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100-Year Time Capsule Installed at American Jewish Archives Clock Tower at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

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Monday, October 2, 2006

Dedication of facility spaces honors local leaders Dick Weiland, the late Aaron Levine and the late Rabbi Paul Steinberg 

CINCINNATI, OH- The staff and leadership of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), the world's largest catalogued repository preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry-located on the historic Cincinnati, Ohio campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-laid a 100-year time capsule in the base of the landmark clock tower of the AJA's new Edwin A. Malloy Education Building. The Marcus Center's tower, with its distinctive Hebrew-lettered clock high above the campus, constitutes an impressive new architectural feature in Clifton, Cincinnati. The event took place on Sunday morning, August 27 at the close of The Marcus Center's Ezra Consortium scholarship weekend. Items placed in the time capsule included:

  • A photo of founder Jacob Rader Marcus and a copy of his first report to the board after the founding of the AJA in 1947
  • A lock of the distinctive bright red hair of the AJA's current Executive Director, Dr. Gary P. Zola
  • A commemorative medallion issued upon the dedication of the new building in 2005
  • A copy of the program distributed at the national dinner in Washington D.C.-held in September, 2005 to close the year-long commemoration of 350 years of Jewish life in America
  • Messages from the current AJA staff to those who will open the time capsule in 100 years
  • A copy of the week's American Israelite
  • A copy of the front page of the Sunday, August 27, 2006 Cincinnati Enquirer

The artifacts, photos and documents were carefully selected to define what life was like at the AJA in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, on the morning of August 27, 2006. The event followed a morning lecture by Dr. Laurel Leff, author of Buried By the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper, which was given remotely in the AJA's interactive Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati International Learning Center. 

The formal dedication of the AJA's new Gimprich Conservation Laboratory, Dick Weiland Hall and Aaron Levine Research Library was held prior to the laying of the time capsule. Dick Weiland was recognized for his lifelong dedication to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and for his tireless work on behalf of The Marcus Center. Weiland secured funding from the State of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati to equip the AJA's Electronic Classroom with state-of-the-art technology. This technology now enables the AJA to share its vast resources with scholars, researchers and students of American Jewish history throughout the world. Dick also guided the funding process for the procurement and cataloging of the papers of the World Jewish Congress at the AJA. 

The late Aaron Levine led the extraordinary fundraising effort-and overcame many daunting challenges- to build the Edwin A. Malloy Education Building at the AJA. He was also the co-founder of the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Learning in Retirement for which he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. 

The late Rabbi Paul M. Steinberg, president of The Gimprich Foundation, was the long time dean of the HUC-JIR/New York, vice-president of HUC-JIR, and a devoted admirer of Dr. Marcus. Rabbi Steinberg worked with his close friend, Aaron Levine, to ensure that the Edwin A. Malloy Education Building would become a reality at The Marcus Center and secured a generous grant from the Gimprich Foundation. 

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Marcus Center and associate professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, spoke at the dedication ceremonies. "As we place this time capsule in its niche where it will sit in silence for a century, let us be mindful of the fact that this American Jewish Archives is a time-capsule incarnate," Zola told the assembled crowd. "It contains the building-blocks of our people's history in the American nation. We believe this facility will stand here for generations to come and offer its resources to an inquiring world. The future well-being of this institution depends upon friends and benefactors like Dick Weiland, Aaron Levine, and Dr. Paul Steinberg." 

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic Cincinnati, Ohio, campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and videotap 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.