Columbia Libraries Receives Grant from UJA-Federation for International Conference on Russian-Jewish New York


NEW YORK, February 15, 2006 The UJA-Federation of New York has awarded the Columbia Libraries a grant of $3,200 to help fund an international conference on Russian-Jewish New York, to be held April 4–6 at the New York Public Library and Columbia University’s Butler Library.

The conference will explore the culture, politics, and history of the Russian-Jewish experience in New York and is also sponsored by the Columbia University Libraries’ Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian & East European History and Culture, The International Center for Russian & East European Jewish Studies in Moscow, The Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and the New York Public Library.

“The grant from the UJA-Federation of New York will enable us to use Russian-English interpreting services for conference participants who wish to give papers or ask questions in Russian,” said Tanya Chebotarev, curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive. “It will help us to attract attendees from a wide range of fields, including literature, history, political science, sociology, and librarianship.”

Conference panels will focus on such topics as the search for new Russian-Jewish identities in New York, politics in an age of migration, Jewish publications in New York, and daily life and the phenomenon of immigrant adaptation. Featured panelists and speakers include Professors Marc Raeff and Michael Stanislawski of Columbia University, Professor Ziva Galili of Rutgers University, Abby Knopp, Planning Director of the UJA-Federation’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal, and Boris Kerdimun, Program Director on the Federation’s Commission on the Jewish People.

The conference will conclude on April 6 with a reception at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library to mark the opening of the exhibit “Russian Jews in New York from the Holdings at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.” For more information on the conference program, please contact Tanya Chebotarev, curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive, at tc241@columbia.edu or 212-854-3986.

The UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest local philanthropy, strengthens community and helps 1.4 million persons in New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, as well as 3 million in Israel and 60 other countries. Funds raised by UJA-Federation sustain the activities of 100 health, human-service, educational, and community agencies. Every day, these community-based organizations provide a multitude of services that improve and enhance people’s lives. For more information, visit the UJA-Federation website at http://www.ujafedny.org.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

The Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian & East European History and Culture, the second largest depository of Russian émigré materials outside Russia, was officially founded in 1951, and operates as a part of Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The goal of the Archive is to acquire, preserve, and make available for research, materials relating to the history and culture of Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe; communities of émigrés from these countries, especially in Western Europe and the United States; American relations with and views of Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe; and American and European scholarship relating to Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe. To learn more about the archive, see:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/rbml/collections/bakhmeteff/

The Harriman Institute is a leading center for the advancement of knowledge in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies through the research conducted by its faculty, students, fellows and visiting scholars and the training of scholars and professionals. Harriman Institute faculty and students seek to examine the varied and fascinating set of social, political, and cultural transformations taking place in formerly Communist countries of the region, drawing comparisons to transformations in other societies, looking into historical roots of today’s developments, and taking into account the full complexity of the interplay among politics, the economy, and culture. The Harriman Institute, through its programs, conferences, lectures, and publications, seeks to foster conversations across disciplines and between the academy and the wider world on these subjects. For more information, see:
http://www.harrimaninstitute.org/

The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers—the Humanities and Social Sciences Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library—and 85 Branch Libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The Library serves some 13 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 13 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website: http://www.nypl.org.

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