Saturday, 24 Feb 2024

The Erdman Electronic Archive

The Erdman Yiddish Electronic Archive will make selected landmark texts of Yiddish literature, culture, and history available to students of Yiddish world-wide. Made possible by a generous donation from Steve Erdman, in memory of Shoshana and Hillel Erdman and their families who perished in the Holocaust, this archive will be an ongoing project, adding new texts that are not currently available in an electronic format

Archive 1 : Yidishe oytobyografyes / Der veg tsu zikh


Margulies Collection

Margulies Collection of Yiddish literature and culture, in memory of Benzion and Pearl Margulies, includes approximately 4000 books and periodicals in Yiddish and other languages in the following areas: Yiddish literature, Yiddish language, Yiddish folk songs and narrative, Jewish ethics, Hassidic tales, and other subjects pertaining to Yiddish culture

Collection code in the catalog: CY


The Sourasky building on the second floor, Tel: 03-6408747

Books in Yiddish on additional subjects are included in the general collection.

About the donors:

The collection of books on Yiddish literature and Yiddish studies was established thanks to the donation of Mr. William Margulies and Professor Alice Shalvi, in memory of their parents Benzion and Perl Margulies.

Benzion and Perl Margulies were born into Hassidic families in Galicia. Before World War I, Benzion's family moved to Mannheim, Germany, and shortly thereafter Benzion served as a medical orderly in the Austrian army, until he was taken prisoner by the Russians in 1916. After his release he brought Perl and her mother from Galicia to Germany, where they were married in 1920. Benzion became active in Jewish communal affairs in Essen, particularly on behalf of the many Polish Jews streaming into Germany and also within the Mizrachi movement. At the prompting of his brother Alexander, he moved to London in 1933 to establish a business in clocks and watches. Perl and their two children joined him in 1934. Once again he contributed much of his time and resources to the Jewish community, establishing the OHEL center for Polish Jews. He was also instrumental in establishing the Polish Jewish Observer. As a member of the Board of Deputies, he was active in many causes and he attended the Zionist Congress right before the outbreak of the war. He was an active supporter of Yiddish publications and writers, such as Izik Manger. In 1943, he founded the Ararat Publishing Society together with his brother, headed by the Hebraist Dr. Simon Rawidowicz, which in subsequent years published several volumes of "Metzuda." Knowledge of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry affected his health, and he passed away in February 1955. His wife Perl, who had been an active supporter of all of his endeavors, survived him until November 1962. Both are buried in the Sanhedria Cemetery in Jerusalem.

William Margulies was born in Mannheim, Germany, emigrated to England in 1934, and studied first at the London Polytechnic, and then at the London School of Economics and Political Science where he attained the B. Com. and M. Sc. degrees. He was active in Jewish student circles, particularly the Inter-University Jewish Federation and the World Union of Jewish Students, and became chairman of the London Jewish Graduate Association. Active in the Bachad and Mizrachi movements, he wrote columns for their publications "The Jewish Review" and "Chayenu." He was also active in the Jewish Historical Society of England, serving as its Treasurer and on its Council. After retirement and emigration to Israel, he and his wife Judith became active within the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum, but mainly at Tel Aviv University, where he endowed the Yiddish Library, together with his sister Prof. Alice Shalvi, in memory of their parents. His commitment to the perpetuation of Yiddish is reflected in his support of Yiddishshpiel and its training school for budding Yiddish actors. He endowed the Benzion Margulies Lectureship in Yiddish and a Yiddish library within the Department of Jewish Studies at University College, London, among numerous other donations to Jewish institutions in England and in Israel.

Prof. Alice Shalvi is the recipient of Israel's highest award, The Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Special Contribution to Society and the State of Israel. She was a faculty member of the English Department of Hebrew University between 1950 and 1990, and head of Hebrew University's Institute of Languages and Literature from 1973-76. She also established the Department of English at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, serving as its founding chairwoman from 1969-1973. In addition to being thought of as the mother of Israeli feminism, Shalvi is an accomplished scholar and educator. As principal of the Pelech Religious Experimental High School for Girls from 1975 to 1990, she created a highly respected model for liberal religious education in Israel, ensuring equal opportunities for women in Torah study and in every aspect of civil society. In 1984 she became the founding Chair of the Israel Women's Network, the country's major advocacy organization for women's rights. In 1996, Shalvi was appointed rector of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem where she later served as President and as Chair of the Executive Committee. Born in Germany in 1926, Shalvi immigrated to England in 1934 and to Israel in 1949. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Cambridge, and a postgraduate degree in social work from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received a doctorate in English literature from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1962. She has published extensively on literature, education, women, feminism and Judaism.