August 27, 2007 will mark the one-year anniversary of a 100-year time capsule laid at HUC-JIR's American Jewish Archives (AJA). The staff and leadership of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of 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, laid a time capsule in the base of the landmark Hebrew-lettered clock tower at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.
Items placed in the time capsule included:
The artifacts, photos and documents were carefully selected to define what life was like at the AJA in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, last August. 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 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 laying 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. Dick 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/NY, 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 videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials.