Skip to main content Skip to search

YU News

YU News

COVID-19 and the Orthodox Jewish Community Collection Available for Research

An initial portion of Yeshiva University Archives’ COVID-19 and the Orthodox Jewish Community Collection is available for onsite access by patrons. The collection consists of digital materials such as emails, documents, articles, webpages, websites, images, social media posts and audio/video recordings documenting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Orthodox Jewish community in the United States and Canada. They primarily capture institutional life and how religious observances adapted during the pandemic. Materials were overwhelmingly obtained from publicly available information on institutions' websites and social media platforms, largely Facebook and Twitter, and subscriptions to public mailing lists.

Collecting began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In April 2020, an email account was established for the project so public submissions could also be acquired. Collecting continued through the Jewish High Holidays in Fall 2022.

The collection contains what the project team received from the public or were able to collect themselves. It includes materials representing a wide range of Orthodox life, including synagogues, schools, summer camps, community centers, national and local communal organizations, rabbinic organizations, businesses, adult educational entities, cultural institutions, mikvahs, elder care facilities, kosher food establishments and supervising agencies, chevra kadishas, and entities serving those with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, or in abusive relationships. There are also items documenting humor, charitable initiatives, the Orthodox press, artistic endeavors, medical guidance and liturgical expressions in response to COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Some portions of the collection are not yet processed and so are not yet available. The finding aid to the collection, which describes the series that may be examined, can be found by clicking here: Preliminary Guide to the COVID-19 and the Orthodox Jewish Community Collection

Please note that the collection may only be examined onsite by appointments with the Archives. Contact to arrange an appointment.

Deena Schwimmer, Archivist