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Our Mission

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) is a semi-autonomous division of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and was established in 1947 by renowned historian, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, in order to collect, preserve, and make available for research, materials on the history of Jews and Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere (primarily focusing on America) including data of a political, economic, social, cultural, and religious nature.

Three primary goals of the AJA Mission:

  1. To collect a variety of source material including documents, photographs, and media, that are reflective of all aspects of American life and culture. The AJA seeks to obtain records of congregations and Jewish organizations, genealogical materials, the papers of rabbis and key figures in American Jewish history, and personal histories that relate to the masses
  2. To produce publications relating to the American Jewish experience including the American Jewish Archives Journal which features articles on relevant themes in American history
  3. To promote the study of American Jewish history within the context of the broader American community by sponsoring symposia and conferences; producing a variety of educational tools and resources; and developing exhibits both physical and online.
The American Jewish Archives Building - Exterior

The AJA exists to preserve the continuity of Jewish life and learning for future generations and aspires to serve scholars, educators, students, and researchers of all backgrounds and beliefs.