Executive Brief

Chief Advancement Officer
Center for Jewish History

January 2023

About the Center for Jewish History

The Center for Jewish History is the preeminent Jewish historical institute in the United States and largest Jewish archive in the world. It is the umbrella organization for five venerable partner institutions: the American Jewish Historical Society (founded in 1892), the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (1925), the Leo Baeck Institute (1955), the American Sephardi Federation (1973), and the Yeshiva University Museum (1973). The Center opened in 2000 to bring together the five partners to share operational efficiencies under one roof. Since its creation, the Center has sought to preserve the Jewish past and mobilize it in the service of public history by emphasizing the particularities of the Jewish historical experience while stressing its universal lessons. As a collaborative space for research and public engagement, the Center opens vast collections to the public and activates the stories they hold through archive and library services, fellowships, events, and exhibitions.

The partners’ archive, library, and museum holdings comprise the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. The collections span five thousand years, with more than five miles of archival documents (in dozens of languages and alphabet systems), more than 500,000 volumes, as well as thousands of artworks, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films, and photographs.

The Center for Jewish History is home to the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, the David Berg Rare Book Room, and the Collection Management & Conservation Wing. Public programs create opportunities for diverse audiences to explore the rich historical and cultural material that lives within the Center's walls.

The Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and is a partner of the Google Cultural Institute.

CFJH - Facility

The Center owns and operates its 135,000-square-foot facility at 15 West 16th Street in Manhattan, New York City, which includes the offices of the Center and its five partners as well as a central reading room, genealogy institute, scholars’ lounge, a 247-seat auditorium, several conference rooms, two floors of exhibition galleries, one floor of laboratories for archival preservation, and ten floors of collection storage stacks.


The collections lie at the very heart of the Center’s mission and that of its partner organizations. All research and learning that happens at the Center is based in the collections housed onsite. Researchers access materials available nowhere else in the world, and all exhibitions and events illuminate dimensions of Jewish history found in the holdings.


In a typical, non-pandemic year, the Center welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually through its doors for research, free exhibitions, and over 1,200 live events (lectures, films, performances, conferences, festivals, tours, classes, workshops). The Center is overseen by a 22-member Board of Directors and operated by 42 full-time and 8 part-time staff members.

Global Significance
Global Significance

The unparalleled archive and library resources of the Center’s five partners reflect Jewish culture and experience across the globe: the American Jewish Historical Society (USA), American Sephardi Federation (Mediterranean, North Africa, and Middle East), Leo Baeck Institute (German-speaking areas and the global German-speaking Jewish diaspora), Yeshiva University Museum (art and artifacts worldwide), and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (Yiddish culture in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Israel).

Reading Room

The Center for Jewish History in New York City illuminates history, culture, and heritage.

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