About the AJA

Collecting, Preserving, and Promoting the American Jewish Experience

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About the American Jewish Archives

In evaluating the institution’s achievements during the first years of its existence, Dr. Marcus articulated a mission that he hoped would ultimately become the transcendent purpose of the AJA’s endeavors:

“We would like to preen ourselves on the flattering thought that, to some degree at least, we are making Jews conscious of their history in this land … We will consider it an even greater achievement if we can induce some not only to reflect on their past, but to become intelligently conscious of their future as Jews and as Americans. This is our hope.”

Today, the leadership of the AJA clings to this hopeful aspiration of our founder with pride, and we continue to be guided by his inspiring personality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact about finding material in the AJA?

The AJA is open to all researchers who may contact the AJA with questions by mail, telephone, Ask the Archivist! (e-mail via our website) or conduct research onsite in the AJA’s Barrows-Loebelson Family Reading Room located at the AJA facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Who should I contact if I want to donate materials?

Please contact the director of research and collections, Dr. Dana Herman at 513.487.3069 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Who do I contact about bringing a group or attending a program?

Ms. Lisa B. Frankel is director of educational outreach and administration.  You can reach her at 513.487.3218 or by e-mail at [email protected]

AJA Mission

The AJA was established in 1947 on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion by renowned historian, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, to collect, preserve, and make available for research, materials on the history of Jews and Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere…More about the AJA Mission »

AJA History

During the winter of 1947, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus persuaded his colleague and friend, Dr. Nelson Glueck, President of the Hebrew Union College (HUC), to authorize the establishment of the American Jewish Archives in the original library building of HUC.More AJA History »

Executive Director

Dr. Gary P. Zola serves as The Marcus Center’s Executive Director as well as the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati.More about Dr. Zola »

AJA Founder

Jacob Rader Marcus was the first trained historian of the Jewish people born in America and the first to devote himself fully to the scholarly study of America’s Jews.More About Rabbi Marcus »

AJA Staff

The 11 full-time staff members, as well as interns and part-time support staff working at the AJA, are known for their exceptional and efficient service.Meet the AJA Staff »

Boards & Councils

There are three groups that support the mission of the American Jewish Archives. Click below for more information about these groups.AJA Boards & Councils »

AJA in the News

The AJA is in the news and making news! Click below for the latest breaking stories as well as  archived articles relating to the AJA.AJA in the News »

Plan a Visit

We strongly encourage prospective researchers to write, call, or e-mail the Marcus Center staff in advance of any visit to determine whether the AJA contains material relevant to their topic.Learn more / Plan a Visit to the AJA »