Louis Shub, 89; Turned University of Judaism's Library Into Major Collection

From a Times Staff Writer

Louis Shub, the longtime director of the Jack and Bel Ostrow Library at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, has died. He was 89.

Shub died Monday of pneumonia at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1948, Shub began lecturing at the University of Judaism while also working for the Zionist Youth Commission. He joined the university full-time in 1954 and began working in the library.

Under Shub's direction, the university began to expand its modest library through endowments that allowed it to buy private collections.

The library has one of the largest collections of Judaica on the West Coast and is distinguished for its holdings in Jewish history, the Middle East and Israel, rabbinical literature, and Hebrew fiction and literature.

Shub also created the university's Documentation Center, a news archive that allows students to research articles from newspapers and periodicals over the last 50 years, covering Israel and the Middle East, Israeli and Jewish personalities and issues such as church and state.

"Our library at the University of Judaism is a people's library which provides for student, scholar and community the record of Jewish civilization," Shub told The Times some years ago.

"It is a dwelling place of great genius and powerful minds and spirits, and no segment of Jewish life is foreign to its holdings."

Shub was born in Braddock, Pa., to Russian immigrant parents. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Outside his work at the University of Judaism, Shub founded and served as director of the Israel Office of the American Jewish Committee in Jerusalem. Over the years, he also wrote studies on Israel and the Middle East.

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.

Survivors include his wife, June Heiser Shub.

Contributions may be made in his name to the Louis Shub Endowment Fund at the University of Judaism.

A memorial service will be held today at 2 p.m. at the Matthew Berman Chapel of the University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.

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