October 15, 2020
Dear Reading Friends,
I joined the KI family in September of 1982. My first child had been born the previous spring. I spent my first 25 years teaching First Grade in the KI Religious School. I have taught many families who are still active KI members. In 2007, I transitioned to the Meyers Library and became the Director of Library Services. I have enjoyed getting to know and working with all of you during my KI tenure.
After a great deal of thought I have decided that this is the time for me to retire from my position at the Meyers Library of Keneseth Israel. My retirement will begin about the middle of December. Executive Director Brian Rissinger and I agree that this timing should be sufficient for him to find a qualified replacement.
During my tenure the library has received Advanced Accreditation from the Association of Jewish Libraries and become automated. We now sponsor a full program of Adult Book Discussions; Annual Jewish Film Festival; Author Visits; an annual series of programs on individual Jewish authors; and a session on Grandparenting.
During the current Covid Pandemic, the Meyers Library introduced a foyer pick up and return of books. This was designed to meet the reading needs of the congregation. We are now adding pre-scheduled individual 15 minute visits to the library to select your own titles.
I have worked hard to schedule joint programs with the KI constituent groups: Winter films with Adult Ed; author events with Women of KI; joint programs and exhibition sponsorship with the Temple Judea Museum and sponsorship of the Arts Alive/Words Alive Gallery; Genealogy programs with the Archives Committee and others.
The challenge of determining and selecting new acquisitions for the library involved a great amount of research. I constantly read book reviews; blogs; articles; and spoke with librarian colleagues to determine the appropriateness of each selection for our Jewish library. We are Am Hasefer/The People of the Book. Choosing these books can sometimes be challenging.
One of my favorite responsibilities was helping you, the library patrons, make a book selection. I received great pleasure when you told me how much you enjoyed the title that I recommended. Another favorite activity was working with the preschool classes during their weekly story hours in the library. I also enjoyed suggesting library resources for the Preshool and JQuest Faculty to supplement their curriculum.
Sharing ebook bargains with you and hearing how much you enjoyed this, made me realize that our library is not only the best kept secret at KI, but also an external resource to the greater Jewish literary community.
I want to thank the loyal corps of volunteers who worked with me to grow the activities and services of the library and to maintain our collection on a daily basis. It would not have been possible to accomplish all that we did without your assistance.
My two final library activities will be the Adult Book discussion via zoom on Wednesday November 17 at 1 pm. We will discuss Florence Adler Swims Forever. I look forward to discussing this fascinating and disturbing novel with you. I will email the zoom link closer to the date.
On Sunday December 6 at noon, two historians, Rabbi Lance J. Sussman and Ambassador Michael Oren will engage in a zoom conversation on Oren’s new book of short stories, “The Night Archer.” More details; zoom sign-in; and information on book purchasing will be available soon.
My final two months at Keneseth Israel will be quite busy. I hope you will join me on our literary adventure.