Seasonal This and That

Sept 14 apology

It always amazes me how we transition so smoothly between the joyous solemnity of Rosh Hashanah to the contemplation of Yom Kippur and then back to rejoicing in the bounty of the earth and the gift of the Torah.

On Yom Kippur, we recite a long list of behavorial errors-often by rote. “How to Forgive” by Amy Klein (Hadassah Magazine online)  looks at some recent books about forgiveness. Klein says  “… at this time dedicated to introspection, soul searching and forgiveness, there are mixed emotions: grief for the people who passed; sadness and empathy for those who got sick, lost jobs and suffered in quarantine. But what should we feel for people who refused to observe quarantine mandates or wear masks, who won’t vaccinate (for nonmedical reasons) or who spread disinformation about Covid-19? Or for those who perpetuated divisions in our society? What to do about all the emotions—even rage—at the stubborn ones who we think are responsible for our suffering? ” In her article entitled “How to Forgive”, she cites two books that helped her deal with her conflicted emotions.  Continue reading

Teshuvah – Return

Aug26 teshvahWe are almost at the end of the month of Elul when, according to traditional, we examine our behavior and begin the process of making amends , of returning to our best selves.

In that context, please check your home library shelves for the many books missing from our library. Some of you have received overdue notices- often several.  Continue reading

Library Resources

Aug 19 ElulWe are in the middle of Elul, month that leads up to holidays when we finish taking stock of ourselves and ask for forgiveness.

The library is well-stocked with books on the topic of the holidays, their rituals and concepts like atonement. Check out the book display for suggested reading. Continue reading

Summer Viewing and Doing (Updated)

There are so many great viewing opportunities right now. With the weather as sultry as it is, and the COVID threat still with us, taking a break for an armchair visit to another country or participating in a book talk is a good idea.

CAVEAT: Always check times for online events. Often the website will be in PDT or even European or Israeli time.

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Moving Forward (via Zoom): AJL 2021

AJL moving forwardOne thing librarians, especially librarians who work in small environments, look forward to is the annual conference.

Now that I am retired from the public sector, I especially anticipate the annual Association of Jewish Libraries conference. This international multi-day meeting is held in a different city each year and even has gone international – Canada to showcase our northern neighbors and Israel some years ago to celebrate the organization’s 25th birthday. Continue reading

Summer in Books

man reading book

Summer brings to mind travel, vacations, and lazy days swinging in a hammock or lying on a beach.Enjoy these pleasures either in real time or vicariously through books. Books can bring various summer experiences from fun to revelation. Continue reading

Immortality through Words

June 17 Anne FrankOn June 12, Anne Frank would have celebrated her birthday. Judging from the spirit of her famous diary, she would have been a feisty, involved 92 year old, perhaps marching for some cause or other with her children and grandchildren in tow.

Though Anne was a mere teenager, at her death just a few months short of her 17th birthday, the influence of her diary has inspired hundreds-perhaps thousands- of books, films, plays, poems, and other works of art in more than seventy languages. Continue reading

This and That for Your Viewing Pleasure

online library iconAs we all know, there is a wealth of information on the internet and much is actually available after the original showing…and for free. Visitors, however,  are encouraged to donate to help support programming.

Here are a variety of resources, including some travel sites to help you plan a trip or take one virtually. While the locations are all of interest, the quality of the travel webinar depends on the skill of the guide- especially on the English language skills for an English speaking viewer. Continue reading

Jews and Asia

5 20 AsiaBy chance Jewish American Heritage Month shares space with Asian Pacific Heritage Month. While the connection might seem tenuous, it’s a lot stronger than one may think.  After all, Israel is in Asia.

There have been Jews in Asia for hundreds-even thousands- of years, even if Jews in what is now Israel are not counted.

Countries that now have few if any Jews had large, vibrant communities with a culture that included literature, language, and ritual. Countries such as  India, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and more  had flourishing communities until modern times while the countries of Europe and North America were mere backwaters.  Continue reading

Lampert Library: Tribute to Its Friends

5 20 HermanThe Lampert Library has lost two staunch supporters in the last few months: Herman Gollob and Jerry Weiss.

Herman Gollob’s recent passing leaves a real void in the Lampert Library’s friends. Herman was a well-known editor who began his career as a theatrical  and  literary agent. He moved over to publishers such as Little  Brown, Harpers Magazine, the Literary Guild, Atheneum and Doubleday where he was editor-in-chief.

Shomrei’s Herman was, indeed, a big shot in the publishing world. But to Shomrei members he was the guy who had his bar mitzvah at the age of 53, the participant in Torah study who wasn’t shy about voicing his opinions, the person who encouraged Shomrei’s nascent writers, and the man whose southern manners could charm anyone when he wished to.

At Shomrei, Herman served as chair of the library committee for several years. But more importantly, Herman used his contacts in the literary world to bring outstanding  authors to Shomrei as part of the Lampert Library Lecture series.

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