Earlier this month, Sheila and Bill Lambert donated a meaningful and wondrous set of the five books of Moses, in memory of Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., z”l, HUC-JIR Past President (2014-2018), and Rabbi Dr. David Posner, z”l, Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York (1973-2013) and former member of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors (2005-2015). This bound manuscript consists of the complete Torah in artistic calligraphic style, along with hundreds of illustrations in a combination of watercolor, gouache, and gold leaf. Avner Moriah, the Jerusalem-based artist, spent over a decade researching the context for his illustrations and then executing them in these volumes. "Upon completing this unparalleled undertaking, I extend my hope that this original body of work brings others the delight and inspiration that saw me through this enterprise."
Avner's works will be housed in the Klau Library in New York, though will likely be exhibited at the other campus libraries in the coming months so that all the HUC-JIR students and staff will be able to engage in this artistic experience. These rare books with their hand-drawn text and illustrations are owned in their entirety by a scant handful of significant Hebraica libraries, such as the National Library of Israel, the Vatican, and now HUC-JIR. We hope you will come to see this magnificent work on your next visit to the New York campus, or keep an eye out to learn when the display will next come to one of the other campus libraries.