The Elis and Ruth Douer Endowed Fund for Sephardic Judaica was established by Albert Douer, WG’85, PAR’14; Salomon Douer, WG’89; Daniel Douer, WG’95; and Paula Douer, C’94, in honor of their parents Elis and Ruth. The fund supports the acquisition of materials relating to the history of the Sephardic Jewish experience, as well as the Libraries’ goal to bring the worlds of Mediterranean and Atlantic Jewries into the center of modern Jewish Studies by adding to our rich legacy of Sephardic studies and Sephardic library holdings.
The Elis and Ruth Douer Fund adds to the Penn Libraries’ projects and programs in support of Jewish Studies, which have included an international partnership with Cambridge University to use digital technologies to advance the study of the contents of the Cairo Genizah; our post-graduate Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies devoted a year of research to the topic of Jews in the Islamic world; our library public programs brought Miriam Meghnagi, the famous Libyan-born Italian-Jewish singer and musicologist to Penn to perform at the Annenberg Center; our faculty-library partnership produced a basic teaching and research tool about Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Middle East; and we established an ongoing program to catalog and digitize our Arabic and Judeo-Arabic manuscript holdings to make them available to the public. In 2011, Penn Libraries also acquired what is regarded as the most important private collection of early photographs of the Land of Israel under Ottoman and British rule.
The Douer Family has a strong relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, with all four siblings graduating from the institution in the 1980s and 1990s. Albert's daughter, Vanessa Douer Seinjet C’14, has continued the family legacy.