Center for Jewish Art
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המרכז לאמנות יהודית באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים
|Location||Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel|
The Center for Jewish Art (CJA) is a research institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, devoted to the documentation and research of Jewish visual culture. Established in 1979, it documented and researched objects of Jewish art in ca. 700 museums, libraries, private collections and synagogues in 41 countries. Today, the Center's archives and collections constitute the largest and most comprehensive body of information on Jewish art in existence. The CJA’s research and documentation is included in the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art.
The Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was established in 1979 by Professor Bezalel Narkiss, Israel Prize laureate, with an aim to document objects of Jewish art and produce a comprehensive iconographical index of Jewish subjects. The Center was an outcome of Narkiss’s iconographical research of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, which he initiated with Professor Gabrielle Sed-Rajna in 1974. The Index initially consisted of four sections: a Section of Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts, of Sacred and Ritual Objects, of Ancient Jewish Art, and of Modern Jewish Art.
Professor Bezalel Narkiss headed the CJA until 1991. The next director, Professor Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, established a fifth section for Jewish Ritual Architecture and Funerary Art. Under her leadership the CJA undertook many research expeditions to post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe, in order to measure endangered synagogues and tombstones in regions, which were previously inaccessible to western scholars. In addition, from 1994 CJA documented those synagogues in Germany which survived the Nazi regime and were not demolished in Kristallnacht. The documentation projects in Germany were done in cooperation with the Department of Architectural History at the Technical University in Braunschweig, headed by Professor Harmen H. Thies. In 1997 this cooperation was institutionalized as Bet Tfila Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe.
- Jewish Art (in 1974-1985, Journal of Jewish Art) is an annual devoted to the research of Jewish art. Its editors were Bezalel Narkiss and Aliza Cohen-Mushlin; Professors Ziva Amishai-Maisels and Bianca Kühnel served as guest editors of two issues.
- Rimonim (רימונים) is a Hebrew journal on Jewish art, aiming at bringing the results of academic research to a wider Israeli audience.
- In 1976-1994 the Center for Jewish Art published ten volumes of Jerusalem Index of Jewish Art as collections of card on Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, ritual objects and ancient Jewish art.
- From 2007, Beit Tfila publishes a series of monographs on Jewish architecture and a series of smaller studies on individual Jewish buildings. The editors of both series are Aliza Cohen-Mushlin and Harmen Thies, and they are published by the Imhoff Verlag in English and German.
Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art
The Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art is a largest virtual Jewish museum in the word, which includes about 250,000 images from ca. 700 museums, libraries, private collections and synagogues in 41 countries, as well as architectural plans of ca. 1,500 synagogues documented in situ. The images are classified according to their iconographical subject, type of objects, origin, and date. The digitization of the Index is being undertaken in cooperation with the National Library of Israel and the Judaica Division of Harvard University Library.
Documentation expeditions by the Center for Jewish Art
- 1. Albania: ancient synagogues (2003).
- 2. Austria: medieval synagogues and manuscripts (1994, 1998-2005).
- 3. Azerbaijan: ritual objects and synagogues (1994, 1997).
- 4. Belarus: synagogues, cemeteries (1993-2003, 2007).
- 5. Bosnia and Herzegovina: synagogues (1998-2004).
- 6. Bulgaria: ritual objects and synagogues (1998).
- 7. Canada: synagogues (1998, 1999).
- 8. Croatia: synagogues (1986, 1987, 1998, 2000-2007).
- 9. Czech Republic: ritual objects and synagogues (1994, 1995, 2014).
- 10. Dagestan: ritual objects and synagogues (1994).
- 11. Denmark: manuscripts (1979-1989).
- 12. Egypt: ritual objects and synagogues (1983, 1984).
- 13. France: manuscripts (1972-1989, 1999, 2002).
- 14. Georgia: ritual objects and synagogues (1997, 1999).
- 15. Germany: synagogues and manuscripts (1985, 1994-2010, 2008-2014).
- 16. Greece: ritual objects and synagogues (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001-2003).
- 17. Hungary: ritual objects (1986, 1988, 1990).
- 18. India: ritual objects and synagogues (1995).
- 19. Ireland: manuscripts (1975-1980).
- 20. Israel: archaeology, modern art, ritual objects and synagogues (1979-2011).
- 21. Italy: ritual objects and synagogues (1983, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012).
- 22. Latvia: synagogues (2000, 2007-2009).
- 23. Lithuania: ritual objects and synagogues (1993, 2000, 2004, 2006-2009).
- 24. Macedonia: ancient and modern synagogues (2003).
- 25. Moldova: synagogues, cemeteries (1994).
- 26. Montenegro: ancient synagogues and Jewish monuments (2004).
- 27. Morocco: ritual objects and synagogues (1992, 1993).
- 28. Poland: ritual objects (1991-1995, 1997).
- 29. Romania: ritual objects and synagogues (1993, 1996, 1997, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
- 30. Russia: manuscripts, cemeteries (1989-1994); synagogues, cemeteries and ritual objects in Siberia (2015).
- 31. Serbia: ritual objects and synagogues (1986, 1987, 2001, 2002, 2004).
- 32. Slovakia: synagogues (2001).
- 33. Slovenia: synagogue (2000)
- 34. Spain: manuscripts (1987).
- 35. Tunisia: ritual objects and synagogues (1997).
- 36. Turkey: ritual objects and synagogues (1992-1994).
- 37. Ukraine: synagogues, cemeteries (1991-2003, 2007, 2010-2013).
- 38. United Kingdom: manuscripts (1962-1997).
- 39. United States: manuscripts (1988-1992, 1998)
- 40. Uzbekistan: ritual objects and synagogues (1992, 2000, 2002-2012).
- 41. Vatican: survey of manuscripts (1985).
- "About Us". Cja.huji.ac.il. 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "Center for Jewish Art | The Source". Thesourceisrael.com. 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "Bet Tfila – Forschungsstelle". Bet-tfila.org. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "Jewish Art Journal". Cja.huji.ac.il. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "Rimonim". Cja.huji.ac.il. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "The Center for Jewish Art". Cja.huji.ac.il. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "Publications of the Bet Tfila – Research Unit". Bet-tfila.org. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "המרכז לאמנות יהודית יזכה לתמיכה של 3 מיליון שקל - אמנות - הארץ". Haaretz.co.il. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "The Center for Jewish Art Collection". Web.nli.org.il. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "D1 vladimir levin center for jewish art eva minerva 2013". Slideshare.net. Retrieved 2016-02-10.