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Mollie Harris Jewish Community Center CollectionAdd to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: Mollie Harris Jewish Community Center CollectionAdd to your cart.
ID: MS-0483
Extent: 6.25 Linear Feet
expand icon Historical Note

In 1957 the Jewish Community Center moved from its original location, a storefront on El Cajon Blvd and 30th St. in North Park, to 54th St. between El Cajon Blvd. and University Ave. Joseph Astor, when he became the director of the new JCC, moved the Center’s library of 538 volumes to the art gallery, and engaged Mollie Harris, a professional librarian.  Over the years, she and Joseph Astor developed a Jewish community library at the JCC.

In 1970 the Astor Family provided funds for a library facility which was named the Samuel and Rebecca Astor Judaica Library, in memory of the Astor Family parents.  The Astor Family also established a memorial fund  for books on Israel, in memory of Tillie Lawrence Omens, mother of  M. Larry Lawrence, chief benefactor of the library. The library was dedicated by Dr. Jacob Bronowski and ten years later, in 1980 there were over 5,800 volumes in the library. In that year, the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego first met in the library. The library was the center of Jewish literary life until 1996 when the library was moved to the Lawrence Family JCC in University City. The 54th St. JCC closed in 1998.

Mollie Harris was librarian at the library in the 54th St. JCC, from the early 1960’s until 1996. During her tenure as librarian, she built the library from a very small collection to almost  20,000 volumes. She initiated and organized an annual Jewish book fair, held regular book reviews with the help of Ida Nasatir and engaged notable Jewish literary speakers, such as I.B. Singer and Elie Wiesel.

expand icon Administrative Information
Acquired: 08/23/2011.
Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Rights: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Note: Jewish Historical Society of San Diego
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Mollie Harris Jewish Community Center Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Collection Material Type: Official Records
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