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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The dedication of the $12.1 million renovation and expansion of the Klau Library and The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Library Pavilion at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), including a $550,000 state-of-the-art geothermal system, will take place on Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 2 p.m. on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio.


National and local civic and religious leaders will convene for this milestone event, including Mark Mallory, Mayor of City of Cincinnati; Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR; Gary Heiman, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, which donated the lead institutional gift of $6.5 million; Barbara Friedman, Chair, HUC-JIR Board of Governors; Sanford R. Cardin of the Schusterman Family Foundation, and The Klau Family. Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Ochs Professor of Jewish History will present the keynote address on “The Soul of the College.” 


Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President, University of Cincinnati, will present the keynote address at the celebratory program and reception, following the dedication, at 7:30 p.m. at the Manuel D. & Rhoda Mayerson JCC on The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati campus.


Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, stated: “The Klau Library resides at the very heart of our enterprise as the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center for Reform Judaism and the entire Jewish people, and offers tangible testimony to the absolute commitment we at HUC-JIR have as a liberal Jewish institution of higher learning to sustaining and advancing academic study, research, publication, and teaching for the benefit of the Jewish people and all humanity.”


Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of the College in 1875 established its library from the very inception of the institution.  With the dedication of its first library building in 1912, HUC-JIR’s library became the first free-standing Jewish library in world history.


Today, with nearly half a million volumes, the Library is one of the most comprehensive Jewish libraries in the world and has the largest collection of printed Judaica in North America. This renovation and construction of a new Pavilion entrance transforms the Klau Library into an unparalleled international center       for research, teaching, and learning for scholars worldwide and enhances the intellectual and cultural life of the greater Cincinnati region.


The Klau Library’s mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to the total record of Jewish thought and experience. Its Rare Book collection includes important collections of incunabula and 16th century Hebrew imprints, and archival and literary manuscripts, including the unique Chinese-Hebrew collection. It has preeminent collections of Jewish music, early Jewish Americana, Spinozana, and Christian Hebraica. Over 200 Judaica databases and 10,000 digitized images of works from its collections can be accessed using its internal computer network. It also houses the American Jewish Periodical Center, which preserves on microfilm some 900 newspaper, journal, and synagogue bulletin titles.  It is one of the three conservators in the world for the original negatives of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The online catalogs are accessible to a world-wide community of users at the website:

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.