Spielberg Foundation gives $100,000 to LAPL for Jewish Books

When starting my research, one of the first places I went to was Los Angeles Public Library
online catalogue. I knew from researching RASHI'S DAUGHTERS that hey
have a decent Judaica collection, plus the convenience of sending any
book I want to my local branch, which is about a ten-minute walk from
my home. As I searched for books on the subject of Jewish Women in the
Talmud, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many the LAPL had in
circulation, including some recent titles I would have considered
rather obscure.

"Cambridge Companion to Talmud and Rabbinic Literature" by Fonrobert, "Talmudic Stories: Narrative and Culture" by
Rubenstein, "Jewish Marriage in Antiquity" by Satlow, "Spinning
Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender and History" by Peskowitz, and even "Gentile
Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the
Bible to the Talmud" by Hayes [does it get more arcane than that?] -
slowly but surely, I read them all. But I couldn't help but wonder what
prompted the LAPL to add these kinds of scholarly volumes to their
collection. Surely very few library patrons would be reading them.

After the fourth book arrived, I had my answer. For I noticed an identical
bookplate on each of their inside covers: "Spielberg Family/Righteous
Persons Foundation Collection." An internet search brought me to their grants archive , where I discovered that in 2008 the foundation had donated $100,000 to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles ; to endow the Los Angeles Central Library's Jewish collection of books and periodicals.

Wow! A hundred thousand dollars worth of Jewish books donated to my public
library, with no fanfare or even an article in the local press, at
least none I've seen. This was amazing. Thank you Spielberg family. Now
I can't help but wonder who decided which titles to acquire and how
that decision was made. I may just try to find out.

Maggie Anton

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