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

Tu B’Shevat is Coming

There may be a wind chill below freezing and perhaps some snow in the forecast, but inside our homes and synagogues it’s spring like as we celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.

In Israel the month of Shevat marks the beginning of the growing season when the trees bud and flower. It’s a perfect time for planting.

So there is a lot of pretending in far colder New Jersey, but isn’t it nice to imagine?

While Tu B’Shevat also had a very serious side to it as one of the financial landmarks of the year, it’s often treated as a holiday just for kids in modern America and has also taken on the identity of an ecological holiday as  Jewish Earth Day

Below are some children’s books that get into the spirit of the holiday –even if they are not directly about trees- and make young readers aware of the world around them and their ability to affect that world. They are perfect to share with your children, grandchildren or a favorite young friend.

Biers-Ariel       The Seven Species: stories and recipes inspired by the foods of the Bible:  Background information about each of the seven species is provided, highlighting its role in Jewish texts and history.

Biers-Ariel       Solomon and the Trees: The story of King Solomon and the origins of Tu B'Shevat.

Cone                Listen to the Trees: Stories and quotations show the Jewish view of the environment.

Gellman          Netta and Her Plant: just like a plant that is well cared for, Netta grows and flourishes.

Gershator        Honi’s Circle of Trees: tells the story of Honi the Circle Maker who wandered over the land of ancient Israel planting carob seeds.

Gottesfeld       The Tree in the Courtyard: the story of the chestnut tree that grew outside the window of AnneFrank’s hiding place.

Lehman-Wilzig           Green Bible Stories for Children: Selected Bible stories are retold, and reinforced with activities that will help young readers understand how to nurture and protect the environment.

Lemniscates    Trees: A simple introduction to trees describing seasonal changes, different habitats and the contributions trees make to the environment.

Levine              All Eyes on Alexandra: Will Alexandra the crane be able to lead the flock on its migration to Israel's Hula Valley?

Levine              Pearl Moscowitz’s Last Stand: Pearl Moscowitz takes a stand to protect a beloved ginko tree that the city government tries to chop down.

Sasso               Prayer for the Earth: the story of Naamah, Noah’s wife: God asks Naamah to gather the seeds of every type of plant on Earth and bring them safely onto the ark before the great flood.

Snyder             The Forever Garden: a young girl and her older neighbor bond over gardening.

Wildsmith       Professor Noah’s Spaceship: The animals and birds, unhappy with the changes in the forest, fly away in Professor Noah's amazing spaceship. An ecological tale.

Aileen Grossberg, Librarian

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