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Dr. Louis Shub

Library Director at the University of Judaism, Dies at 89


March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

Dr. Louis Shub, longtime library director of the University of Judaism's (UJ) Jack and Bel Ostrow Library, died  March 10 of pneumonia at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. He was 89.

Shub is credited with building the UJ's library from a modest collection to one of the largest collections of Judaica on the West Coast, distinguished for its holdings in Jewish history, the Middle East and Israel, rabbinical literature and Hebrew fiction and literature. After his retirement in 1987, Shub stayed on as director emeritus of the library and director of the Documentation Center. He was also the Jacobson adjunct professor of political sociology.

"It's clear that Lou loved books," said Dr. David Lieber, president emeritus of the UJ. "But he loved people even more."

Shub came to Los Angeles in 1948. Shortly after his arrival, he began lecturing at the UJ while simultaneously working for the Zionist Youth Commission. In 1954, he joined the UJ on a full-time basis. It was at that time he began working in the library.

Under Shub, the UJ library began acquiring private collections, as well as endowments that allowed the UJ to purchase books.

Shub also created the Documentation Center, a news archive that allows students to research articles from newspapers and periodicals over the past 50 years. Areas covered are Israel and the Middle East, Israeli and Jewish personalities and issues such as church and state.

Shub, born and reared in Braddock, Pa., to Shaya and Esther Shub, had an older brother, Harry, and an older sister, Bess. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree from Columbia University. He also received an honorary doctorate from the UJ.

Shub founded and served as director of the Israel office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Jerusalem in 1945. Over the years he authored studies on Israel and the Middle East that appeared in the AJC's  annual American Jewish Yearbook. He also wrote a number of monographs that were published under the aegis of the Contemporary Jewish Center.

Survivors include his wife, June Heiser Shub.

Contributions can be made to the Louis Shub Endowment Fund at the UJ.

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