The Vaad (Board)

Founding Members

Avraham Greenbaum

The late Dr. Avraham (Alfred Abraham) Greenbaum was born in Germany and emigrated with his family to the U.S. during World War II where they settled in the Boston area. He graduated Harvard University cum laude and a number of years later received a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Judaic Studies. In 1960 Dr. Greenbaum moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked as an academic librarian at Wayne State University. During this period he also received his M.A. in Library Science from the University of Michigan. In 1968 the family made Aliya and Dr. Greenbaum worked for over 20 years at the University of Haifa as lecturer – later senior lecturer – in Jewish history and as a reference librarian. In 1989 he took early retirement from the University of Haifa and moved to Jerusalem where he worked at the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History of the Hebrew University and continued with his research and writing. Dr. Greenbaum wrote or edited about 12 books and many articles. Most of his research centered on various aspects of the history of Soviet Jewry. During the years he lived in Jerusalem he made much use of the facilities of the National Library at Givat Ram, an institution to which he was very much attached.

Nadia Zeldes

Dr. Nadia Zeldes is engaged in research in the “Hispania Judaica” project of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University and specializes in Jewish History in the Mediterranean world. Her main areas of interest are Sicily, Italy, and Spain in the late medieval and early modern periods. She does most of her research at the National Library and can be found there most days of the week. Her letter to "Ha-aretz" sparked the activities of the readers’ group.

 Auditing committee

Levi Cooper and Motti Nahmani

Current Vaad Members

Dan Bitan

Dan Bitan is the director of IPSO (the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization. In the past, he worked for the Ministry of Education and in his last post there was the supervisor for junior high schools. He has used the National Library from his student days and in recent years for his research of the partition plan and of the contemporary history of water in Israel.

Aviad HaCohen

Dr. Aviad HaCohen is the dean of the Shaarei Mishpat College of Legal Studies and a senior lecturer in Jewish and constitutional law at the college and at the Hebrew University; a research fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. He has made use of the library resources for dozens of years for his academic research and studies.

Dena Ordan

Dena Ordan is a freelance Hebrew-English academic translator of Judaica who utilizes the resources of the library on a daily basis.

Benjamin Richler

Benjamin Richler was born in Montreal, Canada in 1940. He received his BA from Yeshiva University in New York in 1960 and a Master of Library Science from the Graduate School of Library Science of Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1963. From 1965-1997 he was a cataloguer of Hebrew manuscripts in the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew manuscripts at the National Library of Israel and from 1997 until his retirement in 2005 he was director of the Institute.

Among his publications are Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections (Jerusalem, Israel Academy of Sciences, 1994). He compiled or edited numerous catalogues of Hebrew manuscript collections The Association of Jewish Libraries   presented him with the Bibliography Award and in 1995 and the Bibliography Award in 2008. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Mr. Richler continues to catalogue manuscripts for the Institute on a voluntary basis.

Cana Werman

Professor Cana Werman teaches at Ben-Gurion University in the Deichmann Program for Jewish and Christian Literature from the Hellenistic-Roman Era, which is under the aegis of the Bible Department. During the academic year she is at the library three times a week in order to prepare lessons and to engage in research. During breaks she can be found at the library six days a week.

Nadia Zeldes

Former Vaad Members

Avi Aronsky

Avi Aronsky is a translator and editor.

Dvora Bregman

Dvora Bregman is professor emeritus of Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. She received her academic degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a longtime user of the National Library. A Jerusalem resident, she can frequently be found carrying out her research in one of the reading rooms at the library and her books are available in several reading rooms. She headed our Acquisitions Committee and currently serves as chairperson of our association.

Moshe Benovitz

Moshe Benovitz is an associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He is the author of Kol Nidre: Studies in the Development of Rabbinic Votive Institutions (Atlanta 1998) and several volumes of comprehensive critical commentary on sections of the Talmud, as well as numerous scholarly articles on various aspects of Talmudic scholarship and rabbinic history, including oaths and vows, liturgy, and Hanukkah.

Yisrael Eph'al

Israel Eph'al, professor emeritus of the Department of Jewish History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A library user since the start of his academic studies, when it was housed in the Terra Sancta building, he continues to frequent the Givat Ram library, and can be found either in the Judaica or Oriental Reading Rooms.

Jonathan Frankel

The late Jonathan Frankel was professor emeritus at the Hebrew University (the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies and the Institute of Contemporary Jewry). He was instrumental in setting Readers Association goals.

Yohanan Friedmann

Yohanan Friedmann is professor emeritus of Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been a heavy user of the Jewish National and University Library Oriental Reading Room since its opening in the early 1960s. Most of his research and writing has been done there.

Rachel Furst

Rachel Furst is a Ph.D. candidate in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a lecturer in Rabbinic Literature at Matan, Jerusalem, as well as other institutions in Israel and abroad. Her areas of interest include the halakhic literature of medieval Ashkenaz and gender theory. Rachel has been using the library on a near-daily basis for over a decade.

Miriam Goldstein

Miriam Goldstein is a lecturer in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at Bar-Ilan University. Her main areas of interest are Judeo-Arabic literature in its classical period and interreligious relations in the Arabic-speaking world in the medieval period. She fell in love with the library in 1994 during her first year of study in Israel, prior to beginning her BA studies, and has been a frequent visitor ever since. During the school year she can be found at the library at least twice a week, and during breaks, nearly every day. Miriam normally arrives at the library by bicycle and is happy to acquaint fellow bikers with the ins and outs of the Givat Ram campus.

Yaakov Mascetti

Yaakov Mascetti is assistant professor of comparative Literature at the Bar Ilan University in Israel. Born in Rome, Italy, in 1972, he went to International schools since age 6 and graduated from St Stephen's American High School in Rome in 1989. In 1995 he earned a B.A. in European Languages and Literatures from the State University of Perugia, and after having made aliyah in 1996, and having lived for three years in Sde Eliyahu, he received a Presidential Fellowship for Doctoral students at Bar Ilan in 1999. In 2003 he completed his Ph.D. with a dissertation on John Donne's use of alchemy in his poetry; shortly after that he left for the University of Pennsylvania, where he was granted an Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Penn Humanities Forum. In 2006 he was accepted as part of the CompLit faculty with a tenure-tracked position, where he teaches, writes and enjoys the pleasure of academic life to this day… Having discovered the National Library in 2000 thanks to his supervisor, Prof. William Kolbrener, he has been sitting in the General Reading Room on his research days during the academic year and during summer months for the past 11 years, using the collections on philosophy, Renaissance Christianity and literature.

 Dan Porat

Dan Porat is a lecturer at the Hebrew University School of Education who specializes in history of Israel and in Holocaust memory. He can be found in the library on average three days a week.

Milka Rubin

Dr. Milka Rubin teaches in the Dept. of Middle-Eastern Studies and in the Dept. of History at the Hebrew University, and researches the Byzantine and Early Muslim periods. The National Library, and especially the Oriental Reading Room which contains a rare collection of sources and books, have served as her basic working environment both for teaching and research for many years.

Yosef Salmon

Yosef Salmon is professor emeritus at the Jewish History Department, Ben-Gurion University and heads the Judaic Studies Department at Ariel College. Main areas of research: the Jewish community in Eastern Europe and the Land of Israel in the 19th century.

Ruth Toeg