Fan and Hyman Jacobs Library

The Fan and Hyman Jacobs Library is a treasure trove hidden in plain sight, just a few steps off the main floor of Oheb Shalom. 

With over 5,000 items, there is something for everyone.  Books on philosophy, biography, history, and holidays fill the shelves.  The fiction, selected for all age levels, includes both modern and classic works by Jewish and Israeli authors.  There are special areas for graphic novels and for parenting advice.  A collection of DVDs is growing. 

Borrowing is simple, and there is never a late fee.  The catalog is available online.  Our librarian, Aileen Grossberg, is on site Sunday and Wednesday mornings, but you are welcome any time. 

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Oheb Shalom Online Catalog

THIS WEEK'S Message From Our Librarian

It’s Elul: time to think

As we move through the month of Elul, we’re given the opportunity to reflect and prepare for the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is a time of contemplation.

This process can be difficult for many of us. We run from place to place, from errand to errand, our lives seemingly controlled by devices.  Taking the time to take stock, to slow down, to look inside ourselves seems nearly impossible.

Fortunately, many fine thinkers have provided avenues to help us with this process.

From David’s psalm 27, which is recited every morning and evening through Simhat Torah, we hear the plea for God’s help. David wrote this in the face of battle. We sometimes forget that the sweet singer of Israel was a true warrior king. (Read The Secret Chord by novelist Geraldine Brooks)

David faced danger every time he went out to face the enemy.  He wanted and needed God’s help just as we want and need God’s help to get us through.  David pleads with God and in the end the psalmist concludes that God will be there for him.

We too need assurance and the spiritual work of Elul and the following weeks of Tishri help us reach that state.

Modern thinkers may sound more prosaic but their goal is like David’s—to help us find security and calm. This poetic personal adaptation of the psalm by Rabbi Patti Haskell may help to get you started.

To further assist you in that process look at the following books available in the  library:
Bookman       The Busy Soul: ten minute spiritual workouts drawn from Jewish tradition.
Cardin            The Tapestry of Jewish Time: a spiritual guide to holidays and life-cycle events.
Goldman        Being Jewish: the spiritual and cultural practice of Judaism today.
Kushner         God was in this Place and I did not Know: finding self, spirituality and ultimate meaning.
Kushner         The Way into Jewish Mystical Tradition.
Lew                This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared.
Ochs              Jewish Spiritual Guidance: finding our way to God.
Robbins         Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27: a spiritual practice for the Jewish new year.
Roth               Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening your heart, connecting with God.
Strassfeld       A Book of Life: embracing Judaism as a spiritual practice.


Aileen Grossberg, Librarian

Librarian Hours: Wednesdays & Sundays from 9 am to 12 pm. The library is open daily.