Preserving the continuity of Jewish life and learning for future generations

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Located on the historic Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the American Jewish Archives (AJA) is the largest free-standing repository dedicated solely to the study of the American Jewish experience. It contains more than 15 million pages of documents, audio-visual recordings, microfilm, and photographic images.

The American Jewish Archives was founded in 1947 by the renowned historian Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus (b. 1896) who served as its first director until his death in 1995 at the age of 99.

In 1998, Dr. Gary P. Zola became the AJA’s executive director and is also a board-appointed member of the HUC-JIR faculty where he serves as The Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History.

Frequently Asked Questions

The AJA was founded in 1947 on the historic Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion(HUC-JIR).  HUC-JIR is North America’s premier institution of Jewish higher education and the center for professional leadership development of Reform Judaism. A multi-campus academic and spiritual learning community, HUC-JIR builds vibrant progressive Judaism in North America, Israel and around the globe.

HUC-JIR Full Mission Statement

The AJA is open to the public. If you plan to do extensive research -- either in person or online --  we suggest you contact Dr. Dana Herman:

[email protected] or 513.487.3069

The AJA is open:

M-TH:   9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

FRI:       9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  

The AJA is closed on weekends and on some Jewish and national holidays.

The AJA is located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220 [Google Map »].  Once you arrive on campus, look to your right to locate the clock tower of the AJA facility. Free parking is available in the lot nearest to the clock tower and the AJA’s front entrance.

Guided tours are available upon request.  To schedule a tour, please contact Lisa Frankel, Director of Educational Outreach at [email protected] or at 513.487.3218

We strive to make all visitors welcome at the AJA.  Our facility is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Design.  There are accessible parking spots adjacent to the front entrance, there are no steps at the front entrance, and there is an elevator available just inside on the lobby level. In addition, the AJA’s reading room is equipped with software to assist the visually impaired.  If you need assistance due to a disability, please let us know so that we can accommodate you.

Exploring the AJA website:

About the AJA

Basic information about the AJA's mission, the executive director and staff, as well as visitor instructions, can be found in this section.

Read more about the AJA »

Research our Records

This section offers links to research resources, and types of material you'll find at the American Jewish Archives.

Research the AJA Records »

Search our Catalog

The AJA online catalog is the gateway to a vast collection of primary source material detailing the history of the Jewish experience in the Americas which include documents, photographs, audio and video media, digital collections and more.

This section also includes a link to "Ask and Archivist."

Search the AJA Catalog »


Here you will find a wealth of secondary source material relating to the American Jewish past including a link to the full run of the American Jewish Archives Journal which is fully searchable.

Explore AJA Publications »

Programs & Events

This section includes a listing of upcoming local and national events, Dr. Zola's speaking engagements, and the American Jewish Archives in the news.

View AJA Programs and Events »

Educational Resources

Digital documents, lesson plans/guides, resources for learning opportunities, can be found here.

Access the AJA Educational Resources