The library is open on Sunday mornings between 10-1pm or by arrangement with the Community Manager (now the school is using it, we need to arrange in advance if anyone wants access)
Woodside Park Synagogue Library was established over 40 years ago by Menachem Samuels and David Bender. For the past 26 years the Librarian has been Alan Tunkel and under his custodianship, it has grown to become probably the best synagogue library in the UK.
On Sunday mornings, the children who attend the cheder visit the Library and chose a book. For around twenty years, the librarian who helped the children to choose a book and then date-stamped the label was Bunny Marks. When he retired, his job was taken over by Jenny.
Although many synagogues have a library, almost all of them have only seforimor books on Judaism. The unique feature of our library is that as well as these, it has books of Jewish interest of a much wider nature.
It has 5 bookcases (30 shelves) devoted to works of fiction. It has several bookcases devoted to biographies. It has a section on art and photography and culture. What counts as Jewish culture? Cookery, Yiddish and Jewish Humour for a start. There is an extensive section on history, which includes the history of many Jewish communities around the world. There is a wide variety of books on Israel and Zionism and, sadly but importantly, on the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism.
The Library is dividend into 5 separate parts.
In the Beis Hamidrash (on the first floor of the Wiseman Linden Building) will be found the seforim, both for reference and for borrowing, as well as our books on Judaism and on the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism.
In the Library Annexe (on the second floor of the Wiseman Linden Building) will be found the books of fiction, history, Israel, Zionism, biography, art, photography and culture.
At the back of the Stephen Plasco Children’s Synagogue (on the first floor of the Wiseman Linden Building) will be found the Childrens Library and the Harry Newton Youth Library.
Finally, in the Synagogue itself, in the foyer and also just outside the Ladies Gallery, will be found children’s books that may be borrowed and read by children during the services.
Every book and every bookcase has been donated by members. Not a penny has been provided by the shul. We say to our members, it is YOUR Library. Please use it and encourage your children to do so as well. The Library is open during shul office hours during the week and on Sunday mornings. Please come in, choose a book, sign it out and enjoy.
Further Library Information:
The Adult Lending Library
This is a Lending Library of books of general Jewish interest, some parts of which are located in the Beth Hamidrash on the first floor of the Wiseman Linden Building and the remaining parts of which are located in the Library Annexe in the end classroom on the floor above.
The parts located in the Beth Hamidrash and the letters designating them are as follows:
“H” = Halacha
“PT” = Philosophy and Theology
“M” = Miscellaneous
(including dictionaries, grammars and travel guides)
“HA” = Holocaust & Antisemitism
“T” = Texts (some with commentary)
“C” = Commentary
The parts located in the second floor Library Annexe and the letters designating them are as follows:
“HS” = History
“B” = Biography
“F” = Fiction (alphabetic by author)
“IZ” = Israel & Zionism
“APC” = Art, Photography & Culture
(includes cookery and Yiddish)
Signing out Book
When you borrow a book please note this in the signing out book and when you return it, cross out your entry.
Broadly, the Library is open when the Synagogue Office is open.
All the books in the Library have been donated or bought with donations. If you wish to donate or dedicate a book please speak to Alan Tunkel (Librarian) or the Synagogue Office.
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