Page 13 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

Basic HTML Version

JACOB KABAKOFF
Introduction
T
h i s
year
h a s
seen the celebration of the centenaries of two
major institutions in the American Jewish community — the Jew­
ish Theological Seminary of America and Yeshiva University.
The Jewish Theological Seminary, representing Conservative
Judaism, remained loyal to the scholarly tenets of the
Wissenschaft
desJudentums
movement, which in Europe had been fostered by
such luminaries as Zunz, Geiger and Frankel. Yeshiva University,
on the other hand, became the spearhead of American Ortho­
doxy and continued the European Yeshiva tradition of the study
of Talmud and related texts, albeit in a new form.
It is no exaggeration to state that the majority of scholarly
undertakings in our century have centered around our schools of
higher Jewish learning and that the faculties and alumni of these
schools have contributed to creating in this country a major cen­
ter ofJewish scholarly endeavor. While it is true that these schools
trace their beginnings to the immigrant period of the last decades
of the 19th century, they have long outgrown these beginnings
and have by now developed a large cadre of American-born and
educated faculty members and scholars.
It should be noted that the first institution of higher Jewish
learning to celebrate its centenary was the Hebrew Union
College, which was founded in 1875 by Isaac Mayer Wise. On the
occasion of that centenary a special volume was issued entitled
Hebrew Union College
Jewish Institute of Religion at One Hundred
Years,
which included a survey of the school’s scholarly attain­
ments in such fields as Bible, Rabbinics, Theology and Philoso­
phy, History and Hebrew and Hebrew Literature. The school
continues to make its contributions through such instruments as
the Hebrew Union College Press, the
Hebrew Union College
Annual,
and the American Jewish Archives. Its library has pub­
lished in addition to itsjournal,
Studies in Bibliography andBooklore,