Located in New York City, the Center for Jewish History serves as the largest archive of Jewish history outside the state of Israel as well as a space for social and academic encounters for those interested in learning about Jewish culture and heritage. Now, book author and Fairfield University History professor Gavriel Rosenfeld, Ph.D., will lead the center’s day-to-day academic operations as president.
“I would call it an archive/research institute/cultural institution/museum that brings history to the general public,” said Rosenfeld in a phone interview while describing the complexity of the Center that houses five different institutions under one roof.
According to Rosenfeld, a new task of his as president includes, but is not limited to: serving as a liaison between the different organizations, which include the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
He will also be the face of the institute’s academic section and will oversee the public programming offered by the center, which involves organizing the center’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel in the Spring of 2023.
For everyday students, the news of his appointment could come as proof of the quality and level of scholarship that surrounds the faculty of Fairfield University, but for those in the Judaic Studies program, it may open a door for new opportunities.
“Having access now to the network of people in Jewish Studies, in Manhattan, you know, in the heart of New York City, only extends my connections and will help build further relationships between Fairfield and the larger world of Jewish Studies that kind of get us out of the Connecticut sphere and helps build relationships where most Jewish scholars are,” Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld’s appointment as President of the Center for Jewish History was announced to the Fairfield community in a Sept. 16 newsletter sent by the University.