• The Central Library :
In order to respond to the increasing demand for material in connection with the intellectual Sephardic heritage, we need to gather all that patrimony under the same roof: The World Sephardic Library. A place where all the printed works printed until now as well as the existing and accessible manuscripts will be exposed. According to our knowledge, there are as many as 60000 volumes in the first category and 20000 in the second.
Nowadays printing and photocopy techniques allow us to collect all those books in facsimile at a reasonable cost. Only ten years ago, such a venture would have been unthinkable, for it then implied the purchase of 60000 rare and very expensive books. Communication means and especially the Internet have opened the doors of all the libraries in the World, allowing us to order thousands of microfilms related to our field of interest.
All those elements will also save us a precious amount of time in our collection effort and make us able to offer to the public a unique and accessible collection, the volumes not being rare originals but just facsimiles. A unique collection in a unique city, Jerusalem.
• The Audiovisual Lab :
Music has an extremely important place in the Sephardic culture. Rabbis had to be poets, we can see it in the all the introductions of their books. In the library, musical works and compositions will be gathered, labeled and broadcasted. Public Concerts will be given.
• The Documentation Center :
The computerized documentation center will be one of a kind. Tens of research modes will help students finding an answer to their questions quickly. The students will be able to borrow the facsimile books and take them home to work on them, an impossible thing elsewhere.
• Symposiums and Lectures :
The greatest specialists will be invited to speak about the Sephardic world and its culture, thus widening the circle of the interested public. Every research worker will be given the opportunity to present the results of his studies. Instead of Hillulot, for every great Rabbi a memorial day will be dedicated to learn his works and thoughts.
• The Distribution Center :
A marketing store center will distribute worldwide not only the Institute works, but all the Sephardic works available too, as it already does it now. The ignorance of our Intelectual Heritage makes our publications hard to sell and that’s the reason of their being not known.
• The Research Institute :
All serious study of the Jewish heritage demands a great knowledge of the Talmudic and rabbinical literature. Our books are available only in editions printed with the old Rashi letters and are almost incomprehensible for the common man, not to speak about the manuscripts. Yeshiva students will be taught the academic way of presenting research, which when added to their large knowledge of rabbinical literature, will allow them to produce good works at a relatively low cost.
There already are embryonic research centers for almost all the different communities. Tens of institutes that generally don’t have more than one research worker will be invited to join us in order to push the research forward and, at the same time diversify the publications.
• Transcription of Manuscripts :
Transcription of manuscripts has become an almost forgotten skill. A team of specialists will teach that skill and train people that might, tomorrow, save precious manuscripts from oblivion.
• Translation Lab :
The growing interest of Sephardic Jews all over the world to their glorious past incites us to set up a team of translators in order to communicate with them. French, English and Spanish are essential, and a selection of books will be translated in these languages.
• Roots Center :
More than others, Sephardic Judaism has been cut from its roots and is now rediscovering its glorious past and the great men it’s descended from. This fact carries along a research of previous generations as well as the making of family trees. A data bank will collect genealogical data in order to draw up family trees upon request.
• Museum :
A few years ago, a French Jew handed over a collection of 2500 Moroccan jewels to the Museum of Islam in Jerusalem. There are hundreds of collectors of photos, books and all sorts of antiquities who lack an appropriate place to expose their collections. Would there be a better place for such collections than our Sephardic Center ?
• The Publishing House :
All those works will need a printing center equipped with modern techniques and material in order to produce top of the range works in all languages.
• Research Grants :
Each year, grants will be granted to research students on Sephardic Judaism in order to encourage studies in this field.
• Conclusion :
All these programs are already working today. However, the lack of premises and of budget slow down our growth. We use only 5% of our real ability. The building of the World Sephardic Library will de facto allow us to receive from the local authorities the budgets due to every international organism. The beauty and the size of the new building will attract tourists and the diversity of the programs will make of that place