The Miriam Catalog and Repository

Welcome to NAJC

The purpose of the Miriam Catalog and Repository is to document the culture of North American Jews.

Who We Are

President NAJC
Alan Bailin, PhD, MLS

Professor of Library Services, Hofstra University

Ari Fridkis, MA, MSW

Rabbi, Temple of Universal Judaism

Martha Kreisel, MA, MAH

Retired Associate Professor of Library Services, Hofstra University

Collection Director
Ann Grafstein, PhD, MLIS

Professor of Library Services, Hofstra University


Miriam Catalog and Repository

The purpose of the Miriam Catalog and Repository is to document the culture of North American Jews. North American Jewish Culture (NAJC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

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Recent Submissions

Want to Fight Antisemitism? Embrace Jewish Traditions
(New York Times, 2023-09-14) Lipstadt, Deborah E.
An opinion column in the New York Times by Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University, and currently serves as special envoy to the State Department charged with combating antisemitism abroad. In this column, Lipstadt contends that the fight against antisemitism is most effective when, rather than reacting to an antisemitic attack, Jews fully and openly embrace Judaism's values of ethics and justice. Written as Jews prepared to observe the High Holy Days, just prior to Rosh Hashannah, she exhorts Jews to celebrate their own culture and demonstrate solidarity with all persecuted groups and to focus on "how Jews, and anyone confronting persecution, live rather than how they suffer." Click on the link above to read the column.
“You’re So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah” Exudes Jewish Pride
(Jew in the City, 2023-08-30) Josephs, Allison
An article about the Netflix film by Adam Sandler, "You're So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah." The author notes that what distinguishes this film from so many others about Jews, is that it portrayed a positive image of Judaism and conveyed a sense of pride in being Jewish and recognition that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is about Torah and about the Jewish faith and tradition, rather than simply the party. The film is also distinguished by the fact that--unusual in many films with Jewish characters--the Jewish characters were played by Jewish actors. Click on the link above to read the article.
Why It Matters That 'Oppenheimer' Casts Non-Jews in Jewish Roles
(2023-07-12) Levs, Josh
In the film, Oppenheimer, two non-Jewish actors played the parts of real-life Jews (J. Robert Oppenheimer and Lewis Stauss), whose Jewishness was an important component of their stories. Levs argues that the lived experience of members of minority groups with prejudice and discrimination can inform their acting and can "help people learn about, and even develop empathy for, members of that minority group." He argues that, at a time of rising antisemitic speech and incidents, the choice of non-Jewish actors to play these roles was a missed opportunity. Click on the link to read the article.
J. Robert Oppenheimer: 5 Facts, including His Fraught Relationship with Judaism
(Aish, 2023-07-16) Miller, Dr. Yvette Alt
J. Robert Oppenheimer, was dubbed the "father of the atomic bomb." He directed the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the bomb was developed. Oppenheimer, who came from an affluent, assimilated Jewish family, had a complicated relationship with his Judaism. He was avowedly assimilated, despite the fact that antisemitism dogged him throughout his academic career, beginning at Harvard, which, beginning in 1922, the year he matriculated, began asking applicants to disclose their religion in an effort to curb the number of Jewish students. Always keenly concerned with issues of ethics and morality, it was the Holocaust awakened Oppenheimer's identification with the Jewish people. Indeed, that was a motivating force behind his commitment to develop the bomb before the Nazis did. The article discusses Oppenheimer's misgivings about the arms race that would ensue and became a vocal opponent of the nuclear arms race and may well have been behind his losing his security clearance. Click on the link to read the article.
Alan Arkin, Jewish actor with uncommon versatility, dies at 89: The son of Ukrainian and German Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn won an Oscar in 2007
(The Forward, 2023-06-30) Silow-Carroll, Andrew
This article discusses the nearly seven-decade career of actor, Alan Arkin, who died in June 2023. The article emphasizes Arkin's versatility and the wide range and variety of the roles he played. Click on the link to read the article.