Oral Historian – Center for Jewish History – New York, NY

The Center for Jewish History (NYC | cjh.org) is the collaborative home to five in-house partners – American Jewish Historical society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. When the Center opened its doors eighteen years ago, it made a commitment to preserve the collections housed within its walls and make them accessible to scholars, students, and diverse audiences by implementing a unique, shared services model across all five partners.

The Center for Jewish History seeks a part-time Oral Historian for a term ending June 30, 2019, with the possibility of extension. Reporting directly to the Senior Manager for Collection Services, the Oral Historian will be responsible for collecting oral histories from the New York Iranian Jewish immigrant community. The successful applicant will join a dynamic team of forward-thinking and professionally engaged Center staff who provide support for archival projects and other access-oriented services for the collections held by the five partner institutions of the Center. The part-time position offers a competitive hourly rate for up to 15 hours weekly.


  • Conduct 10 video oral histories of Iranian American Jewish immigrants
  • Collaborate with Center staff, including videographers in the Digital Services department, to arrange several days of interview capture
  • Develop interview questions
  • Manage the translation and transcription of select interviews
  • Coordinate with the Archival Services and Metadata and Discovery Services departments for processing of collection and ingest into the Center’s systems
  • Undertake additional duties related to the oral history project as assigned

Required qualifications

  • Fluency in Farsi, both written and spoken
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in history, oral history, journalism, or Iranian and Persian studies
  • Knowledge of oral history professional practice, methodology, theory, and ethics
  • High capacity for creative problem-solving
  • Aptitude at prioritizing work and meeting deadlines
  • Ability to work flexibly, independently and collaboratively in a complex organizational environment comprised of diverse constituencies
  • Capacity to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in oral history or from an ALA-accredited library school or similar graduate-level training, such as archival science
  • Familiarity with 20th-century Jewish history and modern Middle Eastern history
  • Previous oral history experience

Review of applications will begin immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send cover letter, resume, and three references to Sarah Hopley, Senior Manager for Collection Services, at shopley@cjh.org. No phone calls please.

The Center for Jewish History is committed to diversity and inclusion. Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially encouraged to apply.

About John Pell

John Pell is an assistant professor and librarian at Hunter College in New York City.

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