The Harvard Center for Jewish Studies will celebrate its opening this Sunday and Monday. Officially founded in 1977, the center delayed its opening celebration until completion of its initial fund drive this year.
The event will feature a colloquium with two of America's most distinguished Judaic scholars, Salo W. Baron, professor emeritus of Jewish History at Columbia University, and Saul Lieberman, rector of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Widener Library is currently displaying an exhibition of historical Jewish literature to accompany the planned talks and panel discussions. The public is invited to visit the exhibition and attend the colloquium Sunday afternoon in the Science Center, as well as to Monday's symposium in the Lamont Library Forum Room.
The event celebrates the Center's successful fund raising efforts, Nicholas T. Goldsborough, an official of the University Development Office, said yesterday. Over 1400 gifts and pledges totalling $7 million have been received by the Center, providing for three new professorships in Jewish Studies and several fellowships, Goldsborough said. Two more professorships are planned in the near future, he added.
The University's Judaica collection in Widener Library will add to its present store of 150,000 volumes, making it the largest non-secular Judaica collection the country, Gerard Weinstock '39, Chairman of the Program for the Center, said yesterday.
The Center will also sponsor several colloquia, symposia and publications. Its purpose, Weinstock said, is to expose the contributions of the Hebrew and Jewish cultures to our civilization.
Isadore Twersky '51, director of the Center and Nathan Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy, said the Center "should have repercussions for Jewish Scholarship throughout this country and beyond."
Krister Stendahl, Dean of the Divinity School, said the establishment of the Center "will have very special importance" for Jewish-Christian relations. The Center will help to make Jewish Studies "a part of our view of history," he said.