Summer is great for hikes, a day at the beach, or a stroll in the park. One would think that given all these lively options the library should be closed for the outdoor season. The truth is that all of these activities can be enhanced by carrying and reading a good book out in the open air. We are here to provide you with this opportunity all summer! The library will be open in June and July on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you want take refuge from the summer scorch, come in and keep cool with a great book in the heat of the day. Thinking of those who cannot make it during the day, we will also be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. After June 12 the library will stay open even later on Thursdays. Here is why: We are hoping to establish a new tradition of Thursday night movies, starting the series after Shavuot.
Here is the list of movies to be shown at 7:30 p.m., always free of charge. After the movies we will have a chance to discuss what we have seen. Free, kosher, organic popcorn will be served!
June 12: The Hebrew Hammer (2003) – An orthodox Jewish hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus’s evil son.
June 26: Miracle in Cracow (2004) – A Hungarian girl and a Polish boy in Cracow search for an ancient kabbalistic book, stolen from his grandfather’s bookstore in Hungary in WWII.
July 3: Walk on Water (2004) – Following the suicide of his wife, an Israeli intelligence agent is assigned to befriend the grandchildren of a Nazi war criminal.
July 10: The Believer (2001) – A young Jewish man (Ryan Gosling) develops a fiercely anti-Semitic worldview.
July 17: War and Love (1985) – Two teenagers (Kyra Sedgwick, Sebastian Keneas) fall in love in the midst of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. *Note: Your very own librarian, Gabor Por, was an extra in this movie.
July 24: Esther Kahn (2000) – A Jewish girl (Summer Phoenix) in 19th century London dreams of becoming a stage actress.
July 31: Free Zone (2005) – Two women (including Natalie Portman) embark on a road trip in Israel and Jordan after they are brought together by chance.
LibraryThing is a popular website, where people can easily catalog the books they own. (More than 400,000 people already did.) The site has a multitude of other features; a lot of them are geared to social networking, i.e. finding people with similar tastes, sharing reviews and ratings, getting and giving recommendations, forming groups… The “local” section of the website lists book related venues and events by geographic area. Earlier today I added our library to the listing. Later, when I wanted to add our first movie night I noticed that somebody already did the same. Therefore right now we are listed there twice. Once I figure out how to remove the second listing I will. Meanwhile I am happy to report that it is an important site in the word of bibliophiles where the library is linked from.
The library had a paperback copy of Martin Buber‘s excellent collection of The Legend of the Baal-Shem. Recently an anonymous donor dropped of an audio version of the book at the library as a donation. The two audio tapes altogether are about three hours long. The stories are read by Theodore Bikel. When you are listening to books on tape it is important that you would like the voice of the reader. In order to help you to decide whether you like Mr. Bikel’s voice (I did) listen to the first three minutes of this tape by clicking the play button (arrow) below. The catch: you will get the beginning of the story, but in order to know what happens you will need to borrow the tape.
I have wanted to spice up the colors in the library for a while. Melissa, our executive director, jumpstarted the process by purchasing a colorful rug in Ikea over the weekend. Here is a picture of it in its full glory. I imagine/hope that story time with children will never be the same again as they can settle down on this. Just for the record: when you are in the library feel free to step on it. I know that it looks and is new, but we still need to move around in the library. It’s OK, we can wash the rug, when/if needed.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
By Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
With pictures by Quentin Blake
Reviewed by Susan Miller
Based on a smash hit musical, this story retells in pictures and story an exciting Old Testament story. The story of Joseph and his jealous brothers is brought to life with great illustrations, humor that make the story relevant to the present. This musical , written in 1968, in England, has been performed all over England and The USA. I think you will enjoy this lively story with great illustrations and a great sense of humor.
Rabbis: the many faces of Judaism is a book of triple mastery. First, on every second page or so there is an interesting photograph of a rabbi, in an unusual location or doing something interesting. These artful pictures were taken by George Kalinsky, the official photographer at Madison Square Garden. Second, each of these rabbis wrote a short, one page essay. Some of these are funny, others are reflective, but you can find short autobiographies too. I consider the third best feature of the book its variety. Milton Glaser, the editor, compiled a wonderful collection showing that there are as many types of rabbis, as many people. There are no two alike.
Treat yourself for an hour or two, by paging through the 100 images and read some of the essays. I guarantee you will have fun.
The (idea of having a) library is 25 years old today. Here is an excerpt from the 1986 (first ever) annual report:
The library dream began on May 22, 1983, when a group of ten, a minyan, met and resolved to find a usable space for a library. That summer, the board approved a plan to enclose a roofed space the size of a classroom adjacent to the synagogue office.
A preliminary dedication took place in November 1984. A brass plaque was attached to the door and the library was named the Celia Gurevitch Jewish Library. Celia was there on that November day, listening to speeches and reminiscing about the changes she had witnessed in the long years she had lived in Sonoma County. She remains a potent inspiration and guiding spirit to our library effort. Her family continues its concern with the Library.
A few Sundays ago, I was garage-sale-hopping. At one sunny front yard I found the slim (120 pages) volume of Justman: The Jewish Holocaust for Beginners. I was curious how a “comic book” about the Holocaust can be informative, so I had to purchase it. I put “comic” in quotation marks, because there is nothing comic about it. But this item is a volume of “Writers and Readers Documentary Comic Book” series, hence the format’s name was prescribed. The editors of the series take serious topics, authors and artworks and turn it into a graphic novel for beginners. Do not let the format confuse you: this is not a book for children, but for adults. The drawings in correspond in their starkness to the subject of the book. They follow chronological and geographic order. If you would like to gain a basic overview of the Shoah, but do not want to read much and/or a visual learner this book will serve you well.
Starting tomorrow, now that school is out, we are changing the hours the library will be open. Here are our new hours:
Monday 10 – 2
Tuesday 3.45 – 6
Wednesday 10 – 2
Thursday 3.45 – 6
A month ago I noted that Copperfield’s Books donated 9 boxes of books to us. Last week I process 67 of them, which is about two thirds of the total. Here is the list of books that got added to our collection. You can find these books already on our shelves. I will introduce most of them one by one in separate posts.