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Library Research Guides

Jewish Heritage Collection

Information about artwork, books, printed ephemera, and objects of everyday and religious significance

A glimpse into the digital archive

Selections from the JHC

Non-English resources from the JHC

A glimpse into the digital archive

Jewish Community and State

Judaism is a religion with a strong community focus.  Throughout the ages, the Jewish experience has been centered around communal structures and activities.  In terms of physical structures, the most well-known sites of Jewish communal activity are the synagogue (house of worship) and mikvah (bath-house).  Most Jewish prayers are written in 1st person plural rather than the 1st person singular; "we" and "our" are generally used rather than "I" and "my".  Some prayers and rituals also require a community or minyan.  This emphasis on community and communal responsibility has spawned the creation of Jewish communal objects such as the tzedakah box and organizations such as the Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services.   This sense of community has also produced a great deal of political and social activism which has resulted in the printing of books and ephemeral material and the creation of related artifacts.  The Zionist movement and establishment of the State of Israel also has its own literature and associated objects.  

The Jewish Heritage Collection has a large collection of texts, ephemera, and objects related to or produced by the Jewish community and state.  The collection is particularly strong in ephemera produced by the Greater Ann Arbor Jewish Community.