Table of Contents

History of the Archive

About the Archive


The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive was founded in the late 1960s by Professor Moshe Davis and other historians of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The first Director was the late Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder and the Archive originally bore the name of its first donor, Iranian-Jewish businessman Abraham F. Rad, who Provided his support for a number of years. In 1987 a generous donation was received from the American filmmaker  Steven Spielberg, after which the Archive was renamed after after him.

 At the Scopus Dinner held in Los Angeles in December 2000, the American Friends of the Hebrew University honored the late Jack Valenti, Former Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. At the dinner it was announced that the premises housing the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive would be named the Jack Valenti Pavilion.


 In 1973 the World Zionist Organization (WZO) designated the Archive as the official depository of its films. Today the Archive is jointly administered by the University's Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry and the WZO. It is affiliated with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA).

 In 1996 the Archive moved to a specially designed premises at the University's Faculty of Humanities.

 The Archive engages in many types of activities. Among these are lectures, film research, preservation of films in danger of decay, distribution, and digitization and accessibility.

 The Archive serves a wide audience: film producers and directors, researchers, educational purposes - students, lecturers at the university, schools, cultural centers, old age homes, and the general public interested in Zionism.