Page 109 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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In 1929, Dr. Maurice B. Hexter, executive direc tor o f the
Federated Jewish Charities o f Boston, offered for sale his p e r ­
sonal library o f some 1,500 volumes covering the fields o f the
Social Sciences. Two donors, Max Shoolman and Louis E. Kirs-
tein, made possible the purchase o f this collection. Thus a num ­
ber o f rare and unique items concerning the immigration o f Jews
to the United States, and their social and economic status at the
end o f the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, as well as the
relationship between Jews and labor unions, Jews and public and
private law and vignettes o f Jewish Boston were acquired.
During the 1930’s several fund raising projects were estab­
lished to assist the library in the purchase o f books. In 1933, the
New England Women’s Association o f Hebrew College initiated
its annual Book Festival to benefit the library. Also, in 1933, the
Alumni Association started the Solomon Zucrow Memorial Fund,
in honor o f one o f the original faculty members o f the college.
The monies collected allowed for the purchase of books in Rab­
binics for the library.
During the difficult years o f the depression the New England
Women’s Association steadfastly supported the library. Rare and
out o f p rin t items were available at this time for pennies. T h rough
funds raised by these and o th e r friend s o f the in s titu tion
thousands o f volumes, including an impo rtan t collection o f Re­
sponsa literature, were acquired by the library.
During the war years o f the early 1940’s the library continued
to grow at an accelerated pace. By 1947, the Library Board was
able to repo r t holdings o f some 18,000 volumes.
In the period o f time immediately following World War II the
library acquired many fine collections o f books from its patrons.
In 1947, Dr. Louis M. Epstein donated a collection o f 500 volumes
to the library. Among these were Responsa, hasidic works, com­
mentaries on the Bible, Mishnah and Talmud , homiletics, codes
and Midrash. Included were such rare volumes as the ethical
Sepher H a ’Rokeah
by the Talmudist and Kabbalist Eleazer
ben Jud ah o f Worms, published in Fano, Italy, in 1505. Ano ther
item, the
Eshkol HaKofer ,
written by the Karaite scholar Elijah