Academic Presses Launch Innovative Collaboration in Jewish Studies

Monday, February 10, 2014

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The Hebrew Union College Press (HUCP) and the University of Pittsburgh Press (UPP) announce a new cooperative effort to publish books in the field of Jewish Studies.

HUCP will be responsible for selecting manuscripts for publication, peer review, manuscript development, and copy editing, while UPP will provide its production and marketing expertise to support this effort.  But both presses see the arrangement as more than merely a division of labor; it will be a truly collaborative effort. 

“By working closely together, HUCP will be able to focus its energies on expanding its superb editorial program in Jewish Studies, while UPP will work to ensure that these books reach the widest possible audience,” said Peter Kracht, director of the UPP. “Certainly this joint program will widen our offerings to include an important field of scholarly inquiry. But most of all, it is these authors, their books, and the contribution they can make to scholarship that will benefit as we work together to achieve these goals.”

David H. Aaron, director at HUCP, stated, “This exciting collaboration will enable our presses to reach audiences neither has had as a consistent part of its intellectual purview in the past. This agreement is about something much greater than a business arrangement. Books are not simply vessels for information dissemination; books produce the fabric from which cultures are woven.

“A press increases its potential impact on the marketplace of ideas by diversifying its subject holdings and by distributing its publications to increasingly diverse audiences," Aaron said. "The heart of this collaboration is about that diversification and the desire of both of our presses to influence the world of ideas.” 

Adam Shear, director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, said the collaboration “not only brings together two outstanding presses, but also represents a new model for cooperation in academic publishing. This is a wonderful initiative that will serve both institutions and the scholarly world well.” 

Among the early collaborative projects is In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner, translated by Rachel Tzvia Back, which presents the first major English translation of this great Israeli poet.

Since its founding in 1924, Hebrew Union College Press has published scholarly works across the entire spectrum of Jewish Studies, including books and journals covering biblical studies, classical texts, history, liturgy, literature, philology, law, and philosophy. The University of Pittsburgh Press, founded in 1936, publishes titles in urban and environmental studies, Latin American studies, Russian and East European studies, composition and literacy studies, and the history and philosophy of science. UPP also has an acclaimed poetry series and regularly publishes a variety of local and regional histories. http://press.huc.edu


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's first 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 American Jewish Archives, 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. www.huc.edu


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