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Judaica Division Hosts Harvard Kennedy School Wexner Israel Fellows

On August 14, the Judaica Division hosted this year’s group of Wexner Israel Fellows for an orientation session on the Judaica Collection, with special emphasis on the collection’s Israel component. Now in its 27th year, the Wexner Israel Program at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) selects a group of mid-career Israelis who hold positions in various Israeli government ministries and agencies or who work in non-governmental organizations to spend a year studying for a master’s degree at HKS. Each year, the Judaica Division has provided an orientation session to acquaint the fellows with Harvard’s extensive resources related to Israel to assist them in their study and research and to encourage them to be in contact with Judaica Division staff during their stay at Harvard.

This year’s Wexner Fellows represent a wide range of Israeli government ministries—the Ministry of Culture and Sport (Luay Bader), the Ministry of Finance (Yogev Gradus), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Merav Horsandi), the Ministry of Justice (Jonathan Tadmor-Eliya), as well as the Israel Defense Forces (Maria Ben-Assa), the Israel National Police (Yoav Tellem), and Maccabi Healthcare Services (Ofer Chen). Joining the Wexner Fellows at the session were: Elisha Gechter (Program Manager, Wexner Israel Fellows, Center for Public Leadership, Kennedy School of Government); Lawrence S. Bacow (Fellow of Harvard College, Harvard Corporation, and Leader-in-Residence, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School); and Adele Bacow.

The session included hands-on instruction in the use of HOLLIS+ and VIA to access relevant materials. Attendees were also given a copy of the Division’s publication Harvard Judaica in the 21st Century and the catalog of Harvard’s collection of digital photographs of the Israeli photographer Gérard Allon. The session was conducted by Charles Berlin (Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica, and Head, Judaica Division), Violet Radnofsky (Littauer Hebraica Technical and Research Services Librarian), and Elizabeth Vernon (Lee M. Friedman Judaica Technical Services Librarian).

Over the years Wexner Fellows have also been helpful to the Judaica Division in its efforts to acquire materials from governmental bodies or organizations where they work. As Charles Berlin noted, Wexner Fellows, upon their return to Israel, are in effect “goodwill ambassadors” for the Judaica Collection.

This orientation session is part of the Judaica Divison’s ongoing outreach program, intended to highlight awareness of Harvard’s Judaica Collection among Harvard students, faculty, and visiting scholars, as well as the international scholarly community.

This is a Judaica Division news release.
Published on August 25, 2015.