Pre-Holiday Reading

shofar1We are now in the month of Elul, leading up to the Jewish spiritual New Year. Elul is traditionally a month for introspection culminating a few weeks later on Yom Kippur.

To help you get in the mood of the upcoming holidays and gain some insights, The editors of the Jewish Review of Books have selected 10 previously-published articles that follow the arc of the fall holidays, from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and created a High Holiday Companion ebook.

Continue reading

We’re Back! Lampert Library is Open.

shelving8After months of anticipation and mounds of boxes waiting to be unpacked, the Lampert Library is again ready for operation.

Thanks to a hard working crew of volunteers, almost all the books were put back on the shelves in a week’s time.  There’s still some adjusting to be done but our library looks like a library again.



Here’s what it looked like as numerous volunteers- including some who were camera shy- sorted and shelved:

shelving 1shelving 2shelving 4shelving 3shelving6shelving5shelving7

Tradition or Traditsye

yidfid3The other night I watched a Channel 13 program about the Jewish influence on Broadway. It is amazing when one realizes how many of the great composers and lyricists of beloved Broadway shows were Jewish and how many shows have a Jewish sensibility.

A new book Devil’s Mile: the rich, gritty history of the Bowery has a chapter called simply “The Jews.”  Yiddish theater began on the Bowery. Seats cost 25 cents and everyone from mothers with their babies to workers and politicians would attend. Continue reading

Tu B’What?

tubav2Tonight (Thursday, July 26) and tomorrow mark Tu B’Av.

What!  You never heard of it?

Tu B’Av may be the best kept secret of a special day on the Jewish calendar.

Not be confused with Tu B’Shevat  or Tisha B’Av, Tu B’Av has its own identity and vibe.

The Fifteenth of Av, coming just about a week after the Ninth of Av, a day of mourning, is almost its polar opposite. Continue reading

Help Needed!

Lampert libraryLibrary bookshelves will be installed on July 30 if all goes well. Volunteers are welcome to help reshelve the books beginning on Tuesday, July 31.

Snacks and coffee provided.

Discover your next best read and brush up on your alpha-numeric skills.

Even an hour will help. Continue reading

Vacation Reminder

summer reading

Don’t forget to check the Lampert Library for books to take along on your vacation. Even if you don’t want to bring hard copies of books, check out the new books for items you might want to read on your e-reader.

We have lots of award winners and are constantly putting new books on the shelf. Continue reading

Call for Helpful Booklovers


It’s back! The Lampert Library is open for borrowing with a limited number of new books available on the table in the gallery.

While the library is still full of boxes, we do know that the new bookshelves will be delivered in a couple of weeks and then readers will begin to have access to all the Lampert Library’s treasures and Curious George will once again have a home.

However, unpacking the boxes will be a massive task. Some of you have offered to help. Continue reading

Gold Medal Reading, With a Little Silver Thrown In

The book award year has finally come to an end with the presentation of the Association of Jewish Libraries Literary Awards. They complement the National Jewish Book Awards from the Jewish Book Council and the Sami Rohr Award for an emerging writer.

Here are the best of the best from 2017, a selection of winners and honorable mention from the Jewish book world.

We truly are The People of the Book in the quality and variety of books of Jewish interest.

awards1The winner of the Sophie Brody Medal for Achievement in Jewish Literature awarded by the American Library Association is Ilana Kurshan for If All the Seas Were Ink. ALA said that “this engaging memoir chronicles the author’s experience with Daf Yomi, the practice of studying a page of Talmud daily. Contemporary life and Jewish learning intersect as Kurshan searches for answers to the changes and challenges of her own life. The cycle of Daf Yomi provides a map for the author’s journey.”  Kurshan’s book was also received the Sami Rohr Prize. Continue reading

Two Giants

giantsrith2March must be the birth month of giants. The late literary luminary Philip Roth was born on March 19, 1933; rock star Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 12, 1933.

It is doubtful that the two ever met or if they did that they would be friends.But despite their differences, these contemporaries have a lot in common: strong mothers who influenced them greatly. Continue reading


Omaha3On Saturday, April 28, I marked my father’s 24th yahrzeit. Ordinarily I’d light a candle, place it on the kitchen island before going to services. Then each time I’d walk through the kitchen I’d see the flickering flame and I would envision and recall my father’s smile, his kindness, his intelligence, and his open-mindedness.

I’d say kaddish surrounded by others saying this same these same ancient and familiar words of praise and acknowledgement.

But I was not in Montclair, New Jersey; I was in Lille, France. There was no kitchen island but a counter crowded with the needs of a busy family.

But still in my daughter’s home we lit that candle just as I would have in my own home and told stories about my father to the great-grandchildren whom he never met. Continue reading