Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute seeks to promote the study and preservation of the Syriac heritage and language, and to facilitate opportunities for people to pursue the study of this ancient legacy globally. We aim to serve the academic community and the heirs of the Syriac heritage transcending denominational diversity. We carry out innovative educational projects that globalize Syriac studies, making it available through the Internet in every university, classroom, library and home.
In 1992, the Institute — formerly known as The Syriac Computing Institute (SyrCOM) — was established informally by George Anton Kiraz, then at the University of Cambridge. SyrCOM's main objective was to attract volunteers to work on Syriac projects by means of computer technology.
In 1996, SyrCOM moved to New Jersey, where it was formally registered as a nonprofit organization with a board of trustees governing its activities. By the year 2000, SyrCOM had successfully ventured into a wide range of exciting projects, from technological contributions such as the development of fonts for Windows 2000 Professional™, to scholarly activities such as the electronic publication of eBooks and an eJournal. Through these innovative projects, the Institute earned the respect and support of Syriac scholarship and the Syriac-speaking communities.
At the dawn of the Third Millennium, SyrCOM's mission was broadened with a new name to reflect its objectives. The Institute's Syriac name, Beth Mardutho, implies a 'place of learning', portraying the ultimate goal of the Institute: The establishment of a Syriac studies center affiliated with leading universities that globalizes Syriac studies through the Internet.