In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • JQR at 130:New Voices Celebrate the Old Series
  • Natalie B. Dohrmann

For this issue we asked a cadre of fine scholars to help us celebrate our 130th anniversary, and 110th on American soil, by diving back into the JQR archive, an intellectual pantry stocked with over a century's worth of nonperishable scholarship. The results exceeded our expectations. It delighted us that every contributor chose to draw not on the American JQR but rather on the pages of the journal's venerable Old Series—the issues published when JQR was based in England under the editorship of Israel Abrahams and Claude G. Montefiore. That first iteration of JQR ran from its inaugural issue in 1888 until it moved to Philadelphia in 1908. The socalled New Series—beginning anew with volume 1, number 1—appeared in July of 1910 with the venerable Cyrus Adler and Solomon Schechter as editors.

I write this in the tumult of October 2020, the globe has retreated inside, yet the ruthless wave of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken over a million lives and counting. Throughout the twentieth century this journal managed to duck the waves of current events no matter how turbulent, but, as the short essays in this forum make clear, JQR's penchant for the now-calm waters of the past has never dimmed the vim or relevance of its scholarship. Our Victorian predecessors seem to have anticipated many of our own concerns, both as humans (the peril and promise of nationalism, the thirst for new discovery) and as scholars (the history of the everyday, the importance of Arabic and the East in Jewish history). They were less skittish than we in addressing big ethical and theological questions.

We sought essays of roughly 1,000 words that would connect with JQR's past and capture the lively, provocative, and readable quality of the early journal. The essays here match the wit and brio of those earlier essays, and each tells a fascinating story about the formative years of Anglophone Jewish studies, the stakes of scholarship, the folly of underestimating our forbearers, and the hubris of thinking we got there first. [End Page 591]

So we celebrate two JQR anniversaries with this forum: 110 years in the United States, and 130 all told.

Here's to survival. [End Page 592]