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Join us in contributing to our 378 Campaign!


Dear Friends,

We are grateful to all of you for your support during our recent Giving Tuesday campaign and always. Our work is meaningful, especially now, and you are helping enhance our future by bringing it to broader audiences in a variety of ways. AJHS was already deeply invested in the digitization of our collections for the sake of both preservation and access, and the lessons learned from the pandemic have strengthened that commitment.

The pandemic disrupted physical access for most libraries and archives worldwide, but due to AJHS’s commitment to digitization as a key component of public service, we were able to provide access to many archival collections, photographs, and sound recordings throughout, allowing researchers of all types and levels to continue their explorations of our materials. Genealogists, students, scholars, and curious readers were able to view and utilize AJHS materials, despite our limitations on physical access.

We are closing the book on 2021 and invite our supporters to participate in a unique challenge as we work hard to continue to expand access to our collections and the history they represent. By multiplying the year 21 by 18, we have the number 378 which, multiplied by 100, approximates our 2022 goal for digitization! We are committed to digitizing at least 37,800 pages in the year 2022—each page costs a dollar to digitize— and by closing out 2021 with this special campaign, the 378 Campaign, you can help us to reach and hopefully exceed this goal before the end of 2022. We will keep you apprised of our progress and share digitized items of particular interest and meaning with you along the way. As 2022 marks AJHS’s 130th anniversary, we anticipate making collections available that represent important milestones in the history of AJHS, and the American Jewish experience overall. Collections such as these could be made available:

• The early records of the AJHS itself, which document the earliest days of the Society and include materials about our founding members

• The Klinghoffer family papers, donated in 2015, an important collection that documents the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985, and personal details about Leon Klinghoffer and his family
• The Shad Polier papers, which provide additional insight into the work of the American Jewish Congress, and would be an excellent addition to the existing AJCongress archive

• Additional records from orphan asylums, mutual aid organizations, and other groups, to aid genealogists and family historians in further documenting their research

We thank you for your consideration as you plan your end of year giving, and are excited to share milestones with you throughout the coming year.

With best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year,



Gemma Birnbaum, Executive Director