Page 29 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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ZAFREN / FROM HOCHSCHULE TO JUDAICA CONSERVANCY FOUNDATION
21
that there was “no point to a trial when the Plaintiffs have
achieved everything they sought. . . . A trial would be expensive
financially and in emotional terms . . . the fact witnesses would
all be at least seventy years o f age . . . and many would have
to travel g reat distances. . . . ”21 Parenthetically, I might point
out that Sotheby’s and the Guttmanns had, in the consignment
agreement, unlike the standard agreement, arranged for insu r­
ance coverage o f “all expenses incurred in the course o f de ­
fending any claim o r suit, with a $25,000 deductible.”22 Thus
the financial burden was probably much more severe for the
Plaintiffs and others who were not even party to the litigation.
Justice White made special mention o f the submission o f HUC
in opposition to the proposed settlement. He said that he found
it “the most tho rough and comprehensive presentation, and I
did spend considerable time reflecting upon [it].”23
What, then, was this submission, what did it contain, and why
is it relevant to the Judaica Conservancy Foundation?
HUC’s opposition o f July 31, 1985, consisted o f an attorney’s
m emorandum o f sixteen pages, accompanied by President
Alfred Gottschalk’s affidavit o f ano ther sixteen pages, each with
multiple “exhibits.” The affidavit asserts that HUC is entitled
to the books and manuscripts because the contract between the
Hochschule and Alexander Guttmann must have been for
Guttmann to deliver the books to HUC (p. 3). HUC is “the
equitable and spiritual successor to the Hochschule, the edu ­
cator o f many o f its rabbinical students and the next employer
o f several o f its faculty members . . . (p. 3).” Gottschalk said:
“I wish to stress that HUC’s intention in asserting its claims
with respect to these manuscripts is not to capitalize upon their
commercial value, but ra the r to safeguard them perpetually for
the benefit o f fu tu re generations o f Jewish scholars, to share
access to these manuscripts with similar institutions, and o th ­
erwise to preserve them in accordance with Jewish tradition and
law. To those ends, HUC en tered into negotiations for a con­
servancy agreement with the Jewish Theological Seminary
(“JT S ”), and will seek to expand the agreement to encompass
o ther approp ria te institutions” (pp. 4-5).
21. (Justice) Robert E. White [Statement], August 14, 1985, p. 7.
22.
Plaintiffs Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,
May 15, 1985,
p. 45.
23. White [Statement], p. 9.