Beth Israel Library

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Our shul library is found in the boardroom. When you enter the boardroom, the shelves on the left contain books and CDs, the majority suggested by Rabbi Friedman. On the right, there is a collection from the past. The books on the left and the children’s books have been catalogued and are loosely arranged alphabetically according to the first important word in the title.

The first two sets of shelves contain sefarim and books that belong to series. Here, you will find such works as Mishnayot, Sefer HaChinuch, and commentary on the Torah.

The children’s books are found in the bins. There is a wide variety of children’s stories, some secular and some Judaic. Judaic themes for children include the aleph-beis, Shabbat, Yom Tovim, middot (character development), mitzvot (commandments), family, and friendship. The following are some titles to look for:

The Little Midrash Says (5 Volumes), The Incredible Voyage to Good Middos,  Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat, The Scribe who Lived in a Tree,  A little Boy Named Avram, and A Treasury of Jewish Bedtime Stories.

Reading is a great way to develop Jewish understanding, especially for those who have limited time to come out and learn. I would like to give some examples of subject areas and titles that seem interesting.

  1. Parenting and Personal Development.  Examples of reading material include Miriam Adahan’s Raising Children to Care,  Rabbi Twerski’s Positive Parenting,  Rebbitzin Jungreiss’ Life is a Test  and The Committed Marriage.
  2. Assorted Novels. Examples in this category are Yair Weinstock’s Blackout and The Eye of the Storm.
  3. Halachah  and Jewish Thought.  This is probably the majority of the collection.  A few examples are The Juggler and the King, The Chofetz Chaim on the Aggadeta of the Talmud, Rav Pam on the Festivals, Fundamentals of Judaism, and The Encyclopedia of Medical Jewish Ethics (3 Volumes).
  4. Biographies of great Rabbis and Sages.  In this category, there are books such as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, and Reflections of the Rav.

For those who like to listen to a CD while they are doing other things, we have a great CD collection also. My favourites include all the Jewish history CDs by Rabbi Berel Wein.  Rabbi Wein has also prepared a CD that tells the history and gives anecdotal stories about the streets and neighbourhoods in Jerusalem. This CD is a must for anyone planning a trip to Jerusalem or for anyone planning to make aliya.

How to Borrow

We are starting our library based on a trust system. You will find a recipe box with dividers for each month. Take the card from the back of the book or CD and write you name, email, phone number and the date the book is borrowed. You may keep books and CDs for up to three months. Then place your card in the recipe box in the month that the book should be returned. There will be a place on the shelves for returned books. You do not have to replace the cards. If you are using a book in the shul, you may also leave it on the return shelf.

Our library is a work in progress.  We hope that you, the congregation, use it. If you wish to share what you have read, send a few lines to the shul office and we will try to include them in the bulletin.