More Things to Do

montclair orchestra

There are so many things to do these days that there’s no excuse to be bored. Organizations, educational institutions at every level, entertainment venues and cultural groups have all risen to the occasion. They do not want to be forgotten.

Granted , most are not face to face. But in these days, we must rely on our imaginations. Perhaps get together with trusted family or friends to share some of these online experiences.

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Things to Do

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The library can be a treasure trove of information and entertainment, whimsical and useful, frivolous and serious.

I’d like to share with you a variety of items to help you fill any extra time you or your family might have. Continue reading

Look Back to go Forward

Photo courtesy of Forwards: How many Jews of Color Are There?

Photo courtesy of Forwards: How many Jews of Color Are There?

As we approach the 244th anniversary of independence for the United States, soul searching might be in order.

The following books are available at the Lampert Library or most public libraries. Continue reading

For Education and Entertainment

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During these  months with their special challenges for librarians, I’ve learned that there is so much more available that I ever thought although I would never give up hard copies of books.

While there is nothing like face-to-face experience, the online presentations have become almost as good as presenters adapt to unfamiliar technology.

The whole world is available through online presentations. I have discussed the Holocaust with an educator from India, baked hallah with a Jewish woman from Italy, attended a book talk with 30,000 other eager readers and “attended” a lecture with my daughter in France.

None of these things would have been possible in the “real” world. And if you miss something, most presentation are recorded so thatthey are accessible at any time.  Continue reading

Shavuot Resources

shavuot1Shavuot was frequently called the forgotten holiday. Religious schools had often closed by the time the holiday came around in late May or June.

Shavuot didn’t have the newness of the fall holidays; it lacked the gift giving and competition with Christmas of Hanukkah; and it’s missing the nostalgia of family gatherings that Passover brings.

However, Shavuot is one of the great pilgrimage holidays that along with Sukkot and Passover that drew ancient Jews to Jerusalem for sacrifices. The holiday also marked, for an agricultural people, the summer harvest and presaged the bounty that was to come in the fall. Continue reading

Reading in Difficult Times

Stone CarvingsAs I sit at my computer,  so-called normal times seem so distant.The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we act, where we go, even how we eat. We hope that soon we will return to a semblance of normal. If not, books may bring us entertainment, escape and solace, as well as, challenge.

While the synagogue library itself with all its treasures may not be accessible, this is the time to investigate ebooks borrowed from the public library, from an online  bookseller. or a local bookstore.  Brick and mortar bookstores also are doing their best to serve their customers with curbside or home delivery service.

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A Special Month to Celebrate Us

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By Proclamation, May is Jewish American Heritage Month. While it does not get the attention that Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage  Month get, we can make it important in our lives.

It is amazing how many programs are available while we are confined. Jewish organizations and museums have a wealth of programming on line, much of it more than just talking heads or a sage on a stage.

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Passover in the Age of Zoom

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars

Being cooped up at home can either be a curse or a blessing. I do miss my routine which gives purpose and markers to my days. However, the extra unscheduled times has allowed me to catch up on reading (I recommend The Convert by Hermans), organize my Rolodex ( I can’t give it up), and think about cleaning the closets. More importantly it has given me the opportunity to participate in some thoughtful webinars and online classes.

Some of these have been organized around the upcoming Passover holiday. In ordinary times, most of us would be planning our seders, making lists, freezing the gallons of chicken soup, and deciding which haggadah to use. These are not ordinary times; even my super organized brother hasn’t thought about Passover yet.  Continue reading

Storytime Lives

happy-family-reading-book-together-vector-illustration-cartoon-mother-father-son-childs-drawing-126432566Books are an important part of our kids’ school-and hopefully home- lives. What do we do when we’ve read all the books in our houses a thousand and one times, don’t want to order another thing from Amazon, and can’t go to the library or bookstore because they are closed?

While I’m investigating how to perhaps present an online library story time to our currently closed preschool, parents and kids of preschoolers and other picture book lovers might want to log on to Storyline Online.  Continue reading

Refugees are Still Here

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This weekend at Shomrei, we would have marked National Refugee Shabbat, a project of HIAS. Because of  the health emergency, we obviously will not mark this event.

However, there are still thousands of refugees both in our country and world wide though their lives have been eclipsed by the growing pandemic. Continue reading