Dr. Philip E. Miller, Librarian Emeritus of the Klau Library at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at HUC-JIR’s Graduation in New York on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, 10 East 66th Street, New York City.
Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, stated, “An expert in Jewish bibliography and booklore, and Near Eastern languages and Literature, Dr. Miller has transmitted his knowledge to generations of students for nearly four decades, strengthened the Association of Jewish Libraries, and developed relationships with the Vatican and University of Warsaw that have had a profound impact on scholarship.”
Dr. Miller joined the Klau Library staff in 1974 as Assistant Librarian and served as Acting Librarian (1976-78) after the death of Rabbi Edward I. Kiev, who had been Chief Librarian for 32 years and on the staff for nearly 50 years.
He received the B.A. in linguistics from Georgetown University (1967), the M.A. in Near Eastern languages and literature from the University of Michigan (1968), where he also earned the M.A. in Library Science (1973), and pursued additional graduate work in Near Eastern studies at both Michigan and New York University.
In 1976, he was elected as a member of the executive board of the Jewish Book Council, which presents the National Jewish Book Awards. During the spring of 1981, he participated in an historic agreement between the University of Warsaw and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (today known as the Union for Reform Judaism). Working closely with Rabbi Philip Hiat of the UAHC, he negotiated an agreement with the Polish authorities that made it possible for American scholars to have access to and copy Jewish archival material currently in the possession of the Polish government, the Catholic Church in Poland, and Polish universities. This resulted in a remarkable exhibition, in 1982, of Jewish art and artifacts representing 1,000 years of the now-vanished world of Polish Jewry, which was held at the HUC-JIR Skirball Museum in Los Angeles.
Active in the Association of Jewish Libraries, Dr. Miller has served as president (1982-84) and vice president (1980-82).
Click here to view the National 2011 Graduation/Ordination/Investiture press release.
Click here to view the invitation.