It is an honor to bring together to the city of Jerusalem and to the National Library of Israel such a diverse, talented and experienced group of Judaica curators, collectors and archivists from around the globe. This second International Conference of Judaica-Collection Curators gathers professionals from over 20 countries to share their expertise and experience.
Standing at the center of our discussions is the growing place of digital information in the 21st century. Digital technologies have changed virtually everything about how information and knowledge is created, distributed, stored, searched and consumed. Our ongoing work requires us to understand these developments so that we can use or create the most effective technologies in expanding, preserving and disseminating our collections. Yet, as curators of Jewish collections, we cannot afford to look only at the future, but must keep our glance fixed on the past as well, to that millennium old tradition of Jewish writing and book lore. This conversation between the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future is the bread and butter of our work, and it is what brings us together for this conference.
In addition to sharing information and ideas, we want to encourage the creation of professional ties and personal connections between library practitioners and the institutions that they represent. We are gratified to see so many returning participants, who realize that ongoing interactions can help strengthen the bonds that connect the community of Judaica collectors worldwide. It is an honor for the National Library of Israel to help facilitate the creation and development of those bonds.
The National Library of Israel is undergoing a process of intensive growth and renewal. The new building, to be constructed next to the Israeli Knesset, will enable the Library to meet the challenges that the new technological world places before us, particularly as we witness a growing international interest in Jewish books and knowledge. This conference, and the worldwide cooperation that will stem from it, make up a critical part of this renewal.
Thank you for your participation and for contributing to what I am sure will be a most enlightening and enjoyable conference.
Chairman of the Board of Directors