Page 60 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 22

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
Despite the extinction of Jewish cultural life in Soviet Russia,
which began under Stalin, Odoner nevertheless had access to the
Yiddish literature produced there between the two world wars,
and is now available at the Library.
Collection of Manuscripts
The collection of manuscripts at the Mendel Gottesman L i­
brary consists of archival material, original and copies of official
legal documents, letters of various scholars, historical material
for the study of Jewish localities, and biographies of important
personalities. A great deal of this material was rescued by the
original owners from the ruins of the burnt synagogues in Ger­
many and collected from the abandoned Jewish communities.
Among the manuscripts the following are worthy of mention:
Rabbi David Sinzheim’s unpublished
Yad David,
a handwritten
commentary on the Talmud of over 4,000 pages. As is well
known, Rabbi David Sinzheim was the presiding officer of
Napoleon’s Sanhedrin.
Novellae by R. Akiva Eger.
A number of manuscripts of the works of the scholarly Auer­
bach family of Germany.
Material for the history of the Literary Society of Ohile Shem
of New York (the end of the last century).
A good number of memor-books of various Jewish communities
of Germany
(yizkor
books).
Material on the history of the Council of the Four Countries
(Va’ad Arba Arazot).
Documents for the history of various cities in Germany and
elsewhere, covering the period of the 18th to the 20th cen­
tury and containing about 3,000 items.
A goodly number of
pinkasim
of various societies.
Mohel books (about 25).
A special large collection of letters of various rabbis and scholars,
among them: R. Nathan Adler, London, R. Elijah Gutt-
macher of Greiditz, R. Azriel Hildesheimer, R. Akiba Eger,
R. Isaac Elchanan Spector, Prof. Abraham Berliner and
Prof. David Kaufmann.
I am happy to report the most recent major acquisition of
close to thirty cartons of the archives of the Central Jewish
Relief Committee. This organization was the orthodox fore­
runner of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
with which it was later merged.