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YIVO Receives Grants from the Nathan Ruderman Foundation and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

PRESS NEWS: For immediate release

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

NEW YORK, NY – The YIVO Institute is pleased to announce that it has received two generous grants for work on the Sutzkever-Kaczerginski Collection, which contains some of the rarest documents held in the YIVO archives. The Collection is named in honor of the two distinguished poets who headed the partisan group known as the Paper Brigade of the Vilna Ghetto. Together they secreted and saved a treasure trove of documents which reflect many high points of Jewish creativity and intellectual activity in Eastern Europe from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Among the items in the Collection: original letters and manuscripts of the fathers of modern Yiddish literature, such as Isaac Leib Peretz, Sholem Aleichem and Mendele Moykher Sforim; the letters of the first Hebrew novelist Abraham Mapu; the literary diary of Theodore Herzl; the letters of Shlomo Ettinger, founder of the well-known periodical ha-Melitz and Ha-Mevasser; the letters of the modern Yiddish writer and intellectual Hersh David Nomberg; original fragments of the famous play the Dybbuk, written by S. An-ski, rewritten by An-ski himself when the original was destroyed in a fire. The collection also holds important communal documents such as the bound Register of the Synagogue of the Vilna Gaon, founded right after the passing of the Goan in 1797; the bound handwritten Register of the Jewish Community of Skuodas (known by Jews as ‘Shkud’); and much more.

The Project will preserve, describe, microfilm and digitize these rare materials. It will also provide an annotated, scholarly guide to the Collection. The aim of the Project is to conserve these treasured materials, and make them available to scholars and the general public, in both film and digital format.

The grant from The Nathan Ruderman Foundation launched this Project earlier this year. A more recent grant from The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (the “Claims Conference”) provides additional support for this important work.

ABOUT YIVO: Founded in 1925, the YIVO Institute is headquartered in New York City, and is the world’s premier teaching and research institute devoted to East European Jewish Studies with specializations in the Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish experience.