The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Park Avenue Synagogue Announce the Parashah Partnership

New Venture Connects B’nai Mitzvah to Jewish History via Library Treasures

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

July 19, 2010, New York, NY

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Park Avenue Synagogue have established the Parashah Partnership, a new program that will allow bar and bat mitzvah students the opportunity to read from rare manuscripts and prayer books in the Rare Book Room of The Library.

Beginning this September, Parashah Partnership sessions will be held once a month on Wednesday afternoons, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., for Park Avenue Synagogue students whose bar or bat mitzvah ceremony will occur during the coming month. In the sessions, students (and their families) will be given the chance to view some of the great Jewish treasures in The Library’s collections, and read their haftarah from a fifteenth-century Spanish Tanakh. At each program, students will receive a facsimile copy of the historical text from which they read, along with a certificate welcoming them as honorary members of The Library. Families are welcome to take photos of their children reading from the rare works.

This new program ensures a tangible and meaningful connection between soon-to-be b’nai mitzvah and their Jewish heritage. “This represents the opportunity to introduce Jewish young people to the jewels of our tradition. Our hope is that, by bringing them into contact with Jewish writings that are centuries old, they will be inspired to continue their pursuit of our history and tradition,” says Dr. David Kraemer, the Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS.

For more information about the Parashah Partnership, please contact Dr. Kraemer at or (212) 678-8075.