Page 72 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

Basic HTML Version

serve in perpetuity the manuscripts and rare books and utilize the
funds . . . exclusively for the purchase of rare Hebrew books or
manuscripts which will farther research in the field ofJudaica... .”25
Since its establishment, the Foundation has completed the fol­
lowing essential tasks:
1. It gathered the sixteen books and manuscripts returned to
Sotheby’s (some unsolicited) as well as six additional lots from
previously reluctant purchasers.
2. All of the holdings of the Foundation have been microfilmed
and a positive copy of the film is deposited in each member li­
brary. New acquisitions of the Foundation will similarly be mi­
crofilmed, if they are deemed suitably rare.
3. Lengthy negotiations led to the distribution of the books,
manuscripts, and cash assets into the custodial care of the mem­
bers. A list of the twenty-two lots and their custodians is in an
Appendix to this essay.
It cannot be emphasized too much that distributed items and the
new items that will be acquired will not belong to the institutions
where they are deposited but to the Foundation in perpetuity.
They will have JCF bookplates and are separately recorded for in­
surance purposes. The member libraries are custodians, and the
Foundation is symbolically the successor of the Hochschule.
In sum, the Judaica Conservancy Foundation is the result not of
an event—an auction—in 1984, but rather a concatenation of events:
1) Nazi persecution; 2) the Hochschule’s fears for its students, facul­
ty, and library; 3) Hebrew Union College’s program to rescue, train
and ordain Hochschule students; 4) HUC’s formal Refugee Schol­
ars’ Program; 5) HUC’s invitation to Alexander Guttmann that
saved his life and the books; 6) the auction and the strong reaction to
it; 7) the settlement; 8) HUC’s opposition and its public proposal of
a Consvervancy Trust; and finally 9) the JRSO proposal and the ap­
proval of the Court.
are the essential links in the chain which
connects the Judaica Conservancy Foundation symbolically and his­
torically with the Hochschule of Germany’sJewish past.
25. White,
August 14, 1986
, p.2-3.