University of Florida Homepage

Jack Kugelmass

Jack Kugelmass
Director of Jewish Studies and Professor of Anthropology

Rebecca Jefferson
Head of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica

2014-2015 Library Enhancement Grant

Drs. Kugelmass and Jefferson have been awarded a Library Enhancement Grant to acquire historical newspapers on microfilm for the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida. The grant will fund the acquisition of microfilm copies of the periodical Forverts (The Forward), which was established as a Yiddish-language daily newspaper in New York City in 1897. The UF Smathers Libraries presently own Forverts on microfilm for the years 1910-1947. This grant, with matching funds from the Center for Jewish Studies and the Price Library of Judaica, will extend UF holdings of Forverts further into the critical years following World War II to include issues for 1947-1950.

Forverts achieved its peak circulation during the early 1930s with over 275,000 copies sold daily in the U.S., and it reached further audiences through radio broadcasts in both the U.S. and abroad. By the 1940s as the events of the Holocaust entered into public conversation and Jews began to deliberate their postwar future, Forverts was well established as a premier Yiddish-language news source. Articles published in Forverts during these years addressed the aftermath of the Holocaust, the survival of Jewish communities within Europe, the independence and refugee absorption of Israel, the Americanization of Jews in the United States, and the developing conflict of the Cold War.

These are critical acquisitions for students and scholars studying the late post-war and early Cold-War years, and they will be integrated into regular coursework by the Center for Jewish Studies. They also increase the importance of the Price Library, and the University of Florida more broadly, as the foremost site for the study of Judaica in the Southeastern United States.

Forverts continues in publication with online editions in Yiddish and English. A small collection of anniversary issues of the Forverts is available online through the UF Judaica Digital Collections.