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Syracuse University College of Law Library Receives Significant Collection of Books from Ronald L. Goldfarb ’54, L’56 and Joanne J. Goldfarb ’57

Posted on Thursday 11/15/2018
Ronald Goldfarb

Known as the Goldfarb Family Collection, Dineen Hall is now home to more than 1,500 books generously donated to the law library by Ronald L. Goldfarb ’54, L’56 and Joanne J. Goldfarb ’57, on behalf of their family.

Ronald Goldfarb’s legal career started in the military, where he was a US Air Force Judge Advocate General, and subsequently the government, where he was a member of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice. He was later Kennedy’s speechwriter. After working on the Kennedy campaign, Goldfarb became a successful trial attorney who focused on corrections reform, farmworker rights, and other public interest areas. He was Counsel to a House Judiciary Committee investigation, and one in California, and served on several national studies such as the Kerner Commission. Later, he became a highly regarded literary agent through his firm, Goldfarb & Associates. Through the years, he’s written and contributed to 16 books and written about 500 articles and reviews.

The collection spans Goldfarb’s broad and rich career and touches on a diverse array of subjects—from law and politics to literature and art. The Goldfarb Family Collection is located directly off the first-floor reading room of the law library. Volumes are displayed and ready for circulation. Browse the collection by clicking here.

“Choosing to donate the collection to my alma mater was an easy decision as I knew they would be used by future generations of College of Law lawyers in their understanding of the law and of society in general,” says Goldfarb. “I am honored to have them prominently displayed where students, faculty, staff, and scholars can easily use them.”

“Ronald’s exciting, varied career and interests are reflected in the breathtaking collection he’s graciously given to the College of Law,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “We are fortunate to have this fascinating collection of material that our students, with their diverse interests and career aspirations, can draw on for inspiration and knowledge.”

Some of the unique items in the collection include The Enemy Within, written by Robert F. Kennedy and inscribed by him; other volumes in the collection also are inscribed from their authors to Goldfarb. Law library staff have spent several months sorting, researching, and cataloging the books to get them prepared for display and use. While the majority of the volumes will stay at the College of Law library, some will be located in other collections across the University. 

Joanne Jacob Goldfarb graduated from the architecture school with honors and has practiced in Virginia for many years, having won AIA design awards. The Goldfarbs’ daughter, Jody Goldfarb, graduated from the Liberal Arts College and has master’s degrees from Columbia University and New York University in social work. Their son, Maximillian Goldfarb graduated Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts with a degree in fine arts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a master of science in visual studies. He now teaches at the University of Buffalo School of Art. Some of their books will be turned over to those schools.

“A donation of this magnitude and importance does not happen very often, and its impact on the student experience will reverberate for years to come,” says Jan Fleckenstein G'84, G'86, L'11, Director of the Law Library and Associate Teaching Professor. “On behalf of the College of Law library staff and community, I want to thank the Goldfarbs for their unselfish gift.”

Visit Ronald Goldfarb’s website for more information.