Jewish Studies

Jewish Synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El. Sutter Street, San Francisco (ca. 1866) from Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library, image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.                CC0 (public domain).

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources that may be helpful for conducting research in Jewish Studies.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.


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Articles

The index of articles on Jewish studies : Reshimat maʾamarim be-madaʻe ha-Yahadut , also known as RAMBI, collects citations to scholarly articles in Jewish Studies and the study of Israel. Users may opt for an interface in Hebrew or English; both browsing and search capabilities exist in this database. Some articles are available in full text.

Index to Jewish Periodicals provides citations to articles, book reviews, and feature stories in over 160 English-language journals devoted to Jewish Studies and Jewish affairs. Coverage extends as far back as 1988.

Mafteaḥ le-maʾamarim be-ʻIvrit presents citations to articles from approximately 1060 Hebrew periodicals and 185 monographs dealing with Israel. The database contains the Index to Hebrew Periodicals; the Eretz Israel database; the Tel-Hai Index to Israeli Newspapers, and the Bar-Ilan University Index to Newspaper Literary Supplements.

Old Testament abstracts presents citations and abstracts for journal articles, monographs, multi-author works, and software related to Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) studies. All abstracts are in English, regardless of the language of the original work.
 

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Primary Sources

Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees: the West’s response to Jewish emigration presents facsimiles of original documents from the National Archives. The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (IGCR) was organized in London in August 1938 as a result of the Evian Conference of July 1938, which had been called by President Roosevelt to consider issues faced by racial, religious, and political refugees from central Europe.

Jewish life in America, c1654-1954 : sources from the American Jewish Historical Society, New York. collects primary sources that explore Jewish American history from the first arrival of Jewish migrants to New York in the mid-17th century until the mid-twentieth century. Users may search the full text of all printed documents; all materials are digitized in full color and typescript as well. The material is based on original manuscript collections from the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. Contents represent six major organisational collections and twenty-four collections of personal papers, all of which have been digitized in their entirety.

Jewish Women’s Archive focuses on histories of Jewish women in North America. Featured on-site resources include Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, and On The Map, guide to physical landmarks in Jewish women’s history.

Maimonides Code of Jewish Law , a project of Oxford University, presents digitized facsimile scans of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah with commentary.

The Responsa project presents a selection of key Jewish texts in Hebrew. Examples of sources include rabbinic case-law rulings; the Bible, the Talmud and their principal commentaries; works about Jewish law and customs; codes of Jewish law, such as Maimonides' Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch with its principal commentaries; midrashim, and Zohar. Users may search the database with an English, French, or Hebrew interface.

Visual history archive , a project of the Shoah Foundation and Columbia University, presents nearly 52,000 video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Films were taped in 56 countries and in 32 languages between 1994 and 1999. Most testimonies have been indexed for keywords at one-minute segments. Some videos may take 48 hours to load and view.
 

 

Languages

Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project , a project of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, is a text base of Aramaic texts in all dialects from the earliest (9th Century BCE) through the 13th Century CE, with approximately 2.5 million lexically parsed words, and an associated set of electronic tools for analyzing and manipulating the data. Its ultimate goal is the creation of a complete lexicon of the language. It is a work in progress.

Jewish Language Research Website collects information on Jewish languages and linguistics. Features include an interactive map of Jewish languages past and present, descriptive entries on languages, and directories of researchers and translators in related fields.

Library of Congress Hebrew and Yiddish Transliteration Table attempts to represent the sounds of Hebrew and Yiddish letters in romanized script. For Hebrew, the table approximates a modern Israeli (primarile Sephardic) pronunciation; for Yiddish, it follows a standardized Lithuanian pronunciation.

Library of Congress Ladino Transliteration Table represents the sounds used in the Ladino/ Judezmo language in Romanized script. The document includes notes on pronunciation and diacritics.

Yiddish Alphabet and Transliteration Chart includes characters transliterated into romanized script with some sound files to demonstrate pronunciation. Published by the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.
 

 

Arts and Culture

Folk Literature of the Sephardic Jews serves as a multimedia digital archive of ballads and other oral literature in Judeo-Spanish. Contents were collected from 1957 to 1993. Includes historical background on Sephardic oral traditions. Hosted by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Jewish Music Research Centre collects extensive resources on Jewish music, including a lexicon of Jewish music terms, a bibliographical database, a database of Jewish music in film, and selected sound files.

Yiddish Radio Project features rare Yiddish radio clips, archival photographs, and various ephemera from a forgotten radio universe. Complements a National Public Radio series on the golden age of Yiddish American radio, from the 1930's to the 1950's. Features a "Yid-O-Matic" tool for RealPlayer audio files that provides instant English translation for all Yiddish audio content.
 

 

Reference

Encyclopaedia Judaica presents the contents of a print reference source on Judaism in e-book format. Entries are displayed in alphabetical order, and they cover diverse aspects of Jewish religious, social, and cultural history.

Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World covers Jewish history, religion, and culture from the seventh century to the present. Regions explored include Andalusia, North Africa, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Iran, and parts of Central and South Asia. In addition to alphabetized topical entries, the source features maps, links to relevant internet resources, and a list of current and historical Jewish journals published in the Islamic world (categorized by city of publication).

Routledge Religion Online functions as a comprehensive platform for searching several key reference texts in religion. Featured sources include the Readers Guide to Judaism, Fifty Key Jewish Thinkers, Who’s Who in the Old Testament, and the Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. Users may browse alphabetical lists of entries by source, or may use the “Look up entries” search field.

Talmudic Encyclopedia features all thirty volumes of this key reference source on the halakhic topics of the Talmud. Users can search entries electronically using Roman or Hebrew letters.
 

 

Finding Books

Browse the stacks using call numbers related to Jewish Studies:

BM Judaism

BS1-1830  The Bible (Old Testament)

PJ   Semitic Languages and Literatures

 

CLIO : Online catalog of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library.

To find primary sources in CLIO, use the keywords:

  • archives
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • narratives
  • memoirs
  • sources

WorldCat
Searches libraries worldwide.