The National Library of Israel: Curating the past, creating the future

by | Oct 22, 2018 | What’s Happening

Leon Family Gallery
Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus

November and December

While continuing to serve as Israel’s pre-eminent research library, The National Library of Israel recently embarked upon an ambitious journey of renewal to open access to its treasures and encourage audiences in Israel and around the globe to engage with them in new and meaningful ways.

A range of innovative educational, cultural, and digital initiatives are taking place to achieve this goal. In addition, construction of a new landmark complex designed by Herzog and de Meuron, situated adjacent to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem, is underway and scheduled for completion in 2021.

Library treasures reflect and reveal Jewish life across continents and centuries, and highlight the diverse history and cultures of Israel and its region. NLI holds the largest collection of written Judaica ever amassed, significant handwritten works by luminaries such as Maimonides and Sir Isaac Newton, exquisite Islamic manuscripts dating to the ninth century, and archival collections of leading cultural and intellectual figures including Martin Buber, Franz Kafka, Natan Sharansky, and Naomi Shemer. The National Library also holds the world’s largest collection of maps of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, as well as the largest collection of Jewish and Israeli music.

This exhibition, developed in partnership with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, presents highlights from thelibrary’s world-class collections, which encompass manuscripts, books, posters, maps, music, photographs, communal and personal archival materials, and more.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1892, the National Library of Israel serves as the collective memory of the global Jewish community and the Israeli people in all of their diversity. NLI is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible the cultural and intellectual heritage of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, the Land of Israel, its people, and region across the ages.

For more information on this and other upcoming exhibits in the Leon Family Gallery, contact Callah Terkeltaub, Arts + Ideas Manager at