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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For Shavuot and Beyond

i5 14 London
There’s lots going on in both the cyber and real worlds. As the world continues to open up a bit, live entertainment has slowly begun again or will soon.

The weather encourages outdoor gatherings.

But for when we are confined indoors, here are some programs and activities available via the Internet.

The Center for Jewish History (https://programs.cjh.org/ ) has a variety of programs, many free. Literature, history, culture, cooking and many more sessions are available. Continue reading

From Washington to Biden

jewish flagAs you know, May is Jewish American Heritage Month.  Since  1980 when President Jimmy Carter at Congress’s behest declared a special week in honor of America’s Jewish residents, the president has issued a proclamation and special events and exhibitions have been held.

In 2006, President George W. Bush declared an official Jewish American Heritage Month. Each year the president issues a proclamation highlighting Jewish accomplishments and contributions to the US.  Continue reading

American Notables

April 28 1Jewish American History Month has been celebrated every  May since 2006. Throughout May the library column will concentrate on American Jewish biography and history, bringing to your attention fascinating- though not always admirable- American Jews who have made their mark.

Jews have influenced every aspect of American society. They have been heroes in war and peace. They have made scientific discoveries that saved lives and helped to destroy lives. They have entertained and educated.

Some names you may know; others will be unfamiliar to you.  Yale University has developed a series of short, well-written and well-researched biographies that cover the entire range of  Jewish achievement.  Continue reading

England and the Jews

Apr 14 GrossThe relationship between England and its Jews is complicated as is in most countries where Jews have a history. Although there were probably Jews in England during Roman times, there is no evidence of an organized Jewish community. Today, England has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world and is second only to France in Europe.

Apr 14 food potThe first written record of a Jewish presence is dated 1070. Recent archaeological discoveries show proof of a kosher diet in an area known to have been inhabited by Jews.

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