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Arnold and Deanne Kaplan: An Extraordinary Tradition of Philanthropy

The Kaplans are exceptional not only in their genius for collecting but also for their philanthropic vision and support for the needs of the collection.

In order to make sure the Kaplan Collection would be processed at the item level, meaning that each individual item would be accessioned, cataloged, and imaged, the Kaplans provided the funds to hire dedicated staff to accomplish this work through the Kaplan Digitization and Cataloging Fund.  The Kaplans also funded the production and publication of a prize-winning Companion Volume to the Exhibition of the Kaplan Collection that was mounted in 2014, Constellations of Atlantic Jewish History: The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica, 1555-1890. They also established a Kaplan Term Acquisition Fund to support the continued growth of the collection, even as they continue to add to the collection itself at the rate of ca. 300 items per year.

They now are establishing the
Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica Curator of Digital Humanities.
This is the first endowed position for Judaica Digital Humanities in the world.

This pioneering curatorship not only will oversee the needs of the Kaplan Collection but help promote access to and use of all of Penn’s world-class Judaica collections. The Kaplans also have made additional gifts to promote and support the research and use of the collection.

It is hard to put into words what an extraordinary partnership they have formed with the Penn Libraries and what a lasting difference they have made in the development of the field of early American Judaica and Jewish history and culture writ large.