Sheryl Stahl Appointed Director of the Frances-Henry Library at the HUC-JIR Skirball Campus / Los Angeles - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Sheryl Stahl Appointed Director of the Frances-Henry Library at the HUC-JIR Skirball Campus / Los Angeles

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sheryl StahlSheryl Stahl has been appointed the Director of the Frances-Henry Library at the Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, as of January 1, 2018.  Associated with the Frances-Henry Library for seventeen years, most recently as Associate Director, she succeeds Dr. Yaffa Weisman, who is retiring after seventeen years.

Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean, stated, “The soul of Dr. Weisman’s work has always resided in her loyalty to people—her team and the patrons of the library—who continue to benefit from her expertise and love of learning. For that reason, we know that it is a source of particular pride for her that Sheryl Stahl, the associate director of the Frances-Henry Library, should succeed her. We congratulate our libraries on our tremendous and ongoing culture of librarianship and scholarship, as modeled by our outstanding leaders, current and future.”

Stahl is an alumna of HUC-JIR, where she earned a Master of Arts in Bible and Cognate Studies in Cincinnati. Having worked in HUC-JIR’s Klau Library there, she eventually went back to school to earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree at the University of Kentucky in December 2000. She then transferred to the Skirball Campus in Los Angeles in 2001, where she continued her work at reference and cataloging, and overseeing the design and content of the Library website. She is an active member of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), where she has held the position of treasurer for two terms and the vice president of Membership for two terms. She is now the webmaster, and she regularly contributes to the AJL Reviews.

Dr. Yaffa Weisman became Director of the Library in 2001, and she oversaw the major shift brought on by the digital revolution, switching to online resources and navigating the fast pace of change with both our other campuses and our partner institution, USC. At the same time, ever committed to actual books, she also executed the major projects of compact shelving and the renovation of the Rare Book Room. In her role as adjunct associate professor of Jewish Studies in the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at USC, she garnered a loyal following across generations of students, and she will continue to teach even after she steps down from the directorship. Meanwhile, on a national stage, she recently completed a term as the President of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL).

The Frances-Henry Library is part of HUC-JIR’s four campus library network, including the Klau Library in Cincinnati, the Abramov Library in Jerusalem, and the Klau Library in New York.  The Frances-Henry Library is an important research resource for HUC-JIR’s faculty, rabbinical, education, and Jewish nonprofit management students, and the greater Los Angeles community.

HUC-JIR’s Library network is recognized as the largest repository of Hebraica and Judaica, from the 10th century to the present, outside of the State of Israel.  It preserves over 700,000 volumes, including rare volumes salvaged from Europe after the Holocaust, illuminated manuscripts, biblical codices, communal records, legal documents, and scientific tracts. Among its treasures are the Eduard Birnbaum and Offenbach Collections of musical manuscripts and the Lucille Klau Carothers American Jewish Periodical Center’s collection of Jewish newspapers and magazines. The HUC-JIR Library Network is currently engaged in several collaborative digital projects, including JPress, the historical Jewish press website initiated by the National Library of Israel and Tel Aviv University.

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 leaders to serve 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.