Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

“So reading picture books with young children may mean that they hear more words, while at the same time, their brains practice creating the images associated with those words — and with the more complex sentences and rhymes that make up even simple stories.”

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April Doorpost Column

Hello Library Lovers!

We at the library have been busy planning several exciting projects.

First, the online library survey is available through April. Thanks for the rapid response! Please let Sara know if you would like a paper copy to fill out, it just takes two minutes. Participants can choose to be entered in a raffle for a gift cards to RiverRun Bookstore, Friendly Toast, or Portsmouth Book & Bar. Thank you for your input- we want to make sure the library fits your needs!

Library Survey Snapshot

Library Survey Snapshot

In the coming months, we are planning to integrate brand new computer workstations for your use, both Mac and PC! Thanks to MJ Shoer, Howard Rubin, and all of our library fund donors for making this possible!

Sara has been revamping the teen area, planning additions to the collection and recataloging fiction for easy browsing. We now have a teen graphic novel section- come check it out!

In addition, we are excited to announce the prospect of an official rare book collection in the library! The committee is currently researching proper archival cases to display some of our treasures. If anyone is looking for a worthy cultural cause to donate to, please keep this project in mind. Rabbi Senter helped us sort through crates full of antiquarian and other special Judaica that we would like to keep safe and protected while on display in our lovely space.

A friendly reminder to check your shelves for library items– although we do not have late fees, we do need to replace items that are not returned in a timely manner. Contact Sara if you would like to renew items you are still using.

Lastly, movie night will be announced soon thanks to a cultural endowment grant! We’ll be in touch with a date and movie title soon.

 

Sara Lesley Arnold
librarian@templeisraelnh.org
(603) 436-5301 x25

New York Judaica Auction

Miniature illuminated manuscript on vellum. Germany, 1745. Page with blessings in Hebrew, with print of a woman holding a book. Rainbow overhead and a tree and castle on either side.

Miniature illuminated manuscript on vellum. Germany, 1745.

New York Judaica Auction March 19th. Our library is in the midst of planning a rare book display– some of these amazing items are on our wish list! Consider planned giving to our library so we may expand our collection. Ask Sara for details or donate a single time through the Temple Website. Please specify the funds are for the library!

7000th item added to the collection!

Debbie Friedman landed a spot as the 7000th item in the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library catalog today. Good way to end a great year here at the library! Come check out our newly acquired books, music, and movies, including JGuys Guide: GPS for the Jewish Teen, and the graphic novels Rabbi Harvey Rides Again and Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite. 

Happy New Year!

Screenshot of catalog entry number 7000

Debbie Friedman landed a spot as the 7000th item in the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library catalog.

Limmud Boston 2014

Everyone this year seemed up for meeting new people, one seeking more info on the gorgeous necklace a stranger is wearing and another offering his place in the coffee line to someone who looked like they needed a more immediate fix.

Attendees really stopped to help each other and chat– I suppose this should not be news, but after last year’s experience it was refreshing. It’s a relief to see the Jewish community in Greater Boston showing their solidarity in learning and journey to understanding.

Some of the goodies I picked up for the library are 3 cds that showcase the performers in the Boston Jewish Music Festival the past few years. Performers will also be showing up in New Hampshire! Keep an eye out for events in Nashua, Manchester, and the Klezmatics at the Portsmouth Music Hall in March.

Click here for the Boston Jewish Music Festival Website and schedule

Hear-O-Israel CD cover, Boston Jewish Music Festival

Hear-O-Israel, Boston Jewish Music Festival

Don’t read to Children.

Rabbi David, today, helped me sort through a mountain of books donated to the library… Lots of treasures, including a set of torah texts from 1891, an American soldier’s prayerbook, and a gilded set of works by Elie Wiesel.

The Children's Passover Haggadah

The Children’s Passover Haggadah

What made my day though was the note on the first page of this children’s haggadah!

The Children's Passover Haggadah note in text: "Don't read to children"

The Children’s Passover Haggadah

Lesson learned.

Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller

The Storyteller is a deeply personal novel whose story revolves around a grieving woman and her gradual realization of the depth of her family’s past. The main character, Sage, is a professional baker and introvert who has encountered increasing difficulty forging relationships, both romantic and friendly. She finally starts to open up to an elderly man who seemingly understands her, and becomes inspired to delve into her own story.

In talking with her grandmother, Sage finds out that her recently realized gift as a baker is a multi-generational trait that has a lot to do with the older woman’s survival from Auschwitz. As she learns of her grandmother’s gift for telling a story, Sage becomes both more in touch with her Jewish identity and more confident to move past all the now frivolous elements of her life.

Cover Art of The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult

The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult

My only gripe with the book is that (New Hampshire’s own!) Picoult uses slightly too much foreshadowing– for a few moments in the book, my suspended disbelief was broken, leaving me a bit disappointed with the ending. The author, however, will throw you right into the story artistically using multiple first-person accounts and beautiful language that lets you taste the cinnamon and chocolate in her bread, puts you right in the muck getting off the train, and brings out your own moral dilemmas as you relate to the complexity of the characters.

If you like Alice Hoffman’s writing you may really enjoy this book, and especially if you are a fan of Jodi Picoult’s other work. Both authors have the uncanny ability to effectively take the reader back in time and on an eye-opening adventure.

Best of all, The Storyteller is available for you at the Temple Israel Portsmouth library.

September Doorpost Column

Hello Library Lovers!

We have been busy in the library readying it for the start of school and the holidays. We appreciate all of the generous library fund donations we have been receiving, letting us start a new and exciting project!

Many of you have expressed how much you love our library, but did you know that we at Temple Israel have the most extensive Jewish interest and Judaica collection in Northern New England? I am constantly exploring ways to make these materials more accessible to you and the Jewish community at large, and am currently changing the call numbers in the children’s area to reflect the content in a more efficient way.

For example, as the project progresses, a book that was once “j244.53 Cohen” will now be “J Pesach Cohen” and will be color coded by category for easy finding.

Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim: "J Pesach Cohen"

Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim: “J Pesach Cohen”

In future weeks, I will also be changing the adult and young adult fiction to FIC and the biographies to BIO. I am hoping that these new call numbers will help you all find exactly what you want when you want it! We will also be installing clearly labeled signs that point you to the right section.

Please stop by in the meantime– we have many new books, movies, and music for your pleasure. The book sale will be going on in the schmooze during the month of September, so please buy some books to further show your undying support of the library.

L’Shana Tova!

Sara Lesley Arnold

Nancy Mae Shaines Library

Summer @ the library

Library Committee with Rabbi and Wife

Library Committee and Special Guests; Left to Right: Al Spaien, Elissa Senter, Rabbi Senter, Allison, Meryl Wein, Sara Lesley Arnold

We had great feedback from some of the attendees of the Book Thief screening and discussion with Rabbi David Senter that took place on July 17th. Some members of the group had either read the book or seen the movie previously, so the discussion included valuable input from many perspectives. The consensus seemed to be that even though the general idea of Death as a narrator is morbid, that element lets the viewer take the role of a similarly helpless onlooker, seeing as objectively as possible the characters build relationships and come of age.

With an audience comprised mostly of Jews, we discussed the generalities commonly associated with holocaust survivors, bridging those experiences to those of the main character of Liesel Meminger, a non-Jewish German girl who experiences her own horrific tragedies.

Viewers agreed that although the film depicts such a tragic time in world history, it provides a reminder of the humanity that can shine through a blanket of darkness.

I must say, it was wonderful to watch the film in a room of engaged viewers, after watching it on my own the first time. Geoffrey Rush and the other actors give amazing performances; the filmmakers really do a tremendous job transmitting the biblio-centric world of the novel into a new medium, allowing the audience to take part in the story and fall in love with the literature.

We have a few thoughts about additional programming this coming year and will keep you informed as events are scheduled. We are currently planning new religious school programs and will have our annual book sale going on in the Schmooze beginning September 7th for the start of school.