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October 13, 2011 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-13

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Holtzman gift reflects passion for telling the story c
Israel through literature

Irwin T. (Toby) Holtzman knew the power of great

culture," she says,

literature to reveal culture. This simple truth led the

noting that her

prominent Detroit-area builder and business owner

husband was in awe

to become a lifelong book collector and literary

that a country as young

scholar, helping to document what he termed the

as Israel could produce

literature of his time and notably preserving the

authors of such

culture of the modern state of Israel through writers
in residence there.

brilliance, who were

After Holtzman's death in 2010, his widow, Shirley

Holtzman, was faced with the question of finding a

The collection includes

late husband's collection and continuing his legacy.

fiction, poetry, and

Toby Holtzman was known in Michigan as the second

generation to lead the real estate development firm

of Holtzman and Silverman, which was founded in

1919 by his father, Joseph. Today, the apartment

management company continues as Village Green

under the direction of his son Jonathan.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

augmented by a wealth

of primary resources, including Holtzman's personal

correspondence with important Israeli literary figures,

among them the novelists Amos Oz and A. B. Yehoshua.

Holtzman also collected the works of Yehuda Amichai,

as 350 authors, many of whom counted him as a

considered by many, including Holtzman's close friend

supporter and friend. He took a particular interest in

Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, as Israel's greatest

Israeli writers, whom he viewed as essential to the

modern poet, Shirley Holtzman notes.

story of the revived Jewish national homeland.

Through a trusted friend, Shirley Holtzman learned

'The Holtzman collection will be a tremendous asset to

teaching and research at Michigan State," says Marc

about the work of MSU's Jewish Studies Program,

Bernstein, professor of Hebrew and faculty member in

which includes a focus on the study of Israeli literature,

MSU's Jewish Studies Program. "The collection includes

and also about the MSU Libraries' Special Collections.

the works of all major Israeli authors, including many

"The perfect marriage was formed," she says. "MSU

represents the finest of Michigan."

She hopes her gift to MSU to establish the Irwin T. and

Shirley Holtzman Collection of Israeli Literature will

aid MSU's unique efforts to advance the under-

standing of Israeli culture through the significant

contributions of its literature.

rare and valuable first editions, and places MSU on the
map of Israeli literature.

"These works offer a window onto the modern miracle

of the revival of the Hebrew language that began just

over a century ago and provide insights into an

extremely dynamic and creative culture and society,"
he says.

MSU Libraries faculty members plan to have the

collection catalogued and preserved in the near

future, opening the door for scholarly conferences on

Israeli literature that will highlight the texts.

Social media research targets college readiness

As universities open their doors to new students this

Through this $253,482 grant, Ellison and the

fall, a group of researchers at Michigan State

research team are gathering data from multiple

University is looking at social media to make sure

sources and will be producing a white paper to

even more teens have access to higher education in
the future.

With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates

Your comments are welcome: write to Michigan State University,
302 Olds Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1047 or call (517) 355-7505.

many with author

inscriptions. It is

Irwin T. (Toby) Holtzman was
devoted to collecting the works of
significant authors who wrote while
residing in Israel and embodied
Israeli culture.

But Holtzman also was known throughout the world

Faulkner, represent our country, our history, and our


drama from the earliest

days of Israeli statehood,

for his passion for books, actively collecting as many

in the same way that American authors, such as William


colloquial Hebrew.

home for the thousands of books and artifacts in her

"Toby wanted Israeli authors to have a voice in the world


also among the first in

their time to write in

Foundation, Nicole Ellison, associate professor of

share the ways in which social media might be used

to shape low-income teens' access to higher

They also will be investigating how youth are using

telecommunication, information studies, and media,

new media and the implications for social capital—

and colleagues will be conducting research to find

the network of social connections existing between

out how low-income middle school and high school

people that encourages social cooperation—as well

students are using new media and how they might

as for social relationships, psychological well-being,

use social networks to get ready for college.

and college readiness. 6,

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