject areas.” There’s a Google custom search engine for the site and I suggest you use it; searching the CSE for Torah found five results, while searching the full Google search engine for Torah site:jewishdigitalcollections.com found only three.
Seattle Magazine: The New Online Washington Jewish Museum Makes Room for Jewish History and Culture in an Increasingly Intolerant World. “Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar museum—necessarily finite in space, and set up to focus on objects—an online repository is not only illimitable, but able to better present various other media: texts, audio files, images, film, both new and archival. Thus the initial virtual exhibit launched last month by the Washington Jewish Museum—the new digital exhibition space of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society—is not a completed work, but a beginning, designed to be added to, to enable expansion and depth. (It’s also, as has been noted, less vulnerable to hate-based vandalism than a physical space and its contents would be.)”
Jewish Press: Joint Initiative to Collect Testimony of Jews from Arab Countries, Iran. “The San Francisco Bay Area based non-profit organization, JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) has announced a new initiative to produce a comprehensive collection of Oral History testimonies of Jews from Arab countries and Iran. The project is a partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality (MSE), Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of Jewish Peoplehood, and Ben Gurion University (BGU).”