The Friedberg Genizah Project
Section of letter with signature 
of Rav Yosef Karo; 
16th Century (CUL)

History

he Friedberg Genizah Project is a non-profit international humanities venture established in 1999 by Mr. Albert Friedberg of Toronto, Canada. Its objective is to promote research of the material discovered in the Cairo Genizah and to rejuvenate interest in this field of studies.

Initially, FGP funded research projects in various areas of Genizah study. This included identifying, transcribing and translating Genizah fragments. Additional teams were added each year. Various teams continue to conduct research for FGP.

In 2004, with the advance of technology that allowed for affordable, high quality photography of manuscripts, a decision was made to make an inventory of, and digitize all Cairo Genizah manuscripts. The creation of an inventory and a complete digitized archive enable FGP to append all Genizah research studies performed since its discovery in 1895 until the present, as well as research materials that will be created in the future, to the relevant manuscripts. 

At the end of 2005, Professor Yaacov Choueka was invited to join the FGP Directors as Chief Computerization Scientist, in order to establish the computerization unit of FGP. The Jerusalem based unit, called Genazim, is comprised of 15 programmers and consultants who have collaborated to create the software and algorithms that are the heart of FGP's Online Research Platform. The team continues to upload digital images of manuscripts and academic research material and maintains the computerized data base.

In May 2008, FGP released a fully-operational version of its online research platform, where it is now possible to view over 100,000 digitized images of Genizah manuscripts.

In October 2009 The Friedberg Genizah Project entered into a joint venture agreement with The Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society of Toronto, Canada.

 

Image: Section of letter with signature of Rav Yosef Karo, 16th Century; Cambridge University Library T-S 13J24.28