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N.Y. center gets $2.5 million gift for new rare books room

NEW YORK (JTA) — A $2.5 million gift from the David Berg Foundation will be used to establish a rare books room at the Center for Jewish History in New York.

The center, which announced the gift earlier this month, houses the collections of the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The room will provide the center’s partners with a state-of-the-art facility in which to showcase some of their most important printed materials, including seminal first editions and a cross-section of rabbinical literature, Jewish philosophy and intellectual history that dates back hundreds of years.

Scheduled for a fall opening, the room will be named for the late Berg, a real estate lawyer who immigrated to America from Russia in 1904. It will be open to the public.

Previous contributions from the Berg Foundation to the museum include a $300,000 gift in 2010 to bring more visitors to the center and a $75,000 grant to help fund the its History of Genocide Initiative.

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