Post­ed by Libi Adler

Jew­ish Book Coun­cil staff head­ed up north this week­end to Amherst, MA to check out the Nation­al Yid­dish Book Cen­ter. The cen­ter was found­ed in 1980 by MacArthur Fel­low Aaron Lan­sky, who con­tin­ues to lead the orga­ni­za­tion as its pres­i­dent. It is nes­tled in a beau­ti­ful town on the Hamp­shire Col­lege cam­pus. Aaron Lan­sky is also the author of the book Out­wit­ting His­to­ry: The Amaz­ing Adven­tures of a Man Who Res­cued a Mil­lion Yid­dish Books. The book is a tes­ti­mo­ny to his love of Judaism and lit­er­a­ture and his desire to make a dif­fer­ence in the world.

The Nation­al Yid­dish Book Cen­ter is a vibrant, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion work­ing to res­cue Yid­dish and oth­er mod­ern Jew­ish books and cel­e­brate the cul­ture they con­tain. They have gone on to recov­er 1.5 mil­lion vol­umes, with hun­dreds of addi­tion­al books con­tin­u­ing to arrive each week. The JBC staff took a tour of their facil­i­ties and was able to meet the won­der­ful staff work­ing hard every­day lead­ing tours and inform­ing peo­ple about the impor­tance of sav­ing these Yid­dish works. We were able to come just when the Fall foliage was at its best and the views only made the cen­ter look just that much nicer from the outside.

Below you can find some pic­tures of our vis­it and the build­ing where it all happens.