Starr, Joshua

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STARR, JOSHUA (1907–1949), U.S. Jewish historian and communal worker. Starr, born in New York, studied at the Teachers' Seminary of the Jewish Theological Seminary, at the Universities of New York and Chicago, and at Columbia University. During 1933–35 he was a research student at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Starr served on the staff of the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. During 1947–49 he was secretary of the Commission for European Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, on whose behalf he was instrumental in recovering part of the religious and cultural treasures looted by the Nazis. Starr's main scholarly interest was in Byzantine and post-Byzantine Jewish history, on which he published: The Jews in the Byzantine Empire, 6411204 (1939); Life in Crete Under the Rule of Venice (paajr, 12 (1942), 59–114); and Romania; the Jewries of the Levant after the Fourth Crusade (1949). He also wrote on the New Testament and on Christian sects. In the field of contemporary Jewish history he took part in the publication of the Jewish Population Studies (1943) on behalf of the Conference on Jewish Relations, and edited Jewish Social Studies. Starr contributed numerous articles to learned publications, as well as pamphlets and articles for the World and American Jewish Congresses. A Joshua Starr Memorial Volume was published in 1953, containing a biography (by Abraham G. Duker) and a bibliography (9–15).

[David Jacoby]