Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People

Established in 1939, the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People holds one of the most extensive and comprehensive collections of Jewish community materials in the world, as well as an immense pool of Jewish organisational records, personal documentary bequests and private papers. The institution performs surveys in Jewish and non-Jewish archives throughout the world, and copies large bodies of documents. Recently the Archives has been merged with the National Library of Israel.

The Archives explores the Jewish and Jewish-related documents of more than a dozen institutions of the Baltic States. In line with Yerusha’s strategy, the work will also include retrieving information from the existing finding aids pertaining to the relevant materials in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

In 2016 the Archives launched a new Yerusha project in Georgia that covers the material of five archival institutions. The collections include records related to the history of Georgian, Ashkenazi and the so-called Mountain Jews, with the time frame of the research spanning from the pre-Russian era to the end of the Soviet regime.

Principal investigator Alex Valdman is a PhD student at the Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is currently completing a dissertation which explores the emergence of the educated Jewish elites in Late Imperial Russia.

The project in Georgia is led by Benyamin Lukin, who serves as a senior archivist and head of the East-European department at the Archives. He has established cooperation with dozens of archives, and led numerous research projects.  Benyamin has published vastly on the history of East European Jewry.