Israel’s Center of Jewish Art gets NIS 3 million to create Internet-based art catalog

A ministerial committee is expected to approve a NIS 1.5 million government grant this week to help complete a digital database of the archives of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The center was established about 32 years ago by Professor Mordechai Narkis, and has the largest collection of Jewish art in the world. Its staff, under the management of Dr. Rina Talgam, includes experts on art, architecture, manuscripts, metalwork and textiles, and the archives include documents, ritual objects and holy books. They also contain information on Jewish art outside of Israel.

The center started converting its broad archive to digital files, but due to a lack of funds, was unable to complete the process. “Thus far, the center has not been officially funded by the state or the university,” said Talgam, “and a great concern arose that its undertakings would cease, that the collection would go down the drain.


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